Grommet Season Closes Out With Six Champions Announced

Wednesday 9 May 2012, 7:00PM

By Surfing New Zealand Inc


The final surfer ratings for the 2012 New Zealand Grommet Series have been completed with six new champions confirmed after five events took place throughout New Zealand during summer and Autumn.

The accolades were dominated by Bay of Plenty surfers who rose to the top in three of the six divisions contested at the events, Kehu Butler (Arataki) being responsible for two titles in the Under 12 and 14 Boys and Elin Tawharu (Mnt) winning the Under 12 Girls.

However the top accolades in the under 16 divisions went to Whangamata and Gisborne with Dune Kennings (WGM) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) both claiming the number one ranking after their performances at the final event of the series - the Quiksilver King of the Groms held at Gisborne at the end of April.

Both surfers went into the final event trailing leaders Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha) and Gabriela Sansom (Albany). With everything on the line, Kennings took the victory in the Under 16 Boys Division while Smith placed second in the Under 16 Girls Division gaining enough points to surpass Sansom who was eliminated in the early rounds.

Kennings who was defending his title from 2011 finished the series with identical placings to Paerata - Reid but gained more points by winning the higher rated National Championships held at Piha in January. Kennings and Paerata - Reid finished with two wins, two runner up placings and a third each.

Smith finished with one win, three runner ups and a fourth placing, the only surfer in her division to feature in all five finals. Smith placed tenth overall in 2011 surfing up a division from the Under 14 Girls.

The top ten placings for the boys comprised a spread of talent with surfers coming from Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Taranaki and Christchurch.

Whangamata's McKenzie Bowden claimed third overall in the Under 16 Boys Division, up 13 places from 2011 and he was the only other surfer to claim a victory in 2012. Other big movers included fourth placed Jordan Griffin (Mnt) who jumped six places while fifth placed Caleb Braithwaite (Whakatane) jumped 19 places and sixth placed Joe Palmer (Kerikeri) jumped 25 places.

Meanwhile in the girls division, surfers from Auckland and Gisborne dominated the top five placings with the Sansom twins Gabriela and Bianca filling second and third, emerging talent Claudia Fraser (Piha) in fourth and Dayna Story (Gis) in fifth.

The outstandingly talented Kehu Butler took two titles. Despite his spritely young age of only 12, Butler won three events and placed runner up in two others in the Under 14 Boys Division. His record was slightly better in the Under 12 Boys where he won three events and placed runner up in the other. His closest rival in the Under 14 Boys was national champion Manu Scott - Arrieta (Sandy Bay) who could only capture the single win with Taranaki surfer Isaac Kettle the other to take a win. Kettle finished the season in third place.

Milly Crewe (Muriwai) took the honours in the Under 14 Girls Division over good friend Britt Kindred (Muriwai) after she won one of the three events. Third placed surfer Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis) claimed two victories during the series but was absent from the first event of the year.

Elin Tawharu (Mnt) took the spoils in the Under 12 Girls Division which was dominated by her friends from the Bay of Plenty who filled the top four.

The New Zealand Grommet Series comprises the National Championships, the three-event Billabong Grom Series and the Quiksilver King of the Groms. Not all divisions are contested at some events.

Set out below are the top ranked surfers from each of the six divisions contested. Full ratings can be viewed here.

Under 16 Boys Top 10
1, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
2, Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha)
3, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
4, Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
5, Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane)
6, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri)
7, Matt McGreggor (Whngrei)
8, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
9, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
10, Mahorahora McLeod (Waitara)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
3, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
4, Daniel Farr (Tara)
5, Taine Craig - Ranga (Waihi Bch)

Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
5, William Barnes (Mnt)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
2, Gabriela Sansom (Auck)
3, Bianca Sansom (Auck)
4, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
5, Dayna Story (Gis)

Under 14 Girls Top 5
1, Milly Crewe (Muri)
2, Britt Kindred (Muri)
3, Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis)
4, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
5, Jenny Rockwell (Auck)

Under 12 Girls Top 5
1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
2, Kea Smith (Tau)
3, Iritana Butler (Arataki)
4, Tiana - Breeze de Mooij (Mnt)
5, Gabrielle Paul (Auck)