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Finn Vette wins second Billabong Grom Series event

Gisborne surfer and under-16 boys' national champion Finn Vette won his division at the second event of the Billabong Grom Series, held at Whangamata over the weekend.

Vette won his quarterfinal, semifinal and final comfortably.

In the final, he defeated Raglan surfers Jayden Willoughby, Navryn Malone and Kora Cooper, who finished second, third and fourth respectively.

Another Gisborne surfer, Asia Braithwaite, won her quarterfinal and semifinal in the u16 girls' division but finished fourth in the final.

Vette said he was “stoked” with his win.

He started the final strongly and then pushed the result beyond doubt in the latter part of the heat, scoring a total of 8.7 points.

“The waves were pretty average, but it was like that for everyone,” Vette said.

“The heat went to plan I guess — take the lefts off the Rags boys,” he said in regard to eliminating the potent backhand of his three opponents.

“I got that one wave off the start and then it went flat for 15 minutes and I got one at the end.

“I hope the conditions turn around for the final event of the series and it is big and onshore to mix things up.”

Luis Southerwood (Whakatane) and Tao Mouldey (Mt Maunganui) repeated their success in the first event of the series the previous weekend by winning the boys' u18 and u14 divisions respectively yesterday.

Tiny surf put added pressure on New Zealand's top young surfers yesterday as they hunted down waves big enough to prove their talent.

Girls' divisional winners yesterday were Brie Bennett (Raglan) in the u18s, Ava Henderson (Christchurch) in the u16s and Chloe Groube (Pauanui) in the u14s.

The third and final event in the series is scheduled to be held at Piha Beach, Auckland, on February 22 and 23.

Results of heats that included surfers with Gisborne links, and finals:

Under-14 girls, final: Chloe Groube (Pauanui) 8.43, 1; Maya Mateja (Raglan) 6.26, 2; Leia Millar (Piha) 5.47, 3; Alani Morse (Orewa) 4.97, 4.

U16 girls quarterfinals, Heat 2: Asia Braithwaite (Gisborne) 4.93, 1; Liv Haysom (Piha) 4.27, 2; Amelie Brady (Mt Maunganui) 4, 3.

Semifinals, Heat 1: Asia Braithwaite (Gis) 4.17, 1; Liv Haysom (Piha) 2.83, 2; Anna Brock (Mnt) 2.3, 3.

Final: Ava Henderson (Christchurch) 7.63, 1; Natasha Gouldsbury (Taranaki) 6.03, 2; Liv Haysom (Piha) 4.7, 3; Asia Braithwaite (Gis) 3.8, 4.

U18 girls, final: Brie Bennett (Rag) 8.67, 1; Georgia Wederell (Mnt) 6.66, 2; Estella Hungerford (Chch) 5.94, 3; Ariana Shewry (Tara) 3.66, 4.

U14 boys, final: Tao Mouldey (Mnt) 14.5, 1; Dale Cromhout (Hawke's Bay) 7.34, 2; Cooper Ashill (Whangarei) 5.3, 3; Mathias Thompson (Piha) 4.96, 4.

U16 boys, quarterfinals, Heat 1: Navryn Malone (Rag) 9.83, 1; Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay) 6.6, 2; Ari D'Anvers (Whngrei) 5.13, 3; Noah Camburn (Whaka) 2.34, 4.

Heat 3: Finn Vette (Gis) 9.6, 1; Izak Hayes (Whngrei) 7.63, 2; Reef Newdick (Mnt) 3.83, 3; Bill Byers (Piha) 3.03, 4.

Semifinals, Heat 1: Kora Cooper (Rag) 11.77, 1; Navryn Malone (Rag) 5.03, 2; Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay) 4.94, 3; Jai Wallis (Piha) 2.86, 4.

Heat 2: Finn Vette (Gis) 12.17, 1; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 8.37, 2; Izak Hayes (Whngrei) 7.47, 3; Jack McKenzie (Chch) 5.44, 4.

Final: Finn Vette (Gis) 8.7, 1; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 6.76, 2; Navryn Malone (Rag) 5.37, 3; Kora Cooper (Rag) 3.8, 4.

U18 boys, final: Luis Southerwood (Whakatane) 8.07, 1; Jack Hinton (Mnt) 8.07, 2; Jack Lee (Whaka), 7.9, 3; Taylor O'Leary (Muriwai) 3.8, 4.