Raiha Ensor dominates NZ Billabong Grom Search
(Top photo of Raiha Ensor by Rambo Estrada)
Event 1 Results from the 2015 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Omanu Beach, Mount Maunganui
First event honours for the 2015 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge went to Raiha Ensor (Mnt) today dominating her Under 20 Divisional final against Zhana Hutchison, Abby Falwasser and Britt Kindred. The Mount Maunganui event is the first of three events in the series which also takes in Whangamata and Piha.
On Sunday 25th January event one of the three event series relocated to Omanu Beach where the day started out with clean 1.0m waves and light offshores with an afternoon sea breeze filling in throughout the day.
It was yet another heat that was dominated by one surfer from the outset. Ensor rode the first wave of the final completing two big turns to post a 6.83 point ride and ended up finishing with an 11.5 point heat total.
“That good wave I got was right at the start. Andy [Jordan] said to go further out the back and wait for the big ones and that’s what I did to get that first wave” said Ensor of her strategy.
Ensor has looked strong all weekend and attributed her performance to her new boards and surfing at home without the stresses of travelling.
Ensor defeated double finalist Zhana Hutchison (Tara) who placed runner up for a highly successful weekend. Hutchison finished on 8.93 points, narrowly ahead of Kea Smith (Mnt) in third on 8.80 and Gabriella Sansom (Auck) in third on 6.43.
Gisborne surfer Kai Woolfe claimed a double today winning the Under 17 and Under 14 Girls Divisions. In the 17’s Woolfe led the entire final but not by much with her three opponents desperately trying to catch her. It came down to the final 10 seconds with Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) standing up as the hooter sounded. She banged two big turns to score 6.33 points out of a possible 10, just short of the 6.63 required for the win. She ultimately finished runner up ahead of Zhana Hutchison (Tara) in third and Britt Kindred (Mur) in fourth.
In the Under 14 Girls Division, Kaya Horne (Mnt) remained undefeated for the year taking out his second event this weekend after winning a national title last weekend. Horne posted a 17.83 point heat total comprising a 9.0 and an 8.83 point ride. Hamilton surfer Caleb Cutmore won what became a battle for runner up scoring 11.23 ahead of Luke Griffin (Mnt) in third and Dylan Preston (WGM) in fourth.
Kai Woolfe (Gis) continued her day one form blitzing the Under 14 Girls Division. Woolfe looked impressive in her early morning semifinal and then again in the final where she posted 14.17 points. Woolfe defeated her Gisborne counterpart Saffi Vette who placed runner up ahead of Gabriella Paul (Piha) in third and Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in fourth.
Under 20 Girls Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 11.50, 1, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 8.93, 2, Kea Smith (Mnt), 8.80, 3, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 6.43, 4
Under 17 Girls Final
Kai Woolf (Gis), 9.20, 1, Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis), 8.9, 2, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 7.03, 3, Britt Kindred (Muri), 6.87, 4
Under 14 Girls Final
Kai Woolf (Gis), 14.17, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 8.70, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 7.07, 3, Georgia Wederell (ChCh), 5.3, 4
Words by Surfing New Zealand Photos by Rambo Estrada