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Cyclone Dovi Challenges Top Juniors at the Whangamata Grom Series

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Cyclone Dovi may not have produced the big swell that everyone was looking for at Whangamata but the wind from storm lashed Whangamata for event two of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed today (Sunday 13th February).

Piha surfer Bill Byers won the Under 18 Boys Division with Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) winning the Under 18 Girls Division.  Mount Maunganui surfer Tao Mouldey claimed the Under 16 Boys Division.

Competitors were welcomed by an unruly 1.5m swell at the start of the day but as the wind clocked to the west and increased to gale strength, the swell dropped before everyone’s eyes, leaving a clean but small 0.5m swell by the time the finals had concluded late in the afternoon.  That was not before the gale winds whipped the ocean into a frenzy during the day making it impossible for some lightweight groms to surf.

Byers, flanked by a bunch of his mates, snatched the Under 18 Boys Division title with a minute remaining in the final when a Hail Mary wave popped up out of nowhere allowing the natural-footer to reel off a series of backhand reos until the wave had nothing left to give.  The ride netted him 5.63 points for an 11.63-point heat total.

“Yeah well, Navryn was out there in the lead and he went on one wave with about three minutes to go and there wasn’t long left and I thought there wasn’t much coming for me but there was one sneaky wave that I caught and I got what I needed” said Byers.

“I was hoping to do good this weekend, those aren’t really my conditions, but I gave it my best and did what I could and yeah, I’m frothing to win.  I can’t wait for the final event of the series at home, hopefully it is big and staunch, I would love that” he added.

Byers’ win came at the expense of Navryn Malone of Raglan who led for 19 minutes of the final.  Malone finished with an 11.83-point heat total and a runner up placing.  Not far behind was Kaikoura surfer Tyler Perry (Kaik) on 11.57, himself making a good challenge for the win on his final wave but coming up just short.  Whangarei surfer Te Kauwhata Kauwhata finished fourth, his first finals appearance in the age group.

Taranaki’s Natasha Gouldsbury had to fight for her win in the final but a 7.0 point ride toward the end, pushed her well clear of her opponents.

“I was pretty stoked with my performance today” said Gouldsbury.  “I surfed early this morning like I always do, then went home and when I came back to the beach, I was pretty surprised how small it was but I tried to keep a positive mindset and smash it” she added of her performance today.  “Home has been pretty much like this, small left handers, so it was good to get similar conditions here”.

Gouldsbury fended off a talent laden field of surfers including runner up Ava Henderson (Chch), third placed Liv Haysom (Piha) and Asia Braithwaite (Gis) who finished in fourth position.

Tao Mouldey surfed to the most comfortable win of all finalists today with a 14.26 point heat total.  Being the only goofy-foot surfer in the final was fine by the young grom as he smashed the small lefthanders time and again.

“There was a good bank out front and it was pretty fun for the final on that lefthander” said Mouldey who has been finding some good form over the past two events with back-to-back wins.  “I don’t know, I guess I have been trying to stay more busy in my heats and that seems like it is working for he” added Mouldey regarding his strategy in the small waves.  He now hopes to transition that form to the final event of the series at Piha, an event that he calls his favourite.

Taranaki’s Spencer Rowson finished second in the final, posting a 10.90 point heat total, edging out Jack Tyro (Chch) who finished in third place and Will Hardie (Piha) finishing in fourth, contesting his first final in a couple of years.

The Volkswagen x Skinnies Wave of the Day awards went to Sol Fritchley (Mnt) on the first day and Navryn Malone for an 8.5 point ride in his semifinal match up today.

Please see below for results from Day 2 of the first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Whangamata today (Sunday 13th February 2022). Live scoring can also be followed via www.compusurf.com.au.

Under 18 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Kalani Louis (Tara), 13.34, 1, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 7.6, 2, Tawhia Wellby (Rag), 6.76, 3, Connor Van Der Pol (Mnt), 6.17, 4
Heat 2
Kalani Louis (Tara), 8.87, 1, Noah O’Malley (Auck), 6.4, 2, Campbell Heasley (Chch), 4.5, 3, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 4.37, 4
Heat 2
Noah O’Malley (Auck), 8, 1, Campbell Heasley (Chch), 7.24, Ben Fougere (Piha), 3.7, 3, Charlie Webb ( Auck), 3.4, 4
Heat 3
Izaak Hayes (Whngerei), 10.47, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 8.86, 2, Noah Camburn (Whaka), 8.77, 3, Jai Wallis (Piha), 8, 4
Heat 4
Luke Dymond (Mnt), 9.1, 1, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 7.13, 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 6.7, 3, Lennox McBride (Mnt), 4.5, 4
Heat 5
Bill Byers (Piha), 13.5, 1, Ari D’Anvers (Whngrei), 8.24, 2, Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 7.9, 3, Evan Broad (Hbay), 3.43, 4
Heat 6
George Roberts (ChCh), 10.24, 1, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 8.1, 2, Harper McBride (Mnt), 3.23, 3, Ollie Greetis (Rag), 2.43, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Kalani Louis (Tara), 8.87, 1, Noah O’Malley (Auck), 6.4, 2, Campbell Heasley (Chch), 4.5, 3, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 4.37, 4
Heat 2
Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 10.9, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 8.97, 2, Izaak Hayes (Whngerei), 5.8, 3, Luke Dymond (Mnt), 3.93, 4
Heat 3
Tyler Perry (Kaik), 8.77, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 7.5, 2, George Roberts (ChCh), 4.44, 3, Ari D’Anvers (Whngrei), 4.13, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Navryn Malone (Rag), 15.2, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 10.4, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 9.2, 3
Heat 2
Tyler Perry (Kaik), 11.6, 1, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 9.93, 2, Noah O’Malley (Auck), 7.63, 3

