Two 14-year-old surfers in Finn Vette (Gis) and Ava Henderson (Chch) ripped through their older counterparts to claim titles in their respective Under 18 Divisions at the Kaikoura Grom Comp held over the weekend.
The two surfers were double finalists, also contesting the Under 16 Divisions, where Henderson claimed another win and Vette placed third capping off a highly successful weekend for the two surfers.
The Kaikoura Grom Comp was the sixth event of the New Zealand Grom Series and doubled as the final event of the South Island Grom Series which attracted a hefty field of surfers from around the country.
The solid 1.5m swell endured by competitors on Saturday had decreased overnight to a clean 1.0m swell with solid set waves still pulsing in at Meatworks, but certainly a more manageable line up than day one.
Vette posted a 14.4 point heat total in the final to upstage event favourite Caleb Cutmore (Rag) who had been on fire all weekend. Vette surfed a seamlessly ridden lefthander early in the heat and backed that up with a sharp two turn combination on his backhand to hold the lead for much of the final and through to the final siren.
Cutmore finished runner up, just holding off Taylor O’Leary (Mur) in third with Myka Black (Chch) in fourth.
Henderson posted a 10.7 point heat total in the final of the girls division to hold off her sister Estella Hungerford who finished with 10.2 points, Henderson leaving her run late to claim the win. Double finalists Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) and Liv Haysom (Piha) finished in third and fourth respectively.
Henderson, Gouldsbury and Haysom all contested a very tightly contested Under 16 Girls Division final alongside Leah Wilson (Chch). Henderson managed her second win of the day while Gouldsbury went one better than the 18’s with a runner up finish. Wilson finished third in the final with Haysom in fourth.
The Under 16 Boys Division final was the most hotly contested of the day with Taranaki surfer Tom Butland getting claiming the win. Butland and Robinson capitalised on the right-handers rolling down the beach, both surfers scoring excellent rides with Butland coming out on top 15.97 to 15.71. Vette opted to surf his forehand on the lefts and took an early lead in the final with a pair of sevens before being pegged back and ultimately finishing in third place ahead of Myka Black (Chch) in fourth. North Wai Boardriders defended their title as the top club.
The Under 14 Divisions went the way of the number one seeds and rankings leaders Bill Byers (Piha) and Anna Brock (Mnt). It was the second win of the season for Byers but the fourth straight for Brock who takes an unassailable lead on the rankings with one event remaining.
Hawkes Bay surfer Dale Cromhout and Piha’s Leia Millar won their respective Under 12 Divisions.
The final rankings of the South Island Grom Series were also confirmed after the event. Luke Rogers (Dun) and Ava Henderson won the Under 18s. Henderson was again the winner in the Under 16s along with Reuben Lyons (Kaik). Jack McKenzie (Chch) and Misha Peyroux (Dun) won the Under 14s. Sonny Lyons (Kaik) and Tessa Gabbott (Dun) won the Under 12s.
The Kaikoura Grom Comp marks the halfway point of the series for most surfers with events already having been contested in Taranaki, Mount Maunganui, Whangamata, Piha and Christchurch. Events still remain for Raglan, Christchurch, Dunedin and Hawkes Bay.
Please see below for finals results from the Kaikoura Grom Comp completed at Meatworks yesterday (Sunday 7th April).
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Finn Vette (Gis), 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 2, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 3, Myka Black (Chch), 4
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Tom Butland (Tara), 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 3, Myka Black (Chch), 4
Under 14 Boys Division Final
Bill Byers (Piha), 1, Jack Mckenzie (Waikuku), 2, Campbell Heasley (Chch), 3, Jake Owen (Dun), 4
Under 12 Boys Division Final
Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 1, Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 2, Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 3, Theo Morse (Orewa), 4
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 2, Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 2, Leah Wilson (Chch), 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Anna Brock (Mnt), 1, Misha Peyroux (Dun), 2, Amelie Wink (Chch), 3, Leia Millar (Piha), 4
Under 12 Girls Division Final
Leia Millar (Piha), 1, Chloe Groube (Pau), 2, Eva Wilson (Chch), 3, Amelie Clark (Chch), 4
For further information on the 2019 Kaikoura Grom Comp please contact Mark O’Malley on 021 2075177.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge.
The 2019 edition of the Kaikoura Grom Comp would not be possible without the support of Kaikoura Surf Groms, Jade Kiwi, the Strawberry Tree, Kaikoura Boardriders, McCrory Plumbing, Kaikoura Bakery, Hirepool and Exit Surf.
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