Kennings Joined By Horne and Woolfe As Back-To-Back Winners

Posted - News Posted for New Zealand News, World Surfing News.

A sizzling final in the Under 20 Boys Division was a fitting end to the second event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Whangamata today (Sunday 15th February).

Local Whangamata surfer Dune Kennings claimed a come from behind win in the final to make it two in a row for the series.  He was joined by Under 14 Division surfer Kaya Horne and Kai Woolfe who also won their division for the second evetn in a row.


After the big swell of day one, day two was a more manageable 1.0m with light winds all day.  Conditions were average throughout the day until the tie filled in enough for the full tide banks to work.

After sitting in third for much of the final, Kennings needed a 7 point ride to surpass heat leader Josh Taylor (Mnt) and Paul Moretti (Sandy Bay) who sat in second place.  With under five minutes to go he turned what looked like a close out into the best wave of the final with two big forehand turns for a 7.50 point ride and jumped into first place and claimed the win.

Josh Taylor finished runner up and he got the final off to a flyer and put the pressure on his opponents.  Taylor racked up multiple mid-range scores on his backhand.  He ultimately posted a 13.9 point heat total to finish ahead of Paul Moretti in third on 13.0 and Harrison Whiteside in fourth on 7.47.

The win gives Kennings a hefty advantage moving into the final event of the series at Piha in two weeks time where he would have to lose in the first round for double finalist Whiteside to have a chance of winning the series.

National Women’s Champion Gabriella Sansom (Albany) took a comfortable win in the Under 20 Girls Division.  Sansom reversed roles with Raiha Ensor (Mnt), Ensor finishing fourth today after winning the first event of the series.  The two surfers now share the ratings lead going into the final event at Piha.  Placing second in the final today was Piha surfer Claudia Fraser ahead of Bianca Sansom in third.


Kehu Butler (Mnt) missed the first event of the series but reminded everyone of his class claiming the Under 17 Boys Division with a powerful display of backhand surfing.  An event high finals total of 18.9 points was too much for Daniel Farr (Tara) to overcome despite himself performing exceptionally well and scoring a 14.3 point heat total.  Finishing third in the final was Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) with Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) in fourth place.

Elin Tawharu (Mnt) claimed her first event of the summer in the Under 17 Girls Division.  In a low scoring and tight final, Tawharu managed to make the most of the small lefthand reforms to post a 10.1 point heat total.  Muriwai surfer Milly Crewe surfed her way to second place, her best ever result at a national event after choosing to surf further up the beach than her opponents.  Crewe finished ahead of Britt Kindred in third and Kea Smith (Mnt) in fourth.

Kaya Horne (QLD) and Kai Woolfe (Gis) claimed back-to-back wins in the Under 14 Divisions cementing their ratings leads after two of three events in the series.

Horne dominated his final from start to finish and ended with a 15.1 point heat total.  Horne’s closest rival Dylan Preston (WGM) suffered an interference midway through the final to eliminate any chance of a title bid.  The interference allowed Luke Griffin (Mnt) to place runner up ahead of Preston in third and first time finalist Jack Lee (Whakatane) in fourth.

Kai Woolfe (Gis) had a comprehensive finals performance.  Woolfe posted a 13.2 point heat total for the win to beat out Grace Pevats (Whangarei) in second, Toni Power (Mnt) in third and Georgia Wederall (Mnt) in fourth.

Please see below for final results from the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge Event 2 completed at Whangamata Beach today (Sunday 15th February).

Under 20 Boys Final
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 15.3, 1, Josh Taylor (Tau), 13.9 2, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata)13.0, 3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)7.47, 4

Under 17 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.17, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.57, 2, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 8.60, 3, Joel Clegg (Tara), 7.73, 4
Heat 2 
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.17, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 8.53, 2, Jacob Warnes, 6.57, 3, Joshua Farr (Tara), 6.10, 4

Under 17 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 18.9, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 14.3, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.2, 3, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 8.23, 4

