New Zealand’s elite surfers put in impressive performances to open their campaigns at the King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver today (Saturday 7th November) as they pushed through the early rounds of their respective divisions.
The surf started out in near perfect conditions with a straight 1.5m swell and no wind all morning before the nor-west wind increased mid afternoon then turning glassy to finish the day.
Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Ricardo Christie were joined by Ella Williams (WGM) and Paige Hareb (Tara) showing impressive form. However it did not go the way of all top seeds with Olympic hopefuls Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Saffi Vette (Gis) bowing out of the event in big upsets.
Stairmand kicked off in the first heat of the day at his home break describing the conditions as ‘iconic’.
“It is fun Raglan, 3ft sets, odd bigger one, perfect conditions, good to put the rashie on, first time in ages too” commented Stairmand on the conditions.
“I had a few nerves but tried to get a few waves before my heat, like I said, first comp since injury and Covid, nerves and excitement are all there but it is good to get into the grove of things” he added.
Stairmand posted a 15.67 point heat total with his knee braced up after an injury in early March. My knee is good, the brace is more mental than anything for me and is there just in case something goes real wrong, I could probably get rid of it” he commented.
Stairmand was joined by Ricardo Christie who advanced with a big 15.24 heat total.
“I haven’t thought about competing all year, well it is almost a year” said Christie.
“It is really fun out there. It is fun competing when there are good waves. It’s really cool to see everyone, it has been a weird year, everyone has been stuck at home making the most of their bubbles, so it is really cool to get everyone together again and have a comp and I feel like everyone being together is the cool thing about this weekend” he added.
A number of other top performances happened throughout the day including a heat win by Taylor Hutchison (Rag) with one near perfect 8.67 ride. Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) posted a 13.43 point heat total to advance as did Daniel Farr (Tara) with a 14.53 point heat total.
The Open Men’s Division will continue on Sunday morning with the Round of 32 surfers.
Paige Hareb made her return to New Zealand events a comfortable one with a 14.93 point heat total advancing through to the semifinals alongside National Champion Ava Henderson (Chch) on 12.77 points.
“Bit weird today, it was like I was nervous but not, it’s always a weird one to get the first heat out of the way but good to be back competing” said Hareb.
“I guess I haven’t done an NZ comp for a while so the first two waves I was trying to figure out the judging but yeah, I am happy to get through but not happy with my wave selection or how I surfed so hopefully I can improve in the next one” she added.
With international competition cancelled in 2020, Hareb has spent more time at home than any year in the past twelve which she says initially freaked her out before she realised how lucky we are to be here in New Zealand.
Ella Williams surfed to the highest heat score of the round with a 15.9 point heat total despite the lengthy time away from the competition arena.
“Gosh it has been nine months and it feels like it too but it is nice to be back and see all the other competitors and being in New Zealand, it is even more fun to get back in the rashie” she said.
“I am very happy with my surfing at the moment which is good, I think everyone looks like they are having fun and to have good waves today tops it off” she added.
Raglan surfers Brie Bennett and Aimee Brown also advanced through to the semifinals as did Piha’s Gabi Paul who put in an impressive performance to win her heat and advance alongside Jessica Santorik (Rag).
Sunday will see the continuation of the Open Men and Women Divisions before the finals of all divisions commence at approximately 1:30pm.
The King and Queen of the Point boasts $15,000 in prize money as the richest event of the year and with maximum national ranking points on offer.
Please see below for results from day two of the King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver held at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Saturday 8th November). Full results can be viewed here.
Open Men’s Division Round 1
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 15.67, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 9.96, 2, Rian Boyd (Auck), 9.47, 3, Reuben Lyons (Kaik), 4.96, 4
Shane Kraus (Piha), 13.1, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 12.43, 2, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 12.37, 3, Zac Curle (Waihi Beach), 7.33, 4
Alex Dive (Mnt), 13.36, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.3, 2, Malachi Farrant (Rag), 7.2, 3, Mark Becker (Tara), N/S
Waretini Wano (Piha), 10.06, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 8, 2, Daniel Tingey (Mnt), 7.27, 3, Cory Palmer (Tara), 5.07, 4
Larry Fisher (Rag), 13.17, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 12.93, 2, Jacob Buckle (Whngrei), 10.67, 3, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 8.5, 4
Ricardo Christie (Mahia), 15.24, 1, Zen Wallis (Piha), 10.26, 2, Nat Hughes (Rag), 9.33, 3, Joshua Wallis (Rag), 6.54, 4
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 13.43, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 11.2, 2, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 10.06, 3, Phill Willoughby (Rag), 7.24, 4
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 14.86, 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 11.57, 2, Leon Santorik (Rag), 10.54, 3, Jeremy Williams (Ham), 5.07, 4
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 14.54, 1, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 12.94, 2, Luis Southerwood , 5.84, 3, Erik Bengtsson (Auck), 3.6, 4
Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 12.33, 1, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 10.83, 2, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 7.73, 3, George Busby (Gis), 5.67, 4
Sid West (Gt Barrier), 11.97, 1, Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd), 11.1, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.06, 3, Nick White (Mnt), 9.14, 4
Jarred Hancox (Tara), 11.77, 1, Darren Celliers (Rag), 5.97, 2, Niwa Ututaonga (Chch), 5.6, 3, Cole Hareb (Tara), 3.8, 4
Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti), 12.87, 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 11, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.2, 3, Brent Hutchieson (Waiheke), 5.86, 4
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 12.33, 1, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 8.73, 2, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 7.93, 3, Scott Wilkinson (Rag), 4.5, 4
Luke Hughes (Rag), 13.83, 1, Matt Scorringe (Mnt), 10.94, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.7, 3, Deane Hishon (Rag), 6.77, 4
Daniel Farr (Tara), 14.53, 1, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 11.06, 2, Tyler Anderson (Tara), 10.53, 3, Josh Mainwaring (WGM), 2.33, 4
Open Women’s Division Round 1
Brie Bennett (Rag), 12.9, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.3, 2, Saffi Vette (Gis), 8.77, 3, Lily McDonald (Te Aroha), 4.97, 4
Paige Hareb (Tara), 14.9, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 12.8, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 7, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 4.07, 4
Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 11.9, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 10.8, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.2, 3, Ariana Shewry (Oakura), 9.14, 4
Ella Williams (WGM), 15.9, 1, Aimee Brown (GB), 13.9, 2, Kai Woolf (Rag), 10.6, 3, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 9.73, 4
For more information on the King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at with venues, divisions contested and conditions.
Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop, Quiksilver, Channel Island Surfboards and FCS Hardware.
High resolution images will be available to media upon request. Images will be distributed free of charge.
The event is hosted by Raglan’s Point Boardriders.
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Author: Ben Kennings