Under 18 Boys Division Final
Bill Byers (Piha), 11.96, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 11.83, 2, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 11.57, 3, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 9.8, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 9.57, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 7.93, 2, Ruby Lobb (Gis), 4.3, 3, Isla Prins (Hbay), 4.17, 4
Heat 2
Liv Haysom (Piha), 11.3, 1, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 9.9, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 6.7, 3, Taya Morrison (Dun), 2.36, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.64, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 9.5, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.7, 3

Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 8.64, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Round of 36
Heat 1

Ben Milne (WGM), 6.07, 1, James Charlesworth (Auck), 5.13, 2, Leo Hobson (Mur), 3.17, 3
Heat 2
Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 13.3, 1, Will Lockhart (Whiti), 8.26, 2, Rocco Gillies (WGM), 3.43, 3, Ben Rhodes (Hbay), 1.6, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Round of 32
Heat 1

Spencer Rowson (Tara), 12, 1, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Tara), 7.16, 2, Karne Gabbott (Dun), 5.94, 3, Asher O’Donnell (Whngrei), 2.8, 4
Heat 2
Tai Murphy (Whaka), 12.3, 1, Manu Roberts (Tai), 8, 2, Ben Milne (WGM), 3.8, 3, Kalani Watts (Tara), 2.67, 4
Heat 3
Ashton Rogers (WGM), 7.47, 1, George Laery (Mnt), 7.07, 2, Christian Fougere (Piha), 5.73, 3, Otis Baxter (WGM), 2.8, 4
Heat 4
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 11.4, 1, Tava Santorik (Mnt), 9.97, 2, Will Lockhart (Whiti), 4.67, 3, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 3.33, 4

Heat 5
Jack Tyro (Chch), 8.54, 1, Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 6.07, 2, Cooper Ashill (Whngrei), 4.5, 3, Hunter Lynch (Gis), 1.07, 4
Heat 6
Will Hardie (Piha), 8.1, 1, Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 7.1, 2, Max Phillips (Gis), 5.5, 3, Harry Prins (Hbay), 2.17, 4
Heat 7
James Charlesworth (Auck), 6.97, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 6, 2, Nate Florence (Tara), 5.57, 3, Taylor Mainwaring (WGM), 2.53, 4
Heat 8
Lewis Murphy (Dun), 8.47, 1, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 7.77, 2, Rakiatea Tau (Chch), 5.4, 3, Hugo Sale (Mnt), 4.43, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Spencer Rowson (Tara), 8.03, 1, Tava Santorik (Mnt), 7.97, 2, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 7.54, 3, George Laery (Mnt), 3.03, 4
Heat 2
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 8.67, 1, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Tara), 6.87, 2, Ashton Rogers (WGM), 6.6, 3, Manu Roberts (Tai), 5.77, 4
Heat 3
Will Hardie (Piha), 12.9, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 7.87, 2, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 7.84, 3, Beau Woods (Mnt), 6.67, 4
Heat 4
Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 7.47, 1, Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 7.1, 2, Lewis Murphy (Dun), 6.47, 3, James Charlesworth (Auck), 4.7, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 13, 1, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 12.8, 2, Tava Santorki (Mnt), 8, 3, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Tara), 6.87, 4
Heat 2
Jack Tyro (Chch), 12.3, 1, Will Hardie (Piha), 11.6, 2, Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 11.3, 3, Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 10.2, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Final
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 14.26, 1, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 10.90, 2, Jack Tyro (Chch), 10.10, 3,

Will Hardie (Piha), 8.2, 4

The final event of the series takes place at Piha at the end of February (26-27 February).

The 2022 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into three divisions ranging from Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18.

It is the seventeenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who has been a proud supporter of junior surfing in New Zealand.

The majority of New Zealand’s current crop of elite surfers have taken part in the Grom Series over the seventeen years that it has run, including Richard Christie (Gis), Paige Hareb (Tara), Billy Stairmand (Rag), Mount Maunganui’s own Kehu Butler and Ella Williams (WGM).

COVID 19 Protocols
The event will be held using strict COVID 19 protocols.  All participants will be required to sign in with their My Vaccine Pass and scan QR codes.  The divisions will be split into two separate days and run through to completion to limit the number of participants at the event site.

Further Information
For further information on the 2021 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge.

Event Hotline
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions for the day.

Generous support from Billabong, presenting sponsors Oceanbridge, Kustom, Von Zipper and Dakine has made this series possible.  The event is proudly hosted by Bay Boardriders.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
Sport New Zealand
Water Safety NZ

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