First Time Champions at the Billabong Grom Series

The final event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge has thrown up two new champions on day one of the event held at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Saturday 24th February).

Copal Mateja (Rag) and Isla Mckay (Whangarei) surfed their way to victory after an action-packed day of surfing for participants in the Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions.

Piha delivered a stunning day with perfect waves of up to1.0m in the morning with afternoon sea breezes and low tide impacting conditions toward the end of the day’s proceedings.

Mateja built momentum all day through to the final when he posted his highest heat score of the event – 12.60 points out of 20.  It was enough for the Raglan surfer to edge past Vitor Bauermann (Mnt), Bauermann finishing second for the third time this season.

Mateja has had a tough season, today being his first time close to the finals but he managed to convert his opportunities into a well-deserved win.

Bauermann pushed Mateja hard in the final, finishing less than half a point behind on 12.26 points as he chased the elusive win.

Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck) finished in third place today, his third straight final of the series while Sol Fritchley (Mnt) had to settle for fourth place after winning the first two events of the Billabong Grom Series pres by Oceanbridge held at Mount Maunganui and Whangamata.  By way of his two wins, Fritchley did enough to hold onto the series win ahead of Bauermann in second and Frazerhurst in third.

Whangarei surfer Isla Mckay surfed in her first event this season and rode all the way to a victory in the Under 14 Girls Division.  The 13-year-old posted a 7.20 point total in the final as she pushed through the challenging conditions to find two good scoring waves.

Jayda Bramley (Maketu) fought hard and came close on her last wave of 4.23 points as the highest wave of the final but it was not quite enough for the win and she finished second.

Local surfer and winner of event one of the series, Ella Withers (Piha) finished third in the final with Nami Marsden (Bay) finishing in fourth.

Earlier in the day the Under 16 Boys Division was contested with Sam Frazerhurst (Auck) pushing the field of surfers with his progressive approach to the right hand rip bowl.  Frazerhurst top scored for the round with a 15.76 heat total.  Others surfing to impressive wins included Remy Sale (Mnt), Tyler Stenzel (Mnt), Sev Tolhurst (Piha) and series leader Alexis Owen (Dun).

A massive day of surfing awaits the Under 16 Boys on Sunday as well as the Under 16 Girls Division which was postponed this evening.  Participants in the Under 18 Divisions also start the event on Sunday.

The Volkswagen Highest Single Wave Score Award went to Sol Fritchley for a near-perfect 9.5 point ride in the preliminary rounds of the Under 14 Boys Division.

Action will take place from 7:30am on Sunday with surfing running through to late afternoon.  Adverse weather is expected for the final day with a front marching up the country bringing strong winds and a building swell.

Full results from day one of the event and the schedule for Sunday can be viewed at

Further Information
For further information on the 2024 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email

High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

Generous support from Billabong and presenting sponsors Oceanbridge has made this series possible.

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Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
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Author: Ben Kennings