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Whiteside and Kindred Claim First Billabong Grom Series Titles

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For immediate release

12th February 2017

From:  Surfing New Zealand
Sport: Surfing
Event: 2017 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge
Location: Whangamata
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand and Billabong New Zealand

Whiteside and Kindred Claim First Billabong Grom Series Titles

Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and Britt Kindred (Mur) have claimed the premier Under 20 Division titles at the first event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Whangamata today (Sunday 12th February).


The two surfers take an early lead in the overall New Zealand Grom Series after hard fought wins in the dying 0.5m – 1.0m swell that was on offer.


Whiteside trailed for much of his final before he split the peak with Taranaki surfer Daniel Farr who was leading the final.  Farr got caught behind on the left while Whiteside came around the section on the right hander and completed an air reverse on the closeout to claim a 9.17 point ride and the lead for his first win in five years.


“It feels pretty good, fun waves out there.  I was just trying to find an air section toward the end of the heat because I knew I needed a big score to win” said Whiteside of his strategy.


“I just tried to stick the air and stay over it, I was stoked with the score” he added in regards to the nine point ride.


Whiteside finished the final with a 14.47 point heat total compared with Farr’s 12.43 which secured him second place.  Callum Chuter (Mnt) finished in third place ahead of Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) in fourth.


Britt Kindred toughed out a tight final in the Under 20 Girls Division held in the dying swell.  A total heat score of 8.07 points was enough for Kindred to secure the win today as she held off Claudia Fraser (Piha) who finished runner up, Billie Scott (Whangarei) in third and Janee Armstrong (Chch) in fourth.


“It is a good start to the series for me but we had pretty challenging conditions in the final today.  I was lucky to get a couple of quick waves and my plan was always to try and catch whatever I could out there” said Kindred.


“It is good to get this win before I head down to Dunedin and study at Otago University” added Kindred who aims to get a bunch of surfing done along the Otago coastline as well as study sports nutrition.


Kindred will spend a lot of time with another winner from today, Dunedin’s Elliot Brown.


Brown lived up to his Overall Performance of the Event award from the National Championships by winning the Under 17 Boys Division today.  The Dunedin surfer found the biggest of the waves on offer in the final shredding his way through to the inside section with ease.  His 13.13 point heat total was enough to beat fellow South Island surfer Conor McLennan (Chch) into second with Mount Maunganui surfers Dylan Preston and William Van Der Beek finishing in third and fourth respectively.


Saffi Vette (Gis) posted the highest heat score of the event in the Under 17 Girls Division final to convincingly beat her opponents and keep an undefeated record for summer.  Vette posted 17.6 out of a possible 20 points in the final, her highest wave scoring 9.60 points.


Vette defeated Elin Tawharu (Mnt) in the final, Tawharu finishing runner up ahead of Gabrielle Paul (Piha) in third and Tegen Bishop (Chch) in fourth.

Oakura surfer Tom Butland looked to have his first national event sewn up after a quick start in the Under 14 Boys Division when posted a 12.33 point heat total in the first five minutes.  However, it was national champion Kora Cooper (Rag) that kept his composure in the final to claw his way back in to contention and then in to the lead to take his second win of summer with a 13.13 point heat total.


Butland finished the final in second narrowly ahead of Finn Vette (Gis) in third and Jayden Willoughby (Rag) in fourth.


In the Under 14 Girls Division, it was Brie Bennett (Rag) that surfed to her second win of the year following in Cooper’s footsteps.  The young goofy foot surfer made the most of the challenging low tide conditions to post a 10.57 point total in the final.  Oakura secured their second runner up finish in the Under 14s Division via Ariana Shewry with Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin) finishing in third and first time finalists Ava Smith (Gis) finishing in fourth.

Please see below for final results from the first event of the 2017 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Whangamata today (Sunday 12th February).

