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First Timer Fritchley Joins Millar and Morse on the Podium

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Entering your first national event can be daunting but it appeared to be no drama for 11-year-old Mount Maunganui surfer Sol Fritchley who stormed to victory in the Under 14 Boys Division of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge today (Sunday 30th January 2022).

Fritchley was joined by Leia Millar (Piha) who stormed back to form in the Under 16 Girls Division and an another 11-year-old surfer in Alani Morse (Rag) who won the Under 14 Girls Division.

The final day of the split-event followed on from the Under 18 Divisions and Under 16 Boys Division which were completed on Saturday.

Today’s conditions mirrored that of day one with small but contestable waves well below the 1.0m mark.  Afternoon sea breezes and midday low tides gave participants just as many challenges as their opponents in the water.

Leia Millar surfed to a 9.74 point heat total in the Under 16 Girls Division final edging past Pia Rogers (WGM) after Rogers took an early lead.  Millar finished with a 5.17 point ride to extend her lead toward the end of the final and seal the win.

“It was pretty hard out there, super soft but some fun ones made better with a win” said Millar.

“I am really stoked to get a good result after not having a good National Champs, so yeah, I am super happy.  Hopefully Whanga and Piha have some better waves for the next two events” she added.

Rogers finished runner up in the final backing up her national title two weeks ago.  Muriwai surfer Jess Sinton surfed to third place in the final, her first finals appearance in the Under 16 Girls Division while Skylar McFetridge (Tara) finished the final in fourth place.

The Under 14 Boys Division threw up big results with three first-time finalists at a national event.  It was 11-year-old local surfer Sol Fritchley that claimed the win with an 11.83 point total in the final.  This year’s Billabong Grom Series event marks the first time the young surfer has competed nationally.

“This is my first national comp, I’m stoked to be here and surf and hang out with all my friends and stuff” said Fritchley.  “We surf along this coast all the time with my friends, conditions weren’t the best today, but I made it happen in the final” he said.

Alani Morse (Rag) kicked off the Under 14 Girls Division final with a 5.77-point-ride for an early lead that she never relinquished.  Finding a clean lefthander, the young natural footer linked together several turns for the score before backing it up with a 4.4 point ride midway through the heat to extend her lead.

Pauanui surfer Lola Groube battled Morse for the win and kept in touch all final only needing a 5.68 for the win but the tricky conditions left her short.  Lani Frazerhurst (Rag) finished third in the final competing in her first national event while Piha’s Sacha Sanders placed fourth in her first ever final.

Please see below for results from Day 2 of the first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui today (Sunday 30th January 2022). Live scoring can also be followed via www.compusurf.com.au.

Under 16 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1
Leia Millar (Piha), 11.2, 1, Pia Rogers (WGM), 9.17, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 4.1, 3
Heat 2
Skylar McFetridge (Tara), 8.6, 1, Jess Sinton (Mur), 5.26, 2, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 4.8, 3, Casey Dewes (Gis), 4.8, 4

Under 16 Girls Division Final
Leia Millar (Piha), 9.74, 1, Pia Rogers (WGM), 8.9, 2, Jess Sinton (Mur), 4.07, 3, Skylar McFetridge (Tara), 2.63, 4

Under 14 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1

Alani Morse (Orewa), 14.5, 1, Lola Groube (Pau), 7.13, 2, Darcy O’Sullivan (Tara), 6.1, 3, Madeline Tod (Mnt), 3.77, 4
Heat 2
India Kennings (WGM), 11.7, 1, Sacha Sanders (Piha), 5.75, 2, Izzy Evans (Hbay), 3.44, 3, Mila Milfont (Mnt), 1.14, 4
Heat 3
Kyra Wallis (Piha), 6.6, 1, Lani Frazerhurst (Rag), 4.53, 2, Ruby Milne (WGM), 3.37, 3, Torah Kennings (Whmata), 2.23, 4
Heat 4
Mackenzie Bryant (Mnt), 7.2, 1, Ella-Rose Luke (WGM), 4.1, 2, Bonnie Lynch (Gis), 3.6, 3, Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei),  , N/S

