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Pressure builds for Event 2 of the Billabong Grom Series Presented By Oceanbridge

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For immediate release

7th February 2024

From:  Surfing New Zealand
Sport:  Surfing
Event: 2024 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge – Event 2
Location: Whangamata
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand and Billabong

Pressure builds for Event 2 of the Billabong Grom Series Presented By Oceanbridge

This weekend marks the second of three events in the Billabong Grom series presented by Oceanbridge which started at Mount Maunganui two weeks ago and finishes at Piha, Auckland at the end of February.

Record demand for the event taking place Saturday and Sunday (10-11 February) sees a large field of participants from around the country taking part.

This weekend the groms should see a steady E-ENE swell produce surf in the head high range with winds from the E-ENE making things messy. A slight drop in ENE swell for Sunday should see offshore winds and fun sized surf in the chest high range.

Looking to make the most of the conditions, the Coromandel will be well represented across all divisions. The Groube sisters Chloe and Lola will look to make their mark in the Under 16 Girls Division as will the strong contingent of surfers from Whangamata including Ella Rose Luke, Ruby Milne and India Kennings. It will be the out of towner Maya Mateja who will look for her second win of the series whilst Indi Lee Ruddell, Alani Morse, Grace Gundry, Kyra Wallis and Poppy Entwisle all look to upset the local favourites.

In the Under 16 Boys it is Tyler Stenzel who will be looking for his 2nd win of the series after a standout performance in Mount Maunganui. Local groms Harrison Biddle, Jay Tingle, Lennox Jennings and In Petchkav will be hot on his heels as will Alexis Owen of Dunedin who travels back to the North Island again looking for his first win of the season.

In the Under 14 Girls division it is Bella Biddle and Vivi Myer of Whangamata who will look to use their home break advantage to challenge Ella Withers of Piha who took out event 1 in style at Mount Maunganui.

In the 14 Boys division it was Sol Fritchley who wowed the crowds in the Mount placing first against fellow team member Vitor Bauermann and Piha’s Jesse Frazerhurst, this talent stacked division will be entertaining as ever.

Academy student, Whangamata’s Pia Rogers, will be keen to find form in the Under 18 Girls Division while surfing in home waters after placing second to Leia Millar (Piha), winner of the first Billabong Grom event of the season held at Mount Maunganui.  Rogers also finished 2nd to Millar at the National Championships held in Dunedin earlier in January.

Australia’s Rico Haybittle (Under 18 Boys),will not be in attendance due to school commitments however Tyler Stenzel (Under 16 Boys), Maya Mateja (Under 16 Girls) Leia Millar (Under 18 Girls), Ella Withers (Under 14 Girls) and Sol Fritchley (Under 14 Boys), will all be looking for back-to-back wins this weekend, with Fritchley and Millar looking to extend their unbeaten streak this year.

After Haybittle it is Joe Goodjohn who leads a stacked field of surfers in the Under 18 Boys Division alongside, Spencer Rowson, Tao Mouldey, Cooper Ashill and Theo Morse. All battling for New Zealand team qualification.

With just one more event after this weekend the pressure is building for the groms hoping to qualify for the New Zealand Junior Team to head to El Salvador in May.

Surfers from Ahipara down to Dunedin will take part this weekend with action taking place at Access 8 on The Esplanade from 8am – 5pm daily.

The draw and rankings can be viewed at www.Liveheats.com/SurfingNewZealand.

Each of the three events in the series attracts upward of 130 surfers. It is the nineteenth 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 2024 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).

Further Information
For further information on the 2024 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. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

Generous support from Billabong and presenting sponsors Oceanbridge has made this series possible.

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @billabong on Instagram and @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
Sport New Zealand


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