Six champions were crowned at the third and final event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge event completed at Piha Beach, Auckland over the weekend.
Titles went to Piha, Raglan, Christchurch and Mount Maunganui with Caleb Cutmore (Rag) and Gabrielle Paul (Piha) securing the premier Under 18 titles after a summer of surfing that also saw events held at Mount Maunganui and Whangamata.
With adverse weather marching up the West Coast and set to slam into Piha on Sunday, the event was completed in one big day of surfing with Saturday producing solid 1.0m waves ruffled by light cross-onshore winds all day at the south end of Piha.
Cutmore finished off the series in style with an event win, backing up his win at the first event and a fourth-place finish at the second. By the time the finals rolled around early evening, the tide had dropped and the Piha Bar was breaking providing the Raglan surfer with all too familiar lefthanders running down the beach which suited the goofy footer.
Cutmore finished with a 14.27 point heat total edging out Jack Lee (Whaka) who pushed him for the win posting 14.07 points out of a possible 20.
The Piha Bar also suited Raglan duo Kora Cooper, who won the Under 16 Boys Division, and his mate Jayden Willoughby who placed second in a high scoring final. Willoughby’s runner up finish was enough for him to win the overall series.
Cooper was the form surfer of the weekend and peaked in the final dropping eight-point rides at will and combo’ing his fellow finalists within the first eight minutes. He eventually finished with a 16.8 point heat total in the final.
Local Piha surfer Gabrielle Paul finished runner up to Raglan’s Kai Woolf in the Under 18 Girls Division, Woolf taking her second straight win of the series. However, Woolf’s absence at the first event meant that Paul claimed the overall title with her three finals berths in the series. Georgia Wederell (Mnt) finished second overall with Woolf finishing third.
Ava Henderson (Chch) and Anna Brock (Mnt) were the most dominant surfers of the series with two wins apiece backed up by runner up finishes in their respective Under 16 and Under 14 Divisions. The two girls claimed the overall titles with strong wins at Piha.
Young Piha surfer Bill Byers rounded out the winners for the final event of the series and with several upsets throughout the weekend, Byers jumped from fourth to first overall, leapfrogging second placed Navryn Malone (Rag) who dropped back to second.
Please see below for results from the third event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held completed at Pia Beach yesterday (Saturday 23rd February).
Overall Series Champions
Under 18 Boys – Caleb Cutmore (Rag)
Under 18 Girls – Gabrielle Paul (Piha)
Under 16 Boys – Jayden Willoughby (Rag)
Under 16 Girls – Ava Henderson (Chch)
Under 14 Boys – Bill Byers (Piha)
Under 14 Girls – Anna Brock (Mnt)
Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.17, 1, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 13.47, 2, Dughall Eadie (Auck), 9.47, 3, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.53, 4
Luis Southwood (Whaka), 13.84, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.97, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 9.83, 3, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 4.13, 4
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 14.27, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 14.07, 2, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 10, 3, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 8.6, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Semifinals
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 11.65, 1, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 11.53, 2, Jackson Peak (Auck), 10.5, 3
Kora Cooper (Rag), 12.93, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 10.77, 2, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay), 9.33, 3
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 16.8, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 12.7, 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 12.5, 3, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 10.3, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Semifinals
Bill Byers (Piha), 11.57, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 10.20, 2, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 8.60, 3, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 7.46, 4
Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 12.67, 1, Kalani Louis (Tara), 7.76, 2, Tana Clapham (Rag), 7.27, 3, Tai Erceg-Gray (Whngrei), 5.50, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Estella Hungerford (Chch), 11.5, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 8.33, 2, Lily Dowsett (Auck), 2.5, 3, Baylin Klein Ovink (Auck), 2.16, 4
Kai Woolf (Rag), 17.5, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 9.4, 2, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 8.84, 3, Tia Ngarimu (Whiti), 6.07, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Kai Woolf (Rag), 11.74, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 8.64, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.46, 3, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 7.24, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 9.4, 1, Liv Haysom (Piha), 9.06, 2, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 5.67, 3, Daizee Rawles (Gis), 2.57, 4
Brie Bennett (Rag), 9.5, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 8.9, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 5.4, 3, Summer Carkeek (Auck), 4.47, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 12.0, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 9.27, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.76, 3, Brie Bennett (Rag), 8.4, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Semifinals
Anna Brock (Mnt), 7.83, 1, Leia Millar (Piha), 6.37, 2, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 5.9, 3
Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 14.87, 1, Pia Rogers (WGM), 7.94, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 4.43, 3
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Anna Brock (Mnt), 10.8, 1, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 7.23, 2, Leia Millar (Piha), 5.56, 3, Pia Rogers (WGM), 4.23, 4
The 2019 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into three divisions for boys and girls ranging from Under 14 through to Under 18 in two-year increments.
It is the fourteenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who has been a proud long-time supporter of surfing in New Zealand.
For further information on the 2019 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
High-resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions for the day.
Generous support from Billabong, presenting sponsors Oceanbridge, Kustom, Da Kine, Von Zipper and Amazon Surf has made this series possible.
Thanks to Piha Boardriders for hosting the event.
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