Under 20 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Daniel Farr (Tara), 14, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 10.1, 2, Max Dicken (Auck), 2.1, 3, Campbell Ivory (Tai), 1.6, 4

Heat 2

Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.8, 1, Callum Chuter (Tau), 11.4, 2, Jack Wilson (Chch), 7.27, 3, Andrew Fraser – MacKenzie (Tau), 5.5, 4

Under 20 Boys Division Final

Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 14.47, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.43, 2, Callum Chuter (Tau), 10.53, 3, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.07, 4

Under 17 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Jared Gebert (Ohope), 9.53, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 9.17, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 9.03, 3, Ayrton Yarrell (Waihi Bch), 8.6, 4

Heat 2

Elliott Brown (Dun), 11.67, 1, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 10.03, 2, Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti), 7.87, 3, Zack Van Eekelen (Chch), 7.4, 4

Heat 3

Dylan Preston (Whmata), 10.23, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 9.13, 2, Shane Kraus (Piha), 8.83, 3, Tom Norton (Waipu), 7.37, 4

Heat 4

Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 12.33, 1, Finn Johnson (Gis), 8.9, 2, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 8.47, 3, Kaya Horne (Mnt), 6.33, 4

Under 17 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Elliott Brown (Dun), 10.93, 1, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 9.88, 2, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 9.57, 3, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 9.43, 4

Heat 2

Dylan Preston (Whmata), 11.77, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 9.27, 2, Finn Johnson (Gis), 7.2, 3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 6.83, 4

Under 17 Boys Division Final
Elliott Brown (Dun), 13.1, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 11.1, 2, Dylan Preston (Whmata), 10.5, 3, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 9.33, 4

Under 14 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.53, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.53, 2, Manawa Ruru (Gis), 9.17, 3, Ethan Wray (Tara), 5.5, 4

Heat 2

Tom Butland (Tara), 14.97, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 14.77, 2, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 12.23, 3, Kava Matthews (Tara), 5.9, 4

Heat 3

Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 11.77, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 8.93, 2, Luka Jakich (Auck), 6.2, 3, Jay Gordon (Waihi Beach), 3.5, 4

Heat 4

Finn Vette (Gis), 12.43, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.87, 2, Jacob Buckle (Waipu), 4.97, 3, Sonny Eades (Mnt), 3.43, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kora Cooper (Rag), 14.00, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.43, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 11.23, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 11.13, 4

Heat 2

Finn Vette (Gis), 12.70, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 8.23, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 7.67, 3, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 5.93, 4


Under 14 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.13, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.33, 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 12.20, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 9.90, 4

Under 20 Girls Division Final
Britt Kindred (Muri), 8.07, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 6.37, 2, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 4.17, 3, Janee Armstrong (Chch), 2.17, 4

Under 17 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 11.93, 1, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 6.77, 2, Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 5.27, 3, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 3.36, 4

Heat 2

Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 124, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 8.53, 2, Kai Woolf (Gis), 6.65, 3, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 4.83, 4


Under 17 Girls Division Final
Saffi Vette (Gis), 17.6, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 9.7, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 4.42, 3, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 3.63, 4


Under 14 Girls Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Ava Smith (Gis), 9, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 8.57, 2, Ely Blackhouse (Auck), 4.5, 3, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 0, 4

Heat 2

Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 13, 1, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 9.9, 2, Daizee Rawls (Gis), 7.2, 3, India Kennings (WGM), 6.1, 4

Heat 3

Brie Bennett (Rag), 15.4, 1, Hannah King (Gis), 11, 2, Summer Carkeek (Auck), 10.2, 3, Alice Webb (WGM), 4.3, 4

Heat 4

Liv Haysom (Piha), 11.8, 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 8.2, 2, Khana Ngaia (Tara), 8.13, 3, Daisy Boon (Auck), 3.33, 4

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 8.3, 1, Ava Smith (Gis), 7.7, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 7, 3, Hannah King (Gis), 5.17, 4

Heat 2

Brie Bennett (Rag), 10, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 8.3, 2, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 4.93, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 3.6, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.6, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 8.07, 2, Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 6.93, 3, Ava Smith (Gis), 3.73, 4

Entry into the final two Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge events can be completed here – Piha (25 – 26 February) and Mount Maunganui (11 – 12 March).

Further Information
For further information on the 2017 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.

Web clips will be distributed free of charge from each event.  Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge.

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 and Von Zipper has made this event possible.

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

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