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Finals Day of the King and Queen Set as Big Southern Ocean Swell Looms

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The finals day of the King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver, Roxy and Backdoor is set after a second big day of surfing that saw the premier divisions whittled down to the final eight surfers.

The forecasted increase in swell has been slow to eventuate but should boot overnight.  Today it was a small swell of 1.0m that slowly increased through the day along with the southwest winds that strengthened.

Featuring in the top eight of the Open Men’s Division is Kehu Butler (Mnt), competing in New Zealand for the first time in three years after representing New Zealand abroad.  Butler finished second in his quarterfinal match up behind another Australian based Mount Maunganui surfer Luke Griffin.

“Just the experience of surfing here again, surfing Manu Bay with no one out and getting amongst it, it has been nice” Butler said of the reasons for return to Aotearoa for the event.

“It was tough out there, I am heavier than everyone else so I was struggling but it is nice to know that there are some weaves coming tomorrow,” he added of his 11.63 point performance today.  No doubt he will be looking forward to the increase in swell for the final day of the event.

Butler will face off against Griffin again as well as Van Camenzind who has been a local standout all event and Callum Chuter (Mnt).

New Zealand Olympian Billy Stairmand (Rag) had the first of potentially three match ups against rising Australian star Joel Vaughan, the Kiwi getting the nod today with a 16.10 point total over Vaughan’s 15.67. Vaughan has been contesting the Challenger Series this month while Stairmand will use this event as a warm-up for next week’s WSL qualifying series event in Indonesia.

The two surfers match up against Navryn Malone (Rag) and Tom Robinson (Whngrei) in the first semifinal tomorrow.  Malone notched up three heats today combining with his excellent performances in the Under 20 Boys Division.

Australian surfer Dimity Stoyle stole the show in the Open Women’s Division leading the quarterfinalists out with a 14.50 point total in the opening heat.  An ex-WSL World Tour surfer that now competes in Challenger Series events, Stoyle made the most of the lefthanders on her backhand, a stark contrast to the running righthanders of her home base of the Gold Coast.

Stoyle will face off against the returning Ariana Shewry (Tara) in the semifinals, Shewry competing for the first time this season.  They are joined by the young Kyra Wallis (Piha) and Aimee Brown (Gt Barrier) who finalled at the Aotearoa Surf Pro in April.

In the second semifinal, it will be the two New Zealand Junior Surfing Team members Lola Groube (Pau) and Alani Morse (Rag) who will go up against their older rivals Liv Haysom (Piha) and Elin Tawharu (Mnt).  All four surfers will be looking to close out the domestic season on a high, Tawharu going for her second win of the season.

Earlier in the day it was the local surfers in the Under 20 Boys Division that held strong against a powerful showing from their visitors.  Navryn Malone and Luca Thompson advanced to the final twelve surfers in the division, both surfers eclipsing 15 point heat totals.  They were joined by Raglan Surfing Academy student Tava Santorik who also looked strong with his day two performance.  Of the visitors, it was Cooper Ashill (Whngrei) and Joe Goodjohn (Mnt) that won their heats to make it through to the final day.

Rounding out the day was the Under 20 Girls Division Semifinals where Poppy Arkle (Piha) stormed to a win in the first semifinal and Lola Groube took out the second semifinal.

The Quiksilver Expression session mixed up Day Two proceedings and it was Alani Morse that claimed the Open Women’s Title while the Fritchley siblings Sage and Sol claimed the junior wins in the 20 surfer all-in heat.

The King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver, Roxy and Backdoor starts on Friday the 24th May and concludes on Sunday the 26th with surfing taking place daily from 8am-5pm at Manu Bay. The schedule, heat times results and live scores can be found at liveheats.com https://liveheats.com/events/221544

The King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver, Roxy and Backdoor is an SNZ 3000 event with prize money and prizes from Backdoor, Quiksilver and Roxy up for grabs.

For more information on the King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver Roxy and Backdoor, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop, Quiksilver, Channel Island Surfboards and Sticky Johnson have made the event possible.  The event is hosted by Raglan’s Point Boardriders.

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

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