Event 1 of the South Island Grom Series saw record entries with 60 entries. The beautiful Tauranga Bay produced a 1.5 metre south west swell.
The day started with the Under 16 boys, stands outs were Jai Oakley scoring an 8.33 wave score with critical surfing in the pocket. Other surfers looking good and winning their heats were James Millar, Kobi Cameron and Luke Rogers. The Under 16 girls. Surfers to impress were Ava Henderson, Leah Wilson and Misha Peyroux all progressing to the semis. Under 14 Boys were next up with Benji Lowen, Nixon Reardon, Rakiatea Tau and Campbell Heasley all impressing the judges.
Under 18 Boys saw Neko Tohiariki blowing his competitors out of the water with a 17.5 heat score. Also impressing the judges and winning their heats were Jai Oakley and Ruben Peyroux making it through to the semis.
Under 18 Girls had NZ Rep Estella Hungerford taking out her heat alongside Leah Wilson, Ave Henderson and Eve Findlay making it through to the finals.
Under 12 Boys it was Billy Cameron, Travis Henderson, Sonny Lyons and Benji Lowen all smashing their way to the final. Under 12 Girls – surfers to impress were Ana Tau along with Tessa Gabbott, Coco Bentley and Lucy Macefield.
Under 14 Girls saw the Point Surf Team girls dominating with Holly Campbell, Ruby Armstrong and Amelie Wink alongside Misha Peyroux from South Coast making it through to the finals.
Under 16 Boys semi 1 was super close with Jai Millar and Liam Heasley sneaking ahead of Jai Oakley. Semi 2 saw local lad Jacob Fitzgerald smashing his way to the a 1st place making it through to the final alongside Rueben Lyons from Kaikoura Surf Groms.
In the Under 16 girls Ava Henderson performed two powerful back hand re-entries in the pocket and finished with a roundhouse cutback leaving the judges no option but to give her a perfect 10. Others to make it through to the final were Amelie Wink, Leah Wilson and Anika Ayson.
Under 14 Boys Jack McKenzie, fresh off a holiday in Indo, winning his heat ahead of Nixon Reardon. Tyler Perry from Kaikoura Surf Groms took out semi 2 with some nice back hand snaps and pushing Tom Robertson in to second.
Under 18 Boys semi 1 saw the two Dunedin Boys Ruben Peyroux and Luke Rogers making it through to the final. Semi 2 had Christchurch boys Jai Oakley and Neko Tohiariki surf their way to the final.
The higher tide cleaned up with the left handers peeling right though the bay. A decision was made to run the comp in 1 day with 10 hours of surfing.
Under 12 Girls was the first final in the water with all the girls out the back. After winning the South Island Primary School champs last weekend, Ana Tau from the Northside Boardriders club claimed another victory. Tessa Gabbott, Lucy Masefield and Coco Bentley finishing 2nd 3rd and 4th.
The Under 12 boys was hotly contested but it was Sonny Lyons also taking a second victory in 2 weeks ahead of Billy Cameron, Benji Lowen and Travis Henderson.
Under 14 Girls saw Holly Campbell of Point Surf Team claim her first victory in the South Island Grom Series ahead of Amelie Wink, Ruby Armstrong and Misha Peyroux.
In the under 14 boys, Jack McKenzie, carried on from where he left off in the semis and dominated the final ahead of Nixon Reardon, Tyler Perry and Tom Robertson.
Under 16 Girls saw Ava Henderson and Leah Wilson battle it out, with Ava Henderson finishing ahead of Leah Wilson, Anika Ayson and Amelie Wink.
Under 16 Boys saw James Millar, of the North Wai Boardriders club, coming out strongly and taking the win ahead of Rueben Lyons, Liam Heasley and Jacob Fitzgerald.
Under 18 saw an outstanding performance, Estella Hungerford smash it with a heat score of 19 with a series of incredibly powerful backhand re-entries. Ava Henderson 2nd, Leah Wilson 3rd and Eve Findlay 4th.
The last final of the day was a bit of a fizzer, after the Under 18 Girls, with the lads struggling to position themselves in the line-up. Ruben Peyroux snuck ahead of Jai Oakley, Neko Tohiariki and Luke Rogers. Ruben hooking on to a right hander, popped out his fins and took the win in the dying minutes.