It took eleven events to separate the top junior surfers in New Zealand with the final NZ Super 16 presented by Skinnies and Volkswagen determining the overall winners of the NZ Grom Series at Piha today (Saturday 15th May).
Gisborne’s Finn Vette was locked in a season-long battle with Mount Maunganui’s Jack Hinton. Vette finally got the nod today winning a high scoring Under 18 Boys Division final after Hinton exited the event in the semifinals.
Vette joined Christchurch surfer Ava Henderson who won the NZ Super 16 event today as well as the Under 18 Girls Division of the NZ Grom Series for 2021.
Vette and Henderson were joined by Mount Maunganui surfers Tao Mouldey and Anna Brock who won the Under 16 Divisions today. Mouldey had already clinched the overall series prior to the final event while Brock shortened an unassailable lead held by Ava Henderson in the Under 16s.
While the Under 14 Divisions were not contested at the final event of the season, Tao Mouldey and Maya Mateja reigned supreme over summer, Mouldey winning the six events he contested and Mateja winning four of the five events she contested.
The day started out with strong westerlies which never subsided as forecast leaving a messy 1.0m wind swell to challenge the skills of New Zealand’s top young surfers.
In the final of the Under 18 Boys Division today, Finn Vette surfed to an impressive 14.67 point heat total. He had a slow start before back-to-back good waves that pushed him out into the lead, his last netting him a 7.67 point ride.
“It was pretty fun but the waves were difficult all day,” commented Vette. “We managed to get a couple in the final for some good scores, the Rags boys were ripping and so was Ari but yeah, all round it was a good day for me,” added Vette who had not given the rankings implications much thought prior to the event, rather wanting to go into the day with no expectations and to simply try and enjoy himself.
It was Josef Jungwirth (Rag) that finished runner-up securing second in a tight battle over Ari D’Anvers (Whngarei) in third and Kora Cooper (Rag) in fourth, the three surfers separated by less than 0.60 points.
In the Under 18 Girls Division, Ava Henderson (Chch) stormed to yet another win for the season posting a 13.8 point heat total with her usual mix of flare and power in the tough conditions. Similar to the Under 18 Boys Division, less than one point separated second from fourth with Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) finishing runner-up, local Piha surfer Liv Haysom finishing third and Ariana Shewry (Tara) finishing in fourth.
Tao Mouldey continued his stellar run of form in the Under 16 Boys Division with his seventh win of the season in the division. A 15.5 point heat total this time around separated him from his opponents with Dunedin’s Jake Owen finishing in second place ahead of Kalani Louis (Tara) in third and Beau Woods (Mnt) in fourth.
Anna Brock (Mnt) claimed the Under 16 Girls Division with a challenging final that saw the lead change several times before the Mount Maunganui surfer clinched the win with a 5.73 point ride for an 11.3 point heat total. Asia Braithwaite (Gis) held the early lead in the final after opening up with a 5.0 point ride but was pushed back to third at the hands of Brock and local surfer Leia Millar who scored a 4.33 point ride on her last wave to finish second overall. The youngest of the Brock sisters, Sophia finished the final in fourth overall.
The Volkswagen x Skinnies Wave of the Day went to Tao Mouldey (Mnt) in the final of the Under 16 Boys Division with the 14-year-old smashing a big opening turn linking the wave through to the inside with a spicey finish that even he felt worthy of a claim, the wave coming in at 9.0 points, the highest single wave score of the day.
The Open Men and Women will take centre stage at Piha tomorrow from 10am – 2pm with the event being broadcast live on Sky Sport 9 and webcast on the Sky Sport Next YouTube channel.
The New Zealand Surf Series commenced at Piha in January with the National Championships before heading to Rip Curl Pro at Raglan, the Emerson’s South Island Champs in Dunedin, Exit Surf Canterbury Champs in Christchurch and the Backdoor Taranaki Pro only two weeks ago. For the first time this year, the Seventh Wave Canterbury Women’s Championships was also part of the national series providing more opportunity for female surfers in New Zealand.
Please see below for results from the NZ Super 16 presented by Skinnies and Volkswagen completed at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Saturday 15th May). The full draw can be viewed here.
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Finn Vette (Gis), 14.67, 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 12.83, 2, Ari D’Anvers (whngrei), 12.33, 3, Kora Cooper (Rag), 12.27, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 13.8, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 9.63, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.87, 3, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 8.74, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 15.5, 1, Jake Owen (Dun), 12.4, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 11.67, 3, Beau Woods (Mnt), 11.3, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Anna Brock (Mnt), 11.3, 1, Leia Millar (Piha), 9.26, 2, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 8.37, 3, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 3.9, 4
For further information on the 2021 Super 16 presented by Skinnies and Volkswagen 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 upon request.
Live scoring of the event will be on www.compusurf.com.au.
The final day of the event will be broadcast live on Sky Sport Channel 9. The event will also be webcast live on Sky Sport Next.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #NZSuper16 to follow the story.
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Author: Ben Kennings