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Abbreviated Day Sets Up Big Finale at Raglan

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Deteriorating weather and waves cut short action on the second day of the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro today (Saturday 28th April) setting up a mammoth final day of surfing for Sunday.

Only eight heats were contested today including the first round of the Open Women’s Division.  The small 0.5m swell continued to decrease as the offshore winds strengthened forcing a halt to the event mid-morning.

National Champion Raiha Ensor navigated her way past the tricky conditions in the first round posting a modest 10.23 point heat total to win her heat.  The Mount Maunganui surfer currently leads the New Zealand Surf Series rankings and one more heat on the final day of the event will be enough to see her into the finals and a good chance of retaining her rankings lead.

Canadian surfer Hanna Scott top scored in the last heat of the round when she advanced to the semifinals in first place alongside Aimee Brown (Grt Barrier).

Other top seeds to advance included Bianca Sansom (Auck) and Tegen Bishop (Chch) while Piha’s Claudia Fraser also won her first round match up.

The conditions allowed for the semifinals of the junior boys divisions to be contested.

Caleb Cutmore advanced through the closest heat of the day when he and Saxon Reber (AUS) edged past Axel Rose – Curotta (AUS) and Max Brunker (Whangarei).  Cutmore held the lead for much of the heat finishing with an 11.93 point heat total but less than a point separated his three opponents with Reber getting the edge on his final wave to advance.

In the other semifinal it was Conor McLennan (Chch) and Jack Lee (Whaka) that pushed past Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch) and Tom Norton, Norton incurring an interference midway through the heat.  As the number one on the rankings, McLennan’s progression sets up a big final against his closest rival in Cutmore.

Jack Lee continued his run in the Under 16 Boys Division as well, advancing through to the final behind Tom Robinson (Whangarei) in the first semifinal which was touted as the death heat.   The second semifinal saw Tom Butland (Tara) and Kora Cooper (Rag) move through to the final.

Cooper needs to finish second or better to jump to the top of the Under 16 Boys rankings while a win for Robinson will see him equal Cooper at the top of the rankings.

With less than half a day’s surfing completed today, action will start at 7:30am on Sunday morning with the Open Men’s Division yet to enter the water at the event and a jam-packed day of surfing required to find the six event champions.

The surf is expected to build for the final day of the event with strong offshore winds easing throughout the day.  All finals will be contested from 2:00pm on Friday afternoon.

The updated draw is live on the Surfing New Zealand website and can be viewed here.

Full rankings for the New Zealand Surf Series and the New Zealand Grom Series can be viewed here.

Please see below for results from day two of the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro held at Ruapuke Beach south of Raglan today (Saturday 28th April).

Open Women’s Division Round 1
Heat 1

Bianca Sansom (Auck), 10.1, 1, Indica Ratima (Rag), 9.44, 2, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 7.9, 3
Heat 2
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 10.2, 1, Georgia Wederell (Chch), 4.27, 2, Brie Bennett (Rag), 4.17, 3, Lily McDonald (Te Aroha), 1.9, 4
Heat 3
Claudia Fraser (Piha), 8.3, 1, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 8.26, 2, Laura Griffin (Whngrei), 5.9, 3, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 4.83, 4
Heat 4
Hanna Scott (CAN), 11.2, 1, Aimee Brown (GB), 7.17, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 5.8, 3, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 4.23, 4

Under 18 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Conor McLennan (Chch), 10.67, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 8.27, 2, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 7.54, 3, Tom Norton (Waipu), 4.44, 4
Heat 2
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 10.93, 1, Saxon Reber (AUS), 9.94, 2, Axel Rose – Curotta (AUS), 9.27, 3, Max Brunker (Whngrei), 9.17, 4

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 12.9, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.9, 2, Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.3, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 9.73, 4
Heat 2
Tom Butland (Tara), 10.8, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 10.8, 2, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 8.07, 3, Bill Byers (Piha), 7.67, 4


The recently upgraded event has attracted 140 entries from surfers throughout the country.  For the past four years, the event has focussed on the youth of New Zealand but with the support of Oceanbridge, the event now includes Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions as well as Under 18 and Under 16 Divisions.

The Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro is the fourth event of the New Zealand Surf Series which caters for New Zealand’s top male and female surfers.

For more information on the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.  Alternatively contact Backdoor via Geoff Hutchison – hutch@backdoor.co.nz.

Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop and Oceanbridge has made this event possible.

The event is hosted by Raglan’s Point Boardriders.

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