Surfing: Ririnui dominates GromBash final

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Mount Maunganui surfer Lee Ririnui won the Under 17 Boys' Division at the Backdoor GromBash event at Manu Bay, Raglan. Photo / COL
Mount Maunganui surfer Lee Ririnui won the Under 17 Boys' Division at the Backdoor GromBash event at Manu Bay, Raglan. Photo / COL

Mount Maunganui surfer Lee Ririnui took out a well-deserved win and a season's best result in the Under 17 Boys' Division at the Backdoor GromBash event completed at Manu Bay, Raglan at the weekend.

Seven Bay of Plenty surfers made it through to finals in the six divisions.

Ririnui has found recent form placing second in the Duke Festival of Surfing in Christchurch in March and has now backed it up with a win in Sunday's event.

Ririnui posted a 15.27 heat total to win the final over Dylan Preston (Whangamata) in second, Jonas Tawharu (Mount) in third and Caleb Cutmore (Hamilton) in fourth.

Raglan's Taylor Hutchison defended his Under 20 title in perfectly clean 1m 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 heat total.

Callum Chuter, also from Tauranga, placed third in the final ahead of Joshua Farr (Taranaki) in fourth, Farr contesting his first final in the Under 20 Boys' Division.

In the Under 20 Girls' Division, Britt Kindred (Muriwai) hustled her way to a tight win after much of their final suffered from a wave drought.

It was in the second half that Kindred jumped 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 (Raglan) placed third in the final ahead of Janee Armstrong (Chch) in fourth.

Gisborne's Saffi Vette was a surprise winner of 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.

She posted a 12.43 total in a wave-starved final to defeat new ratings leader Elin Tawharu (Mount). Zhana Hutchison (Taranaki) placed third in the final ahead of Maaia Reid-Bennett (Mount) 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.

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 clocked a 12.5 heat total, with Ariana Shewry (Taranaki) in second, Brie Bennett (Raglan) in third and Georgia Wederell (Mount) in fourth.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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