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Pressure Builds as Top Seeds Advance at Billabong Grom Series Finale

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The pressure continues to mount on the country’s top junior surfers as the third and final event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge heads into the last day of action at Piha Beach, Auckland tomorrow (Sunday 25th February).

The top seeds in the Under 18 Boys Division delivered on their favourites tags as the majority of them advanced through to the quarterfinal stage of the event winning their heats.  Surfing first thing in the morning, they relished the low tide conditions and solid 1.0m waves.

The surf remained fun all day with waves around the 1.0m range with light cross shore winds.

Number one ranked surfer Jared Gebert (Ohope) took out the highest score of the round in the first heat of the day – 13.84 out of 20 in the first heat of the day.

Gebert took apart the left handers on the Piha Bar and set the tone for the rest of his counterparts in the division.   They followed suit with the likes of Lee Ririnui, Luke Griffin (Mnt), Connor McLennan (Chch) and Caleb Cutmore (Ham) all notching up big scores to win their heats.

The top seeds in the Under 16 Boys Division did not hold up to the pressure as much as their senior counterparts with the likes of top seed Kora Cooper (Rag) being eliminated from the event and falling out of the race to win the series.

Cooper fell at the hands of Christchurch surfer Myka Black and Taylor O’Leary (Mur) who finished one-two to advance through to the quarterfinals.

Tom Robinson (Whngrei) and Jack Lee (Whaka) had to settle for second place in their heats, although it was enough to advance through to the Quarterfinals set to be held early tomorrow.

Oakura surfer Tom Butland found his best form of the season to post a 15.5 point heat total for a comfortable heat win in the Under 16 Boys Division.  His powerful backhand surfing sees him through to a quarterfinal match-up against Black, O’Leary and Jacob Saunders (Mnt).

Gisborne surfers Finn Johnson and Finn Vette also showed no signs of pressure as they advanced through their heats with comfortable wins.  They meet each other in the match-up of the next round alongside Jack Lee (Whaka) and Jackson Peak (Auck).

Aimee Brown (Grt Barrier) continued her good run of form after winning the most recent event at Whangamata.

Brown posted the highest heat score of the entire day – 15.9 points with a series of strong backhand turns to advance through to the final advancing alongside local surfer Gabrielle Paul.  The two surfers will meet up against Mount Maunganui’s Tiana – Breeze de Mooij and Kea Smith in the final of the Under 18 Girls Division.

Ariana Shewry (Tara) was the form surfer of the Under 16 Girls Division posting a 13.8 point heat total to advance through to the final alongside Estella Hungerford (Chch).  The two surfers will meet up with Charlie Phillips (AUS) and Brie Bennett (Rag) who advanced through the other semifinal.

Sunday’s action will take place at the south end of Piha Beach from 8am with finals taking place from 1:00pm. 

Please see below for results from day one of the third and final event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Saturday 24th February).

Under 20 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 13.24, 1, Fraser Falconer (Auck), 7.17, 2, Max Dicken (Auck), 3.96, 3
Heat 2
Zac Curle (Waihi Bch), 16.03, 1, Eli Voschezang (Auck), 5.6, 2, Leon Nunn (Auck), 3.47, 3, Travis Morton (Waihi Bch), 0

Under 18 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Jared Gebert (Ohope), 13.84, 1, Tyler Carrington (Wgtn), 7.43, 2, Oscar Brady (Mnt), 4.47, 3, Sam Braly (Auck), 1.33, 4
Heat 2 
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 12.5, 1, Zayne Stringer (Chch), 7.96, 2, Jack Rosewarne (Ham), 4.4, 3
Heat 3 
Tom Norton (Waipu), 9.93, 1, Max Brunker (Whngrei), 7.97, 2, Cameron Hankins (Waihi Bch), 5.44, 3, Ethan Kelland (Auck), 4.47, 4
Heat 4 
Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 13.16, 1, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 6.17, 2, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 5.83, 3, Teo Parker (Rag), 4.27, 4
Heat 5
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 12.83, 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 9.6, 2, Oliver Charlesworth (Auck), 7.5, 3, Alex O’Dwyer (Whaka), 7.5, 4
Heat 6 Conor McLennan (Chch), 13.47, 1, Tanner Hayes (Kati), 11.33, 2, Ayrton Yarrell (Waihi Bch), 7.94, 3, Cody Lucas (Piha), 4.67, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Myka Black (Chch), 10.6, 1, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 8.77, 2, Kora Cooper (Rag), 8.07, 3
Heat 2 
Tom Butland (Tara), 15.5, 1, Jacob Saunders (TGA), 8.07, 2, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 8, 3, James Ririnui (Mnt), 6.5, 4
Heat 3 
Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.16, 1, Jude Stevens (Mur), 5.83, 2, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 4.97, 3, Josh Watson (Morsnvlle), 3.5, 4
Heat 4 
Jack Hinton (Mnt), 10.17, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 9.26, 2, Luka Jakich (Auck), 5.57, 3
Heat 5
Finn Johnson (Gis), 14.56, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 10.33, 2, Sam Charlesworth (Auck), 8.34, 3, Luis Southerwood (Whaka), 7.26, 4
Heat 6 
Finn Vette (Gis), 15, 1, Jackson Peak (Auck), 7.9, 2, Ollie Quinn – Gilbert (Auck), 5.8, 3

Under 18 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1

Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 2, Lily Dowsett (Auck), 3, Tia Ngarimu (Whiti), 4
Heat 2 
Aimee Brown (Auck), 15.9, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 5.76, 2, Holly Marsen – Wood (Piha), 2.54, 3, Eden Gray (Aus),  , 0

Under 16 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1

Charlie Phillips (Aus), 8.6, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 4.17, 2, Summer Carkeek (Auck), 3.34, 3
Heat 2 
Ariana Shewry (Tara), 12.7, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 9.9, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 9.83, 3

The 2018 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into four divisions ranging from Under 14 through to Under 20 in two-year increments.

It is the thirteenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who has been a proud supporter of surfing in New Zealand.  This year’s series is also supported by BMW Motorrad.

Further Information
For further information on the 2018 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.  Alternatively contact Billabong Event Manager Keone Campbell on 0274921138 or email keone.campbell@billabong.co.nz.

Or check out all the action on the Billabong New Zealand website.

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, Von Zipper, Amazon Surf and BMW Motorrad has made this series possible.

Thanks to Lion Rock Boardriders for hosting the event.

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @billabong_newzealand on Instagram and @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.  Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

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