Six champions were crowned at the final Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge event completed at Mount Maunganui today (Sunday 26th February).
After having been relocated from Piha due to the cyclone devastation, Mount Maunganui hosted the event for the second time in the series.
Across the series there were 377 participants and 186 heats later, the series saw six overall champions and twelve event winners across the three events highlighting the depth of talent across the junior age groups.
Taranaki’s Spencer Rowson won the final event of the series and with that, the Under 18 Boys Division title while Pia Rogers’ third placing this weekend was enough for her to win the Under 18 Girls Division.
Tao Mouldey (Mnt) was one of three surfers that won more than one event across the series and he claimed the Under 16 Boys Division alongside Leia Millar (Piha) who also won two events in the series.
Remy Sale (Mnt) had to settle for runner-up in the Under 14 Boys Division today but that was enough to see him take the overall series alongside winner of the final event Sol Fritchley, the two surfers tied with a first, second and third each. The most dominant surfer of the females, Kyra Wallis (Piha), who won all three events, claimed the Under 14 Girls Division and remains undefeated this season.
In today’s action it was 12-year-old Lola Groube who won the Under 16 Girls Division claiming her first win of the season.
Scoring a 9.15 point heat total in the final was enough to outpoint her opponents for the win.
“It is my first win this summer so I am happy to beat the other girls in the final today,” said Groube.
“It was hard in our final, the conditions weren’t that good and there were lots of close outs,” added Groube whose strategy was to get two quick waves and put the pressure on her opponents. “Then I only needed a four-point ride to get into the lead and I managed that toward the end of the final,” she said.
Finishing runner up in the final event of the series was Maya Mateja (Rag). Mateja held the lead in the early stages before being overtaken by Groube with the Raglan surfer unable to find the waves that allowed more than one turn.
Lola’s older sister Chloe finished the final in third place ahead of Alani Morse (Rag) in fourth.
Local Mount Maunganui surfer Tyler Stenzel put on a stunning display in the final of the Under 16 Boys Division surfing to a 14.55 point heat total which was enough to claim the Volkswagen Highest Heat score of the Day Award.
“Super stoked to get the win today, it is the first time I have won in the Under 16 Boys Division too,” Commented Stenzel.
“It was a good close final, my first wave set me up and gave me confidence and then I could throw everything at it later in the final,” added Stenzel who got the better of the high scoring final which saw series winner Tao Mouldey finish second on 12.80 points and Tava Santorik on 12.60 points. Theo Morse finished fourth in his second final of the series.
Kyra Wallis (Piha) made it a clean sweep of wins in the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge with her third win this weekend to go with her win at the National Championships. It was a close final today with Wallis getting the better of a low scoring affair with a 7.65 point heat total ahead of her friend Poppy Arkle (Piha) in second, Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei) in third and local surfer Maddie Tod in fourth.
Sol Fritchley (Mnt) took his first win in the Under 14 Boys this season with a big performance in the final netting him a 14.0 point heat total. Fritchley latched onto a rare long running lefthander late in the final to score 8.5 points out of a possible ten and seal the win.
Remy Sale (Mnt) finished in second place on 9.75 points with Lennox Holdaway (Mnt) in third and Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck) in fourth.
Over 120 young surfers from around the country converged on Mount Maunganui this weekend after the evet was relocated from Piha due the cyclone damage.
Full results and updated rankings after today can be viewed at www.Liveheats.com/SurfingNewZealand.
2023 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge Series Champions
Under 18 Boys Division – Spencer Rowson (Tara)
Under 18 Girls Division – Pia Rogers (WGM)
Under 16 Boys Division – Tao Mouldey (Mnt)
Under 16 Girls Division – Leia Millar (Piha)
Under 14 Boys Division – Remy Sale (Mnt) and Sol Fritchley
Under 14 Girls Division – Kyra Wallis (Piha)
Each of the three events in the series attracts upward of 130 surfers. It is the eighteenth edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge.
The series offers up many surfers first taste of events, pitting themselves against their mates and taking in a fun two days of surfing and developing their skills in the ocean. Participants also team up for their boardrider clubs with the top five surfer’s results from each club going toward overall club rankings.
The 2023 edition of the series draws on a long history of fun with all of New Zealand’s current crop of elite surfers having taken part including Richard Christie (Gis), Paige Hareb (Tara), Billy Stairmand (Rag), Mount Maunganui’s own Kehu Butler and Ella Williams (WGM).
For further information on the 2023 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com.
High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.
Generous support from Billabong and presenting sponsors Oceanbridge has made this series possible.
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