Under 14 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Tom Butland (Tara), 6.67, 1, Max Brunker (Whangarei), 5.83, 2, Kava Matthews (Tara), 1.33, 3, Alex O’Dwyer (Whaka), N/S
Heat 2
James Ririnui (Mnt), 9.33, 1, Luis Aruquipa – Southwood (Whaka), 5.97, 2, Reef Newdick (Mnt), 4.47, 3, Liam Douglas (Mnt), 3.27, 4
Heat 3
William Van Der Beek (Mnt), 9.33, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 8.77, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 2.77, 3, Ollie Meadows (Waiheke), 0.87, 4
Heat 4 
Kaya Horne (Mnt), 13.5, 1, Ollie Quinn – Gilbert (Auck), 4.1, 2, Mac Rogers (Waiheke), 3.79, 3
Heat 5 
Dylan Preston (Whmata), 8.67, 1, Jack Lee (Whakatane), 8.6, 2, Ben Smith (Coro), 4.9, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 4.9, 4
Heat 6 
Lucca Lind (Tara), 8.17, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 6.4, 2, Jai Wallis (Auck), 3.83, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 1.27, 4
Heat 7 
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 6.9, 1, Rory Goodchap (TGA), 4.47, 2, Keelan Wood (Piha), 2.73, 3, Kora Cooper (Rag), 2.53, 4
Heat 8 
Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 13, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 7.17, 2, Jai Parr (Mnt), 3.43, 3, Tom Graham (Mnt), N/S

Under 14 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

James Ririnui (Mnt), 6.63, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 4.6, 2, Ollie Quinn – Gilbert (Auck), 2.83, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 2.7, 4
Heat 2
Kaya Horne (Mnt), 16, 1, Max Brunker (Whangarei), 9.23, 2, William Van Der Beek (Mnt), 5.57, 3, Luis Aruquipa – Southwood (Whaka), 4.53, 4
Heat 3 
Lucca Lind (Tara), 7.47, 1, Dylan Preston (Whmata), 6.03, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 5.2, 3, Rory Goodchap (TGA), 3.3, 4
Heat 4
Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 7, 1, Jack Lee (Whakatane), 6.8, 2, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 4.77, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 3.8, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kaya Horne (Mnt), 9, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 7.9, 2, James Ririnui (Mnt), 4.27, 3, Max Brunker (Whangarei), 1, 4
Heat 2
Dylan Preston (Whmata), 12.17, 1, Jack Lee (Whakatane), 6.8, 2, Lucca Lind (Tara), 5.27, 3, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 5.03, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Kaya Horne (Mnt), 15.1, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 8.6, 2, Dylan Preston (Whmata), 7.33, 3, Jack Lee (Whakatane), 7.23, 4

Under 20 Girls Final
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 11.9, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 7.07, 4, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 8.57, 2, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 4.23, 4

Under 17 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.83, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 6.8, 2, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 4.7, 3, Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 4, 4
Heat 2
Kea Smith (Arataki), 13.2, 1, Milly Crewe (Muri), 9.5, 2, Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis), 8.4, 3, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 6.2, 4

Under 17 Girls Final
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10.1, 1, Milly Crewe (Muri), 9.0, 2, Britt Kindred (Muri), 7.07, 3, Kea Smith (Arataki), 4.23, 4

Under 14 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 6.5, 1, Stella Smith (Gis), 6.33, 2, Saffi Vette (Gis), 5.5, 3, Bonita Whitelock (Pau), 0, 4
Heat 2
Kai Woolf (Gis), 10.2, 1, Toni Power (Mnt), 2.47, 2, Asta Schnell (Auck), 0, 3
Heat 3
Grace Pevats (Whngrei), 7.3, 1, Lily Dowsett (Auck), 4.77, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 3.83, 3

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Kai Woolf (Gis), 5.67, 1, Toni Power (Mnt), 4.87, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 2.27, 3
Heat 2
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 3.97, 1, Grace Pevats (Whngrei), 3.33, 2, Lily Dowsett (Auck), 2.57, 3

Under 14 Girls Final
Kai Woolf (Gis), 13.2, 1, Grace Pevats (Whngrei), 2.8, 2, Toni Power (Mnt), 2.73, 3,

Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 1.73, 4

The third event of the Billabong Grom Series will be held at Auckland’s Piha Beach (28 Feb – 1 March) where the series winners will be announced.

The three event series is part of the New Zealand Grom Series which comprises of up to seven events for some divisions and features the country’s top junior surfers.

Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under events.

Further Information
For further information on the 2015 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email  Alternatively contact Billabong Event Manager Keone Campbell on 0274921138 or email

Web clips will be distributed free of charge from each event.  Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Billabong Grom Series will be available to media free of charge.

Event Hotline
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.

Generous support from Billabong, presenting sponsors Oceanbridge, Von Zipper, Palmers, Kustom and Muesli Hub has made this series possible.

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