The Whangamata leg of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge, being held this weekend, is in a race against time. One of the first major swells of the year builds out of the tropics over the weekend and is set to explode along the East Coast.
Young surfers from the length of the country will be looking forward to action on Saturday with the finals on Sunday expected to be contested in large surf.
The first event of the series was held at Mount Maunganui two weeks ago in clean summer waves, what is like to be a stark contrast to the conditions this weekend on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Raglan’s Caleb Cutmore will lead out participants in the Under 18 Boys Division having been undefeated this year. A stellar run at the National Championships in big surf combined with a masterful display of small wave surfing at Mount Maunganui for the first event of the series has the 17-year-old taking an early rankings lead.
Cutmore will be one of many that will delight at the chance to surf bigger waves, the young goofy-foot surfer standing close to 6ft tall. Likewise, fellow top seeds Jack Lee (Whaka), Taylor O’Leary (Mur) and Luke Griffin (Mnt) will all be keen to tackle the large Sunday swell.
Mount Maunganui’s Georgia Wederell will be chasing her first win of the year in the Under 18 Girls Division. The number one ranked surfer has posted a runner up finish and a third at the first event of the Billabong Grom Series. A win this weekend would see her extend her lead on the rankings heading into the Piha event in two weeks.
Wederell faces some tough competition in the way of fellow front runners Tegen Bishop (Chch) and Gabrielle Paul (Piha) along with the return on Stella Smith (Gis) and South African representative Kai Woolf who is based at the Raglan Surf Academy this year.
The big numbers this weekend come in the Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions. The increasing swell means that the youngest of the divisions will likely commence the event on Saturday morning when top seeds Navryn Malone (Rag) and Asia Braithwaite (Gis) hit the water.
Please see below for winners of the first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge Event 1 completed at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui.
Under 18 Boys Division – Caleb Cutmore (Ham)
Under 16 Boys Division – Tom Robinson (Whngrei)
Under 14 Boys Division – Tai Erceg-Gray (Whngrei)
Under 18 Girls Division – Tegen Bishop (Chch)
Under 16 Girls Division – Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara)
Under 14 Girls Division – Asia Braithwaite (Gis)
The 2019 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into three divisions for boys and girls ranging from Under 14 through to Under 18 in two year increments.
It is the fourteenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who have been a proud long-time supporter of surfing in New Zealand.
Entry into the final Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge event can be completed here:
Event 3, 23 – 24 February, Piha Beach, Auckland
For further information on the 2019 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Da Kine, Von Zipper and Amazon Surf has made this series possible.
Thanks to Whangamata Boardriders for hosting the event.
Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @billabong on Instagram and @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.
Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
Water Safety NZ