Gisborne's Bobby Hansen continued his comeback to the competitive arena today progressing through to his second consecutive semifinal berth at the Billabong Pro presented by Sony held at Whangamata today (Saturday 11th February).
Yet another day of clean 1.0m waves with afternoon sea breezes saw the action heat up as the event heads into the final day on Sunday.
Hansen posted an event high 18.03 points out of 20 in his quarterfinal match up with a powerful yet progressive display of surfing that was unequalled all day.
Hansen has recently returned from the competitive wilderness after an injury plagued last two years. After surfing to a fifth place at the National Championships in January, Hansen is out to show that result is just the start of a good year of surfing.
"I am enjoying being back in the competitive frame" said Hansen. "It is good to travel around the country and measure yourself against the best surfers in New Zealand and today's conditions allowed us to do that, they were certainly a lot better than what I thought it was going to be when I looked at the forecasts earlier in the week."
Progressing alongside Hansen was local Whangamata surfer Dune Kennings who caused the upset of summer eliminating Maz Quinn (Gis). The quarterfinal match up possessed an abundance of interest with the 16 year old Kennings and his friend Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha) surfing against two of the countries most celebrated surfers.
Kennings started the heat well and then caught a brilliantly surfed lefthander that he hit all the way to the beach for an 8.5 point ride. From there he sat in second ahead of Quinn who had one last chance to progress with 20 seconds remaining. Requiring a 6.28 point ride Quinn got a good lefthander and surfed it to the beach but the scores came in 0.15 short of the score required.
"Personally I thought I got that score on the last wave but that is the way it goes, sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't and today there was a flip of a coin in it" said Quinn.
Meanwhile Kennings couldn't be happier claiming the biggest scalp in his short career. "I am stoked, Maz has won so many national titles and to beat him gives me heaps of confidence going into the last day of the event."
Matt Scorringe was another local surfer to excel today winning through to the semifinals scoring 16.33 for an easy heat win. Scorringe strategically surfed the lefthanders and on his forehand completed some impressive air reverses. Scorringe has already surpassed his ninth placing he achieved at the event in 2011 and he will be gunning for nothing but a finals berth tomorrow.
Stalwarts Blair Stewart (Gis) and Larry Fisher (Rag) also moved through to the semifinals of the event after placing first and second respectively in their match up to eliminate Raglan surfers Luke Hughes and Mike Banks.
The Women's Division followed the spectacle of the Open Men's Division with Ella Williams (WGM) and Jessica Santorik (Rag) keeping the flow going with yet another high scoring heat. Williams got the nod over her fellow goofy foot surfer scoring 13.70 to Santorik's 12.0.
In the second semifinal it was Jayda Martin - Fitzharris (Gis) who got the nod over Thandi Durham - Tipene (Tara).
Kennings was at it again in the Under 20 Men's Division where he moved through to the semifinals with the highest score of the round - 15.17 out of 20. He advanced alongside other heat winners Sean Kettle (Tara), Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha) and Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach).
The Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge took place alongside the Billabong Pro with the grommets loving the pristine conditions. Most divisions were contested to the semifinals and finals stages with all the grommets returning to the main podium for the final day of the event where they will get to surf amongst their New Zealand surfing heroes tomorrow.
Please see below for results from day two of the Billabong Pro presented by Sony and the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Whangamata Beach today (Saturday 11th February).
Open Men's Quarterfinals
Blair Stewart (Gis), 15.93, 1, Larry Fisher (Rag), 15.57, 2, Luke Hughes (Rag), 9.7, 3, Mike Banks (Rag), 7.73, 4
Leon Santorik (Rag), 11.63, 1, Keone Campbell (Tara), 10, 2, Buck Woods (Gis), 7.8, 3, Tane Wallis (Piha), 7.37, 4
Matt Scorringe (Whmata), 16.33, 1, Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 14.47, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 10.07, 3, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 9.93, 4
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 18.03, 1, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.6, 2, Maz Quinn (Gis), 14.47, 3, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 11.07, 4
Open Women's Semifinals
Ella Williams (Whmata), 13.7, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 12, 2, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 8.03, 3, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 3.53, 4
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 8.97, 1, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 8.23, 2, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 6.23, 3, Rosa Thompson (Auck), 2.17, 4
Under 20 Men's Quarterfinals
Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.8, 1, Waretini Wano (Piha), 9.23, 2, Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 8.3, 3, Corey Asplin (Ham), 6.37, 4
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 15.83, 1, Adam Grimson (Gis), 10.23, 2, Kahu Craig-Ranga (Waihi Bch), 7.17, 3, Sid West (Gt Barrier), 6.27, 4
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 15.17, 1, Tane Wallis (Piha), 9.73, 2, Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 8.8, 3, Ella Williams (Whmata), 8.63, 4
Levi Stewart (aihi Bch), 9.7, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 9.53, 2, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 8.87, 3, Nat Hughes (Rag), 6.1, 4
Under 12 Boys Quarterfinals
William van der Beek (Tau), 1, William Barnes (Mt), 2, Henry Copley (Piha), 3, Luke Griffin (Mt), 4
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 1, James Ririnui (Mnt), 2, Connor Seaman (Auck), 3, Ben Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 4
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 1, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 2, Kelly Haven (Muriwai), 3, Robert Milne (Auck), 4
Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 2, Sam Copley (Piha), 3, Taylor O'Leary (Muriwai), 4
Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 14.67, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 10.37, 2, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 9.93, 3, Milly Crewe (Muri), 8.27, 4
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 11.83, 1, Dayna Story (Gis), 7.07, 2, Lauren Walker (Piha), 2.63, 3, Indica Ratima (Rag), 2.13, 4
Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 1, Milly Crewe (Muri), 2, Jenny Rockwell (Auck), 3, Jana O'Connor (Tara), 4
Britt Kindred (Muri), 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 2, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 3, Treyarn Barbarich (Arataki), 4
Under 12 Girls Quarterfinals
Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 1, Kea Smith (Tau), 2, Lucy Pownall (Piha), 3, Holly. Marson-Wood (Piha), 4
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 1, Kristen Fraser (Auck), 2, Amber Bailey (Auck), 3
Tiana - Breeze de Mooij (Mnt), 1, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 3, Georgia Walker (Auck), 4
Under 12 Girls Semifinals
Kea Smith (Tau), 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 2, Kristen Fraser (Auck), 3
Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 1, Tiana - Breeze de Mooij (Mnt), 2, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 3