Three champs were crowned on a unique day at the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui today (Saturday 29th January). In event one of the three-event series, Finn Vette (Gis), Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) and Tao Mouldey (Mnt) rode to victory in a massive day of surfing that saw their divisions contested through to an early completion.
Day two of the event will feature the Under 14 Boys and Girls and the Under 16 Girls Divisions.
Today, participants encountered challenging conditions with a small swell under the 1.0m mark and light morning winds that tended sea breeze in the afternoon. Coupled with low tides for the majority of the day, surfers had to be selective to get good waves and advance through preliminary rounds.
Vette surfed in his first event of the 2022 season and looked sharp from heat one of the day. The 17-year-old Gisborne youth eventually surfed to 15.67 heat total out of a possible 20 points in the final, extinguishing his opponents in the process. His fluid forehand surfing made the difficult conditions look easy on his way to victory.
“I haven’t been surfing too much this summer, I have been working heaps and surfing in between, cruising and hanging out between big days of work” said Vette.
“After not being able to go to the Nationals, I was keen to show the boys what’s up at this event” added Vette who reckoned he felt comfortable despite the small conditions. “I always feel comfortable in the finals, a bit of luck was involved but you can control that luck by feeling comfortable in those types of waves” he added.
Northland surfer Ben Moretti came out of nowhere to finish runner up in the final. The Ahipara native edged out his rivals for a second-place finish with a 9.57 point heat total ahead of Kaikoura’s Tyler Perry in third and Piha’s Bill Byers in fourth.
Taranaki surfer Natasha Gouldsbury brushed off the removal of her tonsils earlier this week to win the Under 18 Girls Division. Barely being able to speak pre final, the young surfer edged past Piha’s Liv Haysom for the win.
In a turn of form from the National Championships held two weeks ago, Gouldsbury flipped the script to beat her opponents in the final with Haysom finishing in second and runner up at the National Championships, Anna Brock (Mnt) finishing in third. Hawkes Bay surfer Isla Prins finished her first final in fourth overall.
“To be honest, I was bummed with my performance at the National Champs, so to come here and win, I am so stoked” said Gouldsbury.
“Heading out into those waves I knew I had to get the two best waves out there and do a good turn on each. Being sick, that strategy played into my hands because I couldn’t chase waves either, so it turned out well” she added.
Local surfer Tao Mouldey stormed back to form in the Under 16 Boys Division with a comfortable win. A 12.9 point heat total in the final was enough to seal victory but it was the earlier rounds that impressed everyone with Mouldey securing the Volkswagen x Skinnies Wave of the Day with a 9.6 point ride in his quarterfinal match up.
In the final, Mouldey saw off an all Bay of Plenty match up with Papamoa surfer Beau Woods locking in second place with 10.77 points ahead of Tava Santorik (Pap) in third and Tai Murphy (Whaka) in fourth overall.
The surf is expected to decrease overnight into Sunday with a small 0.5m swell and variable winds turning sea breeze in the afternoon. Action in the Under 14 Divisions and Under 16 Girls Division will take place from 8am on Sunday and finish at 3:30pm.
Please see below for results from Day 1 of the first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui today (Saturday 29th January 2022). Live scoring can also be followed via www.compusurf.com.au.
