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King Farr and Queen Bennett at Raglan

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Taranaki’s Daniel Farr and Raglan’s own Brie Bennett have finished the New Zealand domestic surf season on highs claiming the Backdoor King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver competed at Raglan today (Sunday 18th June).

In a fast fading 1.0m swell and strong offshore winds at Manu Bay, the two surfers were crowned King and Queen of the Point early in the afternoon, coming out on top of their opponents.

After an appearance at the National Championships in January, the first event of the 2023 NZ Surf Series, Farr concentrated his efforts on the Australasian Qualifying Series this summer and missed all other New Zealand events until this weekend.

The tall natural foot surfer was engaged in today’s tight low-scoring final from the outset.  However, it was a two-wave combo from Caleb Cutmore (Rag) that had Farr on the back foot toward the end of the heat before Farr’s final wave which nudged him back into the lead and take the win on a lowly 8.40 heat total.

“Interesting conditions to say the least,” commented a bemused Farr.

“No one wants to win when it is that small and it is a grovel to get into first place but um, a win is a win, it is great getting that feeling.  I was sitting out there just stoked as the final hooter sounded,” he added.

“It is good getting one over Caleb [Cutmore] and Kalani Louis and Kora Cooper too, any of them could have got on a good wave and taken it out, but yeah, really happy,” said Farr who also noted the good conditions on day one of the event and even this morning, “it is always a pleasure coming here to surf.”

Caleb Cutmore was one of two local hopes in the final and held the lead for a brief period but finished second in the final, less than half a point behind Farr.  Cutmore played the waiting game in the final not catching a wave for over 15 minutes and the strategy almost worked was it not for Farr’s last wave.

18-year-old Kalani Louis (Tara) surfed to third place in his second final of the season.  Louis was another surfer to hold the lead in the final but got pushed back to third by the final wave exchange.  Kora Cooper (Rag) finished the final in fourth place.

Brie Bennett ran away with the final of the Open Women’s Division surfing to a 12.17 point total.  Bennett was the benefactor of the best wave of the final being a 7.17 point ride that set her apart from her opponents.

“It made the win even more special going from such a bad run this season to a win at the last comp” said Bennett who had not made a heat until day one of the event this weekend.

“I lowered my expectations going into this comp so I guess the difference this weekend is that I didn’t put as much pressure on myself as I have at other comps,” she added.

Bennett knew the conditions were continually changing and set her approach to the final to match those conditions, “get two all right scores in the first half of the heat just in case it decided to go flat, yeah it worked,” she added.

Fellow Raglan surfer, 12-year-old Alani Morse finished the final in second place.  Keeping pace with Bennett early, Morse finished with a 9.20 point heat total to beat her older opponents Gabi Paul (Piha) and the in-form Liv Haysom (Piha).  Despite the two latter surfers being from Piha, both have spent considerable amounts of time at Raglan through school and university.

Please see Live Heats for all results from the Backdoor King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver held at Manu Bay, Raglan.

2023 has seen five events staged at Piha, Raglan, Dunedin, Christchurch and finally, the Backdoor King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver this weekend.

The Backdoor King and Queen of the Point pres by Quiksilver is an SNZ3000 event and boasts $8,000 in prize money as one of the richest events of the year and with maximum national ranking points on offer.

For more information on the Backdoor King and Queen of the Point presented by Quiksilver, 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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