Under 14 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Alani Morse (Orewa), 12.3, 1, Lani Frazerhurst (Rag), 6.93, 2, Ella-Rose Luke (WGM), 5.1, 3, India Kennings (WGM), 4.7, 4
Heat 2
Lola Groube (Pau), 13.8, 1, Sacha Sanders (Piha), 4.73, 2, Kyra Wallis (Piha), 4.43, 3, Mackenzie Bryant (Mnt), 4.1, 4

Under 14 Girls Division Final
Alani Morse (Orewa), 10.17, 1, Lola Groube (Pau), 8, 2, Lani Frazerhurst (Rag), 4.43, 3, Sacha Sanders (Piha), 2.17, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Oli Jacobs (Mnt), 1, Cam Webster (Ohope), 2, Lee Takurua (Tara), 3,
Heat 2
Beau Zonneveld (Auck), 7.67, 1, Jaxon Willows (Mnt), 5.96, 2, Eli Collins (Mnt), 3.63, 3, Josh Cotterall (Auck), 3.27, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Round 2
Heat 1

Connor Cummins (Auck), 11.9, 1, Kai Shearer (Tara), 8.8, 2, Maceo Thompson (Piha), 8.64, 3, Finn Norris (Auck), 7.6, 4
Heat 2
Indy Chave-Hefferman, 1, Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 2, Olli Jacobs (Mnt), 3, Waylon Lynch (Gis),  4
Heat 3
Zen Mouldey (Mnt), 7.7, 1, Sam Prins (Hbay), 6.04, 2, Joel Kirk (Pukehina), 4.74, 3, Akira Reid (Auck), N/S
Heat 4
Sam Frazerhurst (Auck), 12.7, 1, Beau Fitzgibbon (Ohope), 9.53, 2, Jaxon Willows (Mnt), 9.27, 3, Lennox Jennings (Whiti), 7.57, 4
Heat 5
Remy Sale (Mnt), 14.5, 1, Vitor Kokemper (Mnt), 7.97, 2, Zeke Pregert (Piha), 7.53, 3, Beau Zonneveld (Auck), 4.6, 4
Heat 6
Sol Fritchley (Mnt), 12.57, 1, Theo Denton (Acuk), 6.3, 2, Beau Rogers (WGM), 4.6, 3, Keanu Woods(Mnt), 3.74, 4
Heat 7
Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 8.83, 1, Cam Webster (Ohope), 4.93, 2, Jordie Luke (Tara), 3.47, 3, Noah Officer (Piha), 3.4, 4
Heat 8
Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck), 11.8, 1, Beau Broadhurst (Ohope), 4.93, 2, Jude Jeffery (Auck), 3.37, 3, Solomon Ryan (Auck), 2.53, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Indy Chave-Hefferman, 7.66, 1, Connor Cummins (Auck), 7.56, 2, Beau Fitzgibbon (Ohope), 7.44, 3, Sam Prins (Hbay), 3.27, 4
Heat 2
Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 7.73, 1, Sam Frazerhurst (Auck), 6.63, 2, Zen Mouldey (Mnt), 5.44, 3, Kai Shearer (Tara), 2.77, 4
Heat 3 Sol Fritchley (Mnt), 12.3, 1, Beau Broadhurst (Ohope), 9.4, 2, Remy Sale (Mnt), 6.77, 3, Cam Webster (Ohope), 2.9, 4
Heat 4
Vitor Kokemper (Mnt), 9.83, 1, Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck), 9.5, 2, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 6.07, 3, Theo Denton (Acuk), 4.46, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 11.6, 1, Connor Cummins (Auck), 8.23, 2, Sam Frazerhurst (Auck), 7.2, 3, Indy Chave-Hefferman, 3.77, 4
Heat 2
Sol Fritchley (Mnt), 15.4, 1, Vitor Kokemper (Mnt), 10.6, 2, Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck), 5.2, 3, Beau Broadhurst (Ohope), 4.53, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Final
Sol Fritchley (Mnt), 11.83, 1, Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 8.07, 2, Vitor Kokemper (Mnt), 7.5, 3, Connor Cummins (Auck), 4.3, 4

The first of the three events takes place at Mount Maunganui with the series carrying on to Whangamata (12-13 February) and 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).

Entry into the remaining two Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge events can be completed here:

Event 2 – 12 – 13 February, Whangamata – now full
Event 3 – 26 – 27 February, Piha Beach, Auckland

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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