Mount Maunganui's Kehu Butler took the top spot in his Under 16 Division at the first event of the 2013 Billabong Grom Series at Mount Maunganui yesterday.
In good 1m waves with light onshore winds, Butler along with Gisborne's Jasmine Smith dominated their finals with victory for both surfers never looking in jeopardy.
Mount Maunganui's Kehu Butler competes at Mount Maunganui beach.
It is Butler's first title at Under 16 Boys level after winning multiple titles in the lower age groups throughout the past two years.
It also came on the back of a runner up placing in the Under 14 Boys Division earlier in the day, a result that he wanted to rectify in the Under 16s.
"I tried to push myself a bit more in the 16s after I lost in the Under 14s and it paid off with that good ride I got at the start," says Butler referring to the 9.0 point ride he surfed on his first wave.
"I thought I was going to get a good score for it and when it came through as a nine it allowed me to work on getting a back-up wave and increasing my lead for the rest of the final. I want to take the series out and this start has given me a good platform to work from."
Butler finished with a 15.47 point heat total to beat runner up Te Rapai Barbarich - Love (Waitara). Barbarich - Love had looked lethal all event with his energetic style suiting the mushy waves on offer.
National Champion Korbin Hutchings (Gis) placed third in the final scoring 11.13 behind Barbarich - Love's 11.57.
Hutchings will remain in New Zealand for the National Junior Surfing Team training session today before flying back to Australia where he currently resides.
Isaac Kettle placed fourth in the final, his best result to date in the Under 16 Boys Division.
Gisborne's Jasmine Smith went one better than her 2012 result winning the Under 16 Girls Division. The National Champion for the Under 18 Girls Division dominated the final scoring 11.67 points out of a possible 20.
"It is pretty good to win, the surf was really tricky so I am lucky to take it out,” says Smith.
"All the other girls were surfing well today so I am looking forward to heading to the next event at Whangamata in a few weeks' time and doing the best I can again.”
Piha surfer Claudia Fraser placed second in the final securing her best ever result in the division. After two third placings in 2012 and a second here at the first event, Fraser will be working hard in the coming weeks to find that edge over her opponents that will get her to the top of the podium.
Placing third in the final was local surfer Elin Tawharu with Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis) in fourth.
Tane Bowden put the acid on his opponents in the Under 14 Boys final when his first two rides posted were a 6.20 and then a 6.83 which set up a comfortable win. The score line caused panic for his opponents who all required scores in excess of eight points to catch up. Bowden finished with a 13.03 point heat total to win his second final of the day after earlier taking out the Under 12 Boys Division.
Kehu placed second in the final scoring 10.33 points. Third placed Daniel Farr (Tara) started the heat strong again adding flare to his turns but he could not find more than one or two turns per wave which restricted his scoring. Christchurch surfer Sam Sands finished the final in fourth place.
Raiha Ensor from Mount Maunganui made up for a semi-final loss in the Under 16 Girls' Division by winning the Under 14 Girls. Ensor posted an 8.83 point total out of a possible 20. Surfing in an all Bay of Plenty final, she used her powerful backhand to rack up the points and beat her opponents with Maaia Reid - Bennett placing runner up.
Kea Smith placed third in the final ahead of Tiana Breeze de Mooj in fourth.
Tane Bowden (WGM) continued his excellent run of form from day one to win the Under 12 Boys Division with a 12.80 point heat total. Bowden's superior wave selection saw him able to complete several big turns on his waves finishing each powerfully on the inside section to beat his closest rival Kaya Horne (Aus).
Horne, an ex-Mount Maunganui local posted 9.40 points in the final with some precision surfing.
However he was unable to find the same wave quality of Bowden. Sonny Rapira - Martin (Tara) placed third in the final after earlier face planting the sand during practice in the morning. It was Rapira - Martin's first finals appearance in the Billabong Grom Series events. William Van Der Beek (Mnt) placed fourth.
Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) dominated the Under 12 Girls' Division showing excellent courage to tackle the testing conditions on her own. Hutchieson surfed aggressively to score 8.73 points and claim her first win at a national level, her previous best being a fourth in 2012. Hutchieson beat Staffi Vette (Gis) who placed second in her first ever final with Iritana Butler (Mnt) in third and first time finalist Stella Smith (Gis) in fourth.
Set out below are the final results from event one of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 10.5, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 9.83, 2, Harrison Mossop (Tau), 8.53, 3, Joshua Farr (Tara), 6.13, 4
Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 13.2, 1, Jack Mills (Mnt), 9.77, 2, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 7.93, 3, Blake O'Kane (Papamoa), 5.27, 4
Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 10.2, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 8.43, 2, Andrew Fraser-Mackenzie (Tau), 6.23, 3, Campbell Ivory (Tairua), 4.17, 4
Jack Wilson (ChCh), 10.2, 1, Callum Chuter (Tau), 9.8, 2, Jack Virtue (Gis), 7.67, 3, Adam Clegg (Tara), 5.77, 4
Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 12.3, 1, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 11.3, 2, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 9.4, 3, Jack Mills (Mnt), 5.73, 4
Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 10, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 9.6, 2, Callum Chuter (Tau), 8.4, 3, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 7.03, 4
Under 16 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 15.47, 1, Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 11.57, 2, Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 11.13, 3, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 10.5, 4
Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Tane Bowden (WGM), 14.8, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 12.2, 2, Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch), 8.5, 3, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 6.93, 4
Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.2, 1, Samuel Sands (chch), 8.17, 2, Shane Kraus (Piha), 5.97, 3, Braedyn Louie (Piha), 5.47, 4
Under 14 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (WGM), 13.03, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 10.33, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 9.30, 3, Samuel Sands (Chch), 8.67, 4
Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Kaya Horne (Arataki), 12.3, 1, William van der Beek (Mnt), 5.53, 2, Finn Johnson (Gis), 4.43, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 3.77, 4
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12, 1, Sonny Rapira Martin (Waitara), 7.4, 2, Luke Griffin (Mt), 4.77, 3, Jai Daly-Parr (Tau), 3.97, 4
Under 12 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12.80, 1, Kaya Horne (Arataki), 9.4, 2, Sonny Rapira Martin (Waitara), 5.93, 3, William van der Beek (Mnt), 2.97, 4
Under 16 Girls Final
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.5, 1, Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis), 9.77, 2, Britt Kindred (Muri), 7.63, 3, Kea Smith (Mnt), 7.23, 4
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 12.3, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.93, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 6.63, 3, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 3.87, 4
Under 16 Girls Final
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 11.67, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 8.2, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.33, 3, Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis), 2.33, 4
Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 11.6, 1, Tiana Breeze - de Mooj (Mnt), 7.5, 2, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 3.63, 3, Treyarn Barbarich (Arataki), 1.3, 4
Kea Smith (Mnt), 10.7, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 6.17, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 5.3, 3, Holly Marson-Wood (Piha), 2.17, 4
Under 14 Girls Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 8.83, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 7.3, 2, Kea Smith (Mnt), 6.4, 3, Tiana Breeze - de Mooj (Mnt), 3.7, 4
Under 12 Girls Final
Saffi Vette (Gis), 7.13, 1, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 5.53, 2, Teina Smith (Mnt), 4.6, 3
Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 14.8, 1, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.73, 2, Grace Pevats (Whrei), 4.4, 3
Under 12 Girls Final
Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 8.73, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 7.37, 2, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 4.63, 3, Stella Smith (Gis), 2, 4
Please see below for the two remaining dates:
Billabong Grom Series pres by Oceanbridge Event 2 - 23rd - 24th February, Whangamata
Billabong Grom Series pres by Oceanbridge Event 3 - 9th - 10th March, Piha Beach, Auckland