Jesus surf classic 2014

From even 10 days out the weather maps were starting to look real good for another new low pressure system to form off the east coast. As the week before the event played out it even intensified more so that by Friday afternoon we were looking at various alternative sites as our preferred location of Tay street was looking too big to handle the pumping lines of easterly swell. Main beach was always an option but the solid 2 metre swell was washing through the main and leaving very few rideable waves on the Friday night so the decision was made to meet at Omanu first thing Saturday morning and then possible relocate to Papamoa pony club. Even as we met before the sun had come up it was obvious that the swell was cranking and the relocation to Papamoa a 10 minute drive south was on. We set up in front of perfect 1.5-2 metre peaks which remained offshore all day and as good a conditions as I’ve ever seen for a beach break event in NZ. But with the pumping swell came plenty of no shows as quite a few competitors who had entered took off free surfing instead and so we motored through the first rounds of each division. There were over 140 contestants all up and by the end of the first day we had got most of the 6 divisions down to semi final stage which would then be held on Sunday. We planned to shift back to Omanu beach Sunday as the swell was expected to drop overnight and it would be more manageable for particularly the younger contestants in the under 17 divisions.

So at first light Sunday we were down at Omanu checking it out and yes it had dropped but it was no less perfect than the day before. Really nice 1- 1.5 metre straight swell lines were groomed by the light offshore wind and with the incoming tide it was only expected to improve even more. So we kicked off the proceedings with the under 17’s semi finals with solid performances from both the guys and girls in these divisions. We then had the Open men quarter finals with Alex Dive and Matt Hewitt once again standing out with spectacular surfing. Alex had a perfect heat score of 20 in his quarter final with a score of 9.5 and a 10.5 on his second scoring ride, the judges deeming it to be at least a point better than the previous score so went outside of the normal range. The semi-final’s of the U 21’s then followed with solid wins for big Ben Poulter and Taylor Hutchison in the men and twins Gaby and Bianca Sansom in the women. The open women’s semi-finals saw up and coming Mount surfer Raiha Ensor dominate a low scoring affair while seasoned campaigner Jessica Santorik from Raglan nailed the other semi.

The open semi-finals saw surprise packages Malachi Farrant and Jacco Foote depart leaving 3 locals and 1 Raglan surfer in the final. Both Alex Dive and Matt Lewis Hewitt again dominated their semis and they were joined by Ben Poulter and old boy Cale Tolley in the open final.

The first final was the Under 17 women where Raiha Ensor led from start to finish followed by Tiana-Breeze De Mooij, Claudia Fraser and Indi Ratima in that order. The Under 17 men had Zac Curle starting with a 6.0 point ride on the rights out the back while Taylor Hutchison and Callum Chuter had 5.5 and 5.0 rides out the front on the lefts. Callum then backed up with another 5.0 and Zac got a 4.0 so both surfers were left on 10.0 points with 10 minutes remaining. Taylor was chasing a 4.51 and Lee Ririnui chasing a 5.5 for the win but the ocean didn’t offer any more decent sets so the title went to Zac Curle on countback and he took home the new surfboard as well as a substantial prize pack.

Under 21 women was a very low scoring final as all the girls chose to surf the shore-break and no rides of more than 1 manoevre were made. Raiha again dominated though and she was closely followed by Abi Daunton from Gisborne while the more fancied Sansom twins from Auckland finished in 3rd and 4th.

The under 21 men saw Ben Poulter start with an 8.0 in the first couple of minutes while Andrew Frasier from Tauranga got a 7.5 for a long left and Taylor Hutchison got a 6.5 for a solid right all in the same set of waves. Andrew then took the lead at the mid way point with another good score of 7.0 which left Ben needing better than a 6.5 to regain the lead. Callum Chuter was left chasing the pack as he only had some mid range scores and Ben continued to sit right out the back and with a few minutes to go he nailed a long left hander with a series of backhand hooks to score 8.8 and nail the win.

Open women’s saw 2 locals in Maia Reid Bennett and Raiha Ensor who was in her 3rd final of the day joining Auckland surfer Gaby Sansom and Raglan surfer Jessica Santorik. Raiha probably tired from her 6th heat of the day and Maia didn’t get the waves but it was Jessica that took it out narrowly from Gaby by 1.5 points.

