The Rip Curl Pro – Corona Crown Surf Series Event #5 went off this weekend at Manu Bay, Raglan, New Zealand.
Gisborne’s Bobby Hansen won the event on his last wave with only two minutes remaining pushing Daniel Kereopa (Rag) back into second and preventing a clean sweep of wins by local surfers. The win elevates Hansen to fifth on the Corona Crown Surfing Series with only the Super 16 invitational event to contest prior to him heading out to begin his international campaign.
Hansen opened up his scoring with an 8.5 point ride and then sat patiently trying to hunt out the elusive bigger set waves in the final. In fact it was only the set waves that were breaking throughout the day at Manu Bay. What waves came through were perfect at 0.50m – 1.0m with conditions going from sheet glass in the morning to a sea breeze and then clean offshore in the afternoon.
Hansen had looked polished all day and in his quarterfinal posted the first of four perfect ten point rides by various surfers for the day. Hansen’s last wave, with two minutes remaining in the final, was not another perfect ten point ride but did score an excellent 8.0 points. It left him standing on the rocks in first place with just under two minutes remaining and the wait began to see if another wave would break.
One final wave did push through Manu Bay but was missed by Daniel Kereopa who was sitting in second. Tim O’Connor, the surfer sitting in third made a last ditch effort on the wave but requiring an 8.76 scored a 7.0 which helped his total score but left him in third place.
Kereopa ended up in second place having been edged out by Hansen. However with his second place he extended his lead on the ratings to the point where no one can pin him down at the last event. O’Connor with his performance moved from 27th to 13th on the ratings and secured his place in the Corona Super 16.
The fourth surfer in the final was local boy Zennor Wernham who struggled to find the bigger waves that offered the scoring potential to win the final. However Wernham did manage to jump up one place to second on the ratings with his performance.
Jessica Santorik (Rag) the current Corona Crown Series leader was too good for the field of women’s surfers. As a surfer that jumps into the water daily at the very break, Santorik firstly used her local knowledge to ride two excellent waves before putting on her tactical helmet and ‘holding’ Paige Hareb (Taranaki) from surfing a vital last ride.
Her strategy was impeccable and with a total heat score of 17.25, walked away with first place. Santorik extended her lead on the ratings further and like Kereopa can not be overtaken with only the final event remaining. A second place by Hareb was enough to jump her into the top four surfers and a spot in the Corona Super 16 also.
Click HereLaura Rishworth (Mnt) snuck into third on her last scoring ride of 5.75 to oust Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) into fourth after she shone throughout the earlier rounds.
Standout of the day Billy Stairmand (Rag) dominated his home break of Manu Bay to walk away the victor in the Rip Curl Under 18 Men’s Division. Earlier in the day Stairmand posted two perfect ten point rides and the signs were ominous for the rest of the field. His performance in the final did not disappoint either as he went on to score 18.60 only eclipsed by one of his earlier performances of 18.65 points for the highest heat score of the day. While his performance was exceptional, he was by no means the run away leader when all three other finalists posted excellent scores for their top rides.
Ryan Hawker (Auck) edged into runner up placing for the second time today with his final ride of 7.0. Both Matt Hewitt (Mnt) and Paco Divers (Sandy Bay) finished in third equal with an 8.0 and 7.0 point rides each. All tied up on both one and two waves, it was Hewitt’s 5.50 for his third scoring ride that split the two surfers pushing him into third ahead of Divers.
The national final of the Rip Curl GromSearch went off in the closest fashion possible with all four surfers riding crucial last waves within the final minute to try and secure entry to the international final held at the WCT Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach Australia. The final exchange went the way of Gisborne surfer Johnnie Hicks with an 8.0 on his second to last wave. It was a well deserved win for the young surfer who has recently been named in the New Zealand Junior Team who travel to Portugal in May.
Hawker came the closest to challenging for the lead when he took the last and biggest wave of the final. He did all he could on the wave smashing it to pieces. The wave scored 8.85 fractionally short of the 9.25 required for the win and Hawker ended up placing second missing his second tour of duty to the international final after winning in 2006.
Matt Hewitt (Mnt) held the lead during part of the final exchange after riding his best two rides in the last three minutes of the heat. His best ride of 9.25 was only cut short of a perfect ten when he fell on one of his last turns at the end of the wave finishing third. Paco Divers (Sandy Bay) who lead for much of the final ended up in fourth place when the final hooter sounded still scoring a total heat score of 14.0.
Paige Hareb was the runaway leader in the girls final of the Rip Curl GromSearch scoring a pair of 9.25s on her first two rides to stitch up the final very early on. This will be the second time that Hareb will cross the ditch to contest the international event. Alexis Poulter (Piha) who has recently moved to Raglan valiantly tried to hold up her end of the bargain in the final and placed second followed by Auckland surfers Annie Stuart in third and Nicola Colson-Koster in fourth.
The Friday night expression session went off in blazing fashion under the full moon and a string of flood lights that lit up the whole of Manu Bay. The huge crowd made up of hundreds of locals didn’t hold themselves back when local boy Mike Banks surfed to victory by completing a radical ‘reverse’ manoeuvre showing his fins to the cheering crowd.
He ousted Gisborne’s Bobby Hansen for the best move after Hansen completed a radical backhand reverse considered by many as the equal of Banks’ manoeuvre. Raglan’s Leon Santorik and Billy Stairmand also contested the final. Final results from the Rip Curl Pro and current top 20 in the Open Men’s Division of the Corona Crown Series are set out below.
- 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 8240
- 2, Zennor Wernham (Rag), 6075
- 3, Leon Santorik (Rag), 5543
- 4, Nathan Welch (Gis), 5525
- 5, Bobby Hansen (Gis), 5465
- 6, Luke Cederman (Rag), 5010
- 7, Nick White (Mnt), 4868
- 8, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 4550
- 9, Justin Souter (Mnt), 4366
- 10, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 4345
- 11, Maz Quinn (Gis), 4340
- 12, Dean Amess (Whmata), 4315
- 13, Tim O’Connor (Mnt), 4300
- 14, AJ Matthews (Whmata), 4234
- 15, Gauranga Ormond (Whmata), 4225
- 16, Mark Dovey (Mnt), 4080
- 17, Jarrod Hancox (Tara), 4008
- 18, Felix Dickson (Ota), 3983
- 19, Damon Gunness (Gis), 3980
- 20, Blair Stewart (Gis), 3890
Rip Curl Open Men Finals
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 1
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 2
Tim O’Connor (Mnt), 3
Zennor Wernham (Rag), 4
Rip Curl Open Women Finals
Jessica Santorik (Rag), 1
Paige Hareb (Tara), 2
Laura Rishworth (Mnt), 3
Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 4
Junior Men Finals
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 1
Ryan Hawker (Piha), 2
Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 3
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 4
Rip Curl GromSearch National Boys Final
Johnnie Hicks (Gis), 1
Ryan Hawker (Piha), 2
Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 3
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 4
Rip Curl GromSearch National Girls Final
Paige Hareb (Tara), 1
Alexis Poulter (Piha), 2
Annie Stuart (Auck), 3
Nicola Colson-Koster (Auck), 4