Raglan’s Taylor Hutchison has defended his title at the Backdoor GromBash event completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Sunday 1st May).
Hutchison won the premier Under 20 Boys Division of the event in perfectly clean 1.0m waves with glassy surface conditions. The surf made for a perfect day of surfing between New Zealand’s top young groms.
It was Hutchison’s first win of the year after finishing runner up at three events this summer. The win extends his unassailable lead on the ratings with one event remaining.
In a high scoring final, Hutchison posted a 15.27 point heat total for the win beating Tauranga surfer Andrew Fraser – Mackenzie who posted a 13.87 point heat total. Callum Chuter, also from Tauranga, placed third in the final ahead of Joshua Farr (Tara) in fourth, Farr contesting his first final in the Under 20 Boys Division.
In the Under 20 Girls Division, Britt Kindred (Mur) hustled her way to a tight win after much of their final suffered from a wave drought. It was in the second half of the final that Kindred jumped in to the lead with the highest scoring ride. This left Piha surfer Claudia Fraser chasing a medium score for the last five minutes. On three attempts Fraser fell short, agonisingly close on her last wave with a minute to go. Fraser had to settle for second, 0.17 points shy of the win. Indica Ratima (Rag) placed third in the final ahead of Janee Armstrong (Chch) in fourth.
Mount Maunganui surfer Lee Ririnui took out a well-deserved win and a season’s best result in the Under 17 Boys Division. Ririnui has found recent form placing second in the Duke Festival of Surfing in Christchurch during March and has now backed it up with a win in today’s event. Ririnui posted a 15.27 point heat total to win the final over Dylan Preston (WGM) in second, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) in third and Caleb Cutmore (Ham) in fourth.
Gisborne’s Saffi Vette was the surprise winner of the event claiming the title in the Under 17 Girls Division. Vette had only contested two national events this summer, having to split her time with Surf Life Saving New Zealand events. However, this weekend Vette showed some fantastic improvement to defeat the best group of young Kiwi surfers. She posted a 12.43 total in a wave starved final to defeat new ratings leader Elin Tawharu (Mnt). Zhana Hutchison (Tara) placed third in the final ahead of Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) in fourth.
The Under 14 Boys Division delivered the ninth different winner in as many events with local grommet Kora Cooper way too strong for his opponents in home waters. Cooper was the star performer of the division posting impressive heat totals from start to finish and the final was no different as he scored 16.50 points out of a possible 20 to win. Cooper defeated fellow Raglan surfers Josef Jungwirth and Jayden Willoughby who finished in second and third with new ratings leader Tom Robinson (Whangarei) finishing in fourth.
In the Under 14 Girls it was Stella Smith who surfed to her third win of the year to remain undefeated in the division. Smith surfed to a 12.5 point heat total to defeat Ariana Shewry (Tara) in second, Brie Bennett (Rag) in third and Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in fourth.
The major spot prize, a Channel Islands surfboard, was won by Jonas Tawharu.