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Anticipation For Pending Swell as Groms Surf Through to Finals

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The forecast for a good Sunday swell along the Hawkes Bay coastline was enough to see the majority of surfers in the Open Men’s Division enjoy a day off competing today (Saturday 16th December) as the juniors contested their heats at the Backdoor BayBash.

The Backdoor BayBash is the final event of the 2017 New Zealand Surf Series for the Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions.  The event is also the last for the 2017 New Zealand Grom Series.

Day one of the event was held at Waimarama Beach in clean 1.0m waves.  While the forecasted weekend swell remains to be seen, the waves today were good with the winds staying surprisingly variable all day long.

With the grommets covering off the majority of the day, many of New Zealand’s top juniors had to surf in excess of three heats across multiple divisions throughout the day.

Hamilton surfer Caleb Cutmore dominated proceedings advancing through to the semifinals of the Under 20 and 17 Boys Divisions.  Cutmore posted the second highest heat score of the day with a 14.33 point heat total in the quarterfinals of the Under 17 Boys Division.  He also posted the highest single wave score of 8.50 out of a possible ten points.

Cutmore will go into day two of the event with a big workload contesting two semifinals berths in the junior divisions as well as contesting the Open Men’s Divisions.

Late in the day the final four surfers of the Under 14 Boys Division were determined.  The youngest of the competitors this weekend will now be hoping they get to surf the right-hand point break of Te Awanga.

The Raglan duo of Kora Cooper and Jayden Willoughby were again unstoppable, the two surfers advancing side-by-side in the first semifinal while the two Tom’s, Butland (Tara) and Robinson (Whangarei) advanced out of the second semifinal.

Robinson was another surfer to notch up big totals surfing to the highest heat score of the day – 15.0 out of 20 points.

The preliminary round of the Open Men’s Division saw local Hawkes Bay surfer Logan Owen advance through to day two of the event winning his first matchup while Whitianga surfer Jay Piper – Healion did the same in the second heat.

It will not be until midway through the final day that these surfers will get to face off against the top seeds in the event such as Billy Stairmand (Rag), Tane Wallis (Piha), Taylor Hutchison (Rag) and Harrison Whiteside (Chch).

This is the fourth year the Backdoor BayBash has taken place.  The event includes seven divisions with the Men’s and Women’s premier divisions being supported by the New Zealand Grom Series with Under 20, 17 and 14 age groups.

Action will take place on Sunday from 8:00am – 4:00pm with a call on the event venue made first thing in the morning.  There is a significant east swell building from early Sunday morning.  This forecasted swell will give us a good chance of running the final day of the event at Te Awanga.

Full results from day one of the Backdoor BayBash held at Waimarama Beach today (Saturday 16th January) can be found at www.compusurf.com.au. Keep up to date with live scores from 8am on Sunday.

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

High resolution images will be available to media upon request. Images will be distributed free of charge.

Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop, Billabong, Rip Curl, Channel Island Surfboards and Hastings District Council has made this event possible.

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