Under 18 Boys Round 1
Bill Byers (Piha), 11.1, 1, Kaden Littlejohn (Kati), 9.57, 2, Noah O’Malley (Auck), 7.4, 3, Lennox McBride (Mnt), 6.8, 4
Tana Clapham (Rag), 12.2, 1, Noah Camburn (Whaka), 7.57, 2, Evan Broad (Hbay), 7.1, 3
Under 18 Boys Round 2
Bill Byers (Piha), 11, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 10.5, 2, Ben Fougere (Piha), 4.2, 3, Charlie Webb (Auck), 3.34, 4
Kalani Louis (Tara), 11.8, 1, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 11.7, 2, Connor Van Der Pol (Mnt), 6.54, 3, Kaden Littlejohn (Kati), 4.73, 4
Tyler Perry (Kaik), 10.5, 1, Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 7.96, 2, Luca Rendle (Hbay), 6.96, 3, Noah Camburn (Whaka), 6.03, 4
Finn Vette (Gis), 11.7, 1, Tana Clapham (Rag), 7.5, 2, Jai Wallis (Piha), 5.67, 3, Harper McBride (Mnt), 4.5, 4
Under 18 Boys Semifinals
Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 13.5, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 11.8, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 8.13, 3, Tana Clapham (Rag), 3.33, 4
Finn Vette (Gis), 15.2, 1, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 13.1, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 8.27, 3, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 7.5, 4
Under 18 Boys Final
Finn Vette (Gis), 15.7, 1, Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 9.57, 2, Bill Byers (Piha), 8.73, 4, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 9.47, 3
Under 18 Girls Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11, 1, Liv Haysom (Piha), 10.3, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 7.23, 3, Isla Prins (Hbay), 3.83, 4
Under 16 Boys Round 1
Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 11.7, 1, Vinnie Baggott (Mnt), 5.13, 2, Taine Roy (TGA), 4.4, 3, Ari O’Malley (Auck), , 0
Under 16 Boys Round 2
Tai Murphy (Whaka), 11.1, 1, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Tara), 7.57, 2, Max Phillips (Gis), 4.5, 3, Luke Mitchell (Mnt), 2.07, 4
Spencer Rowson (Tara), 8.97, 1, Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 8.97, 2, Hugo Sale (Mnt), 6.1, 3, Lachie Cruikshank (Auck), 2.8, 4
Tava Santorik (Mnt), 8.44, 1, Will Hardie (Piha), 8.2, 2, Asher O’Donnell (Whngrei), 6.6, 3, Manu Roberts (Tai), 6.3, 4
Jack Tyro (Chch), 13.4, 1, Vinnie Baggott (Mnt), 6.56, 2, Otis Baxter (WGM), 3, 3, Leo Hobson (Mur), 1.17, 4
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 15, 1, Cooper Ashill (Whngrei), 10.5, 2, George Laery (Mnt), 7.3, 3, Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), 3.94, 4
Taylor Mainwaring (WGM), 8.27, 1, Christian Fougere (Piha), 5.83, 2, Nate Florence (Tara), 4.86, 3, Ben Milne (WGM), 4.33, 4
Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 9.2, 1, Kalani Watts (Tara), 5.77, 2, Hunter Lynch (Gis), 4.46, 3
Ashton Rogers (WGM), 8.4, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 6.83, 2, Harry Prins (Hbay), 5.73, 3, Will Lockhart (Whiti), 4.87, 4
Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Spencer Rowson (Tara), 12.4, 1, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 8.67, 2, Will Hardie (Piha), 7.9, 3, Vinnie Baggott (Mnt), 7.3, 4
Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 11, 1, Tava Santorik (Mnt), 10.1, 2, Jack Tyro (Chch), 9.47, 3, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Tara), 7.1, 4
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 13.4, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 9.67, 2, Taylor Mainwaring (WGM), 4.63, 3, Kalani Watts (Tara), 2.13, 4
Cooper Ashill (Whngrei), 11.3, 1, Ashton Rogers (WGM), 8.43, 2, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 5.26, 3, Christian Fougere (Piha), 4.5, 4
Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Tava Santorik (Mnt), 9.5, 1, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 8.73, 2, Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), 8, 3, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 8, 3
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 13.3, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 9.6, 2, Cooper Ashill (Whngrei), 9.23, 3, Ashton Rogers (WGM), 7.26, 4
Under 16 Boys Final
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 12.9, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 10.77, 2, Tava Santorik (Mnt), 8.37, 3, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 8.13, 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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge.
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