Billabong Grom Series
Multiple New Winners Crowned at Mount Maunganui
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 January, 2018 - The first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Mount Maunganui today (Sunday 28th January) threw up a number of new junior surfers fresh to the winners circle. In solid 1.0m waves and sea breeze winds at Tay Street, seven of the eight winners across all the divisions were either first-timers or returning to the number one spot after a long break.
The final of the Under 18 Boys Division was the highlight of the afternoon with just over a point separating first from third. The win eventually went to the experienced Caleb Cutmore (Ham) after the lead changed several times between him, Jared Gebert (Ohope) and Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti).
Cutmore surfed to a 6.53 point ride on his last wave in the final minute to snatch victory from Jared Gebert (Ohope), himself leapfrogging Piper - Healion with his last ride of a 5.63.
It is a return to form for Cutmore and Gebert who suffered earlier than expected defeats at the National Championships. However, it is the second successive final for Piper – Healion. Local Mount Maunganui surfer and day-one standout Luke Griffin finished fourth in the final.
Kea Smith secured one of two victories for local surfers by winning the Under 18 Girls Division. Smith posted a 10.16 point heat total for the win defeating fellow local Tiana – Breeze de Mooij who finished second, Tegen Bishop (Chch) in third and Eden Gray (AUS) in fourth.
It was Smith’s first win since 2015 when she claimed a double in the Under 16 and 18s at the National Championships.
Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) was another returning to the winners circle after a long stint winning the Under 20 Boys Division. Scott – Arrieta eventually made easy work of the final surfing to a 12.63 point heat total to defeat Sam Sands (Chch) in second, Jacob Warnes (Mnt) in third and Eli Voschezang (Auck) in fourth.
A pair of titles went to Whangarei after Billie Scott joined Scott – Arrieta winning her Under 20 Girls Division. Scott’s final was highlighted by a nice righthand runner that shaped up nicely for her to post a 7.5 point ride. Scott finished ahead of Indica Ratima (Rag) in second, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) in third and Lily Robertson (Te Aroha) in fourth.
Gisborne’s Finn Vette won the Under 16 Boys Division, his first win after competing in the Billabong Grom Series for several years. Surfing up a division, the 13-year-old goofy foot surfer defeated National Champion Kora Cooper (Rag) by less than a point in the final after posting the highest single wave score of 7.67 out of a possible 10 points. Tom Robinson (Whangarei) finished in third ahead of Finn Johnson (Gis) in fourth.
Australian Charlie Phillips continued her good form day one to claim the Under 16 Girls Division. Phillips led the final from the outset and was only challenged toward the end of the final by national champion Brie Bennett (Rag) who eventually finished runner-up ahead of Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in third and Summer Carkeek (Auck) in fourth.
Raglan’s Jayden Willoughby and Mount Maunganui’s Anna Brock claimed titles in the Under 14 Divisions. Both surfers are first-time winners for the Billabong Grom Series. Willoughby surfed to a 12.0 point heat total while Brock won with a total of 6.30.
Under 20 Boys Division
Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 12.63, 1, Sam Sands (Chch), 9.3, 2, Jacob Warnes (Mnt), 4.13, 3, Eli Voschezang (Auck), 4
Under 20 Girls Division
Billie Scott (Whngrei), 11.73, 1, Indica Ratima (Rag), 10.63, 2, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 4.70, 3, Lily MacDonald (Te Aroha), 3.43, 4
Under 18 Boys Final
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 12.60, 1, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 12.33, 2, Jay Piper Healion (Whiti), 11.73, 3, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 8.03, 4
Under 16 Boys Final
Finn Vette (Gis), 13.77, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag)12.93, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.23, 3, Finn Johnson (Gis), 10.77, 4
Under 16 Girls Final
Charlie Phillips (AUS), 11.83, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 11.17, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.26, 3, Summer Carkeek (Auck), 7.0, 4
Under 14 Boys Final
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 12.0, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.5, 2, Koby Cameron (Chch), 9.17, 3, Reef Newdick (Mnt), 3.33, 4
Under 14 Girls Final
Anna Brock (Mnt), 6.34, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 5.60, 2, Daizee Rawls (Gis), 5.27, 3, Asia Braithwaite (Gis) 3.30, 4