A big week of junior surfing kicked off at Taranaki today (Saturday 8th October) with the two-day O’Neill Taranaki Grom Comp. Starting on Monday, this weekend’s event is followed by the five-day New Zealand Scholastic Championships.
A packed out field of 138 of the best young surfers in New Zealand are participating at the O’Neill Taranaki Grom Comp, led by nine New Zealand representatives. The event is the season finale for the NZ Grom Series which started back in January.
The day started off with clean 1.0m waves and perfect offshore winds in the morning with those in the early heats relishing the chance to get stuck in. As the tide went out, the winds swung northwest by mid-morning making the afternoon a challenge for all participants.
Under 18 Boys Division ratings leader and local surfer Kalani Louis kept his hopes alive to finish the series with a win despite advancing behind New Zealand teammate Jack Tyro (Chch) in their opening round match up. Louis is one of four Taranaki surfers that were part of the New Zealand Junior Team this year and it is the first time in over 12 months they have had the chance to compete in home waters.
Tyro posted a 12.17 point heat total to win his heat. He is one of several surfers competing up a division this weekend and despite coming up against older opponents, many found success to advance to the semifinals including Tao Mouldey (Mnt) and Will Hardie (Piha).
Current series runner up Tyler Perry (Kaik) had the unfortunate circumstance of getting a priority interference in his opening heat and was eliminated from the event despite performing well.
Other surfers to advance through their early match ups in the Under 18 Boys Division included Jai Wallis (Piha), Jake Owen (Dun) and Ari D’Anvers (Whngrei).
Natasha Gouldsbury joined Louis with a dominant local performance in the Under 18 Girls Division moving through to the semifinals. Gouldsbury was joined by Liv Haysom (Piha) and 14-year-old Maya Mateja (Rag) in advancing through to the semis.
Pia Rogers (WGM), Sophia Brock (Mnt) and Leia Millar (Piha) all advanced through their Under 16 Girls Division heats and into the semifinals.
By the time the Under 16 and 14 Boys Divisions hit the water in the afternoon, the tide was low and surfers had to find anything they could to advance. It didn’t stop the top seeds from showing that their skills prevail in all conditions. Bay of Plenty surfers Tai Murphy and Tava Santorik dominated their heats as did young Dunedin surfer Alexis Owen, another who is surfing up a division this weekend.
There were also some standout performances from the likes of George Laery (Mnt), Riku Gordon (Mah) and Theo Morse (Rag) who disposed of the higher seeded opponents in their heats.
Two rounds of the Under 14 Boys Division rounded out the day in the afternoon glare. Hawkes Bay’s Beck Allen got the division underway with a win as did Joel Kirk (Pukehina), Harrison Biddle (WGM) and Jay Tingle (Pau) in the first round.
Full results can be found on www.liveheats.com/44498.
Surfers from Ahipara down to Dunedin will take part on the weekend in a sold-out event including Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 divisions with action taking place from 8am – 5pm daily.
The O’Neill Taranaki Grom Comp is part of the wider New Zealand Grom Series which includes the Billabong Grom Series, the South Island Connect Group Grom Series and a number of other individual junior events, it is the final event for the 2022 season.
This year’s event would not be possible without the support of O’Neill, Pelorus Trust, New Plymouth Surfriders and Surfing Taranaki.
For further information on the 2022 O’Neill Taranaki Grom Comp, please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge.
Please visit Liveheats.com for live scores https://liveheats.com/events/44498
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Generous support from presenting sponsors O’Neill, has made this event possible. The event is proudly hosted by New Plymouth Surfriders and Surfing Taranaki.
Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by: