Kehu Butler is used to winning accolades. It comes with the territory of being one of the best surfers in the world for his age.
The Arataki surfer took out the Under-17 boys' division at the Backdoor GromBash held in Raglan last weekend but for another Mount Maunganui surfer it was her first taste of standing on the winner's step on the podium.
Tiana-Breeze de Mooij won the girls' Under-17 title for her first national level win. She then came close to another podium finish in the Under-20 division but eventually had to settle for fourth with another double-finalist in Mount Maunganui's Elin Tawharu in third place.
De Mooij stunned her opponents with her victory. She cut her way through the field of surfers in both the Under-17 and Under-20 divisions with a strong backhand attack. In the final of the Under-17s, she posted a 12.47 point heat total to beat Britt Kindred (Muriwai) with Tawharu having to settle for a pair of thirds this weekend.
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Butler claimed his second win of the season posting an excellent 16.0 point heat total defeating Daniel Farr (Taranaki) on 14.10. Promising Mount Maunganui surfer Lee Ririnui was third in the final. Butler claimed third place in the under-20 boys' division won by Taylor Hutchison (Raglan) after contesting the seven heats.
Another Mount surfer, William Van Der Beek, finished second behind Dylan Preston (Whangamata) in the Under-14 boys' final.
The expected swell pulsed in throughout the day with clean 1.5m waves and offshore winds.
The Backdoor GromBash is in its third year and caters for junior surfers in Under-20, Under-17 and Under-14 divisions for boys and girls. The event is proudly supported by Backdoor Surf Shop, Channel Islands Surfboards, Billabong, Kustom, Dakine and Nixon.