The open men’s was the pinnacle of the event and by now the tide had started to drop and very high quality waves were coming through. Matt Lewis Hewitt started with a full rotation air reverse on his first turn followed by a series of high speed reo’s to score a 9.5. Alex Dive then blasted a big backhand re entry followed by another couple of big tail drift reos on the inside to post an 8.5. He then backed up another quick wave with an 8.25 leaving Matt roaming out the back looking for better than a 7.25 to take the title. With 10 minutes to go Matt nailed a solid wave with around 6 major turns including several high speed reos and cutbacks to score 7.8. He also scored another 7.5 with a viscious forehand hack off the oncoming foam while both Ben and Cale were left chasing a combo situation to win. At the end of the 22 minutes it was Matt that took away the $1000 cash and the substantial prize pack but all the finalists had great prize packs to take home.

A huge thank you to our sponsors RPM, Backdoor, CSA surfboards, Gorilla Grip, FCS, NZ Surfing Magazine, Fuel Health and Sports and Burger Fuel.

Also thanks to the many volunteers that made this event possible and thanks to our God who provided the waves.


Open men

Quarter finals: Heat 1: 1 Malachi Farrant, 2 Ben Poulter, 3 Zen Wallis, 4 Peter Moodie;  Heat 2: 1 Alex Dive, 2 Cale Tolley, 3 Josh Curtis, 4 Robert Courian;  Heat 3: 1 Matt Lewis Hewitt, 2 Jacco Foote, 3 Reuben Woods, 4 Stephen Webb

Semi Finals: Heat 1: 1 Alex Dive, 2 Ben Poulter, 3 Jacco Foote;  Heat 2: 1 Matt Lewis Hewitt, 2 Cale Tolley, 3 Malachi Farrant

Final: 1 Matt Lewis Hewitt 17.3, 2 Alex Dive 16.75, 3 Ben Poulter 12.5, 4 Cale Tolley 9.5

Open Women

Semi Finals: Heat 1: 1 Jessica Santorik, 2 Maia Reid Bennett, 3 Milly Crewe, 4 Ruby Meade;  Heat 2: 1 Raiha Ensor, 2 Gaby Sansom, 3 Bianca Sansom, 4 Indi Ratima   Final: 1 Jessica Santorik, 2 Gaby Sansom, 3 Raiha Ensor, 4 Maia Reid Bennett

Under 21 Men

Semi Finals: Heat 1: 1 Ben Poulter, 2 Andrew Frasier, 3 Josh Farr, 4 Sam Aitken; Heat 2: 1 Taylor Hutchison, 2 Callum Chuter, 3 Caleb Braithwaite, 4 Caleb Cutmore    Final: 1 Ben Poulter 16.8, 2 Andrew Frasier 14.5, 3 Taylor Hutchison 12.25, 4 Callum Chuter 11.5

Under 21 Womens

Semi Finals: Heat 1: 1 Gaby Sansom, 2 Raiha Ensor, 3 Claudia Fraser, 4 Milly Crewe;  Heat 2: 1 Bianca Sansom, Abi Daunton, Ruby Meade, 4 Maia Reid Bennett    Final: 1 Raiha Ensor, 2 Abi Daunton, 3 Gaby Sansom, 4 Bianca Sansom

Under 17 Men

Semi Finals:  Heat 1: 1 Taylor Hutchison, 2 Lee Ririnui, 3 Josh Farr, Kane Sefton;  Heat 2: 1 Zac Curle, 2 Callum Chuter, 3 Andrew Frasier, 4 Tom Dixon Smith    Final: 1 Zac Curle 10.0, 2 Callum Chuter 10.0, 3 Taylor Hutchison 9.3, Lee Ririnui 8.4

Under 17 Women

Semi Finals:  Heat 1: 1 Claudia Fraser, 2 Indi Ratima, 3 Maia Reid Bennett, 4 Nicole Cayser; Heat 2: 1 Raiha Ensor, Tiana-Breeze De Mooij, 3 Milly Crewe, 4 Sammy Croker    Final:  1 Raiha Ensor, 2 Tiana-Breeze De Mooij, 3 Claudia Fraser, 4 Indi Ratima

Pictures from the Event. If you don’t see your picture trust me you will.  Over 1000 to choose from!!………HEAPS MORE TO COME!!!!!

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