It was the first time in ten years that Kiwi groms have had the chance to compete at Gisborne as part of the New Zealand Grom Series and they frothed out at the chance to have a crack at Midway Beach in town for day one of the Sequence Surf Shop Gisborne Junior Pro today (Saturday 14th May).
‘Pipe’ at Midway Beach turned on pumping conditions all day with a clean 1.0m swell that pulsed with nice sets throughout the day, little or no wind all morning turning light westerly in the afternoon.
Christchurch surfer Ava Henderson opted to get in some late event practice at Gisborne this weekend before she departs for the World Junior Championships being held in El Salvador in just over one week.
Henderson made easy work of her Under 18 Girls Division heat finishing with a 13.84 heat total. She will meet local surfer Asia Braithwaite in the final as well as Hawkes Bay’s Isla Prins and Amelie Wink (Chch) who also progressed through to the final.
Henderson will be joined by eleven team mates as part of the New Zealand Junior Team who depart for El Salvador on Saturday. They will face off against up to forty countries at the event.
George Roberts (Chch) and Tyler Perry (Kaik) are part of a big Raglan Surf Academy crew that are at this weekend’s event and the two surfers led from the front in their Under 18 Boys Division heats. Roberts surfed to a 12.33 point heat total, Perry, an 11.50. They will meet up in the semifinals on Sunday for a chance to make it through to the finals.
Mahia’s Riku Gordon stormed to a come-from-behind heat win in the Under 16 Boys Division courtesy of a long running lefthander that he belted three big backhand turns on. Gordon will meet up with another first round standout in Soren Bucka-Christensen (Tara). Bucka-Chistensen looked strong early, surfing his way into contention for one of the Sequence Surf Shop Biggest/Best Turn awards with a big layback hack. The surfer who completes the best turn in each of the six divisions walks away with one hundred dollars cash for their efforts.
Other surfers in the division to impress included a lively Christian Fougere (Piha) and Joe Goodjohn (Mnt).
The Under 14 Boys Division saw a couple of classic match ups in the afternoon. Tyler Stenzel got the better of club mate Sol Fritchley in their high-scoring match up. The two surfers traded excellent scoring rides with Stenzel finishing with a 14.03 point heat total for the win.
Number one seed Remy Sale advanced out of his afternoon heat, moving through to the quarterfinals with a heat win as did Piha surfers Zeke Pregert and Sev Tolhurst. Others to secure good heat wins included Zac Becroft (Piha), Zen Mouldey (Mnt) and Indica Corcoran (Mnt).
Lola Groube (Pau) top scored in the Under 14 Girls Division advancing to the semifinals where she will go up against Maya Mateja (Rag) again along with current Grom Series leader Poppy Entwisle (Chch) and Izzy Evans (Mnt). The second semifinal sees Indi-Lee Ruddell (Sandy Bay) make a comeback to competition where she will face off against India Kennings (WGM), Madeline Tod (Mnt) and Lani Frazerhurst (Rag).
The groms were out to impress for their own stake of the Sequence Surf Shop Biggest/Best Wave of the Day Awards. After day one the front runners include Soren Bucka-Christensen in the Under 16 Boys Division for a powerful layback hack. Ava Henderson, Tyler Stenzel and Lola Groube also have their hands on a share of the $600 cash.
The Volkswagen x Skinnies Wave of the Day went to joint winners in the boys with Riku Gordon (Mahia) and Tyler Stenzel (Mnt) scoring eight point rides in their respective heats. The girls award went to Ava Henderson for her 7.67 point ride.
Full results from the event can be viewed on Live Heats.
It’s been ten years since a New Zealand Grom Series event has been held in Gisborne. The Sequence Surf Shop Gisborne Junior Pro is part of the wider New Zealand Grom Series which includes the Billabong Grom Series, the South Island Connect Group Grom Series and a number of other individual junior events.
Surfers from Ahipara down to Christchurch are taking part this weekend in Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 divisions with action taking place from 8am – 5pm daily.
This year’s event would not be possible without the support of Sequence Surf Shop Gisborne, Gisborne Boardriders, Creatures of Leisure, Sex Wax and Eastern & Central Community Trust (ECCT).
For further information on the 2022 Sequence Surf Shop Gisborne Junior Pro, please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
High resolution action images of the surfing 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.
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Author: Ben Kennings