Raglan surfers have been in dominant form – picking up seven wins in all – at two national grom events over the past two weekends.
Taylor Hutchison and Indica Ratima cleaned up their respective under 20 divisions and Brie Bennett the under 14 girls’ division at the final event of the Billabong Grom Series, held in strong onshore winds at Mount Maunganui last weekend.
New Zealand representative Hutchison’s outpointing of Northland surfer Manu Scott-Arrieta in his final and Bennett’s edging out of Taranaki’s Ariana Shewry in hers earned the Raglan pair overall series titles.
Ratima’s win, meanwhile, was her first at national level. The goofy foot, who had shown glimpses of form over the past few years, put it all together to hold the lead over her biggest rival – Piha’s Claudia Fraser – throughout the 20-minute final.
The previous weekend, Raglan surfers came away with no fewer than four wins at the Rip Curl GromSearch held at New Plymouth’s Fitzroy Beach.
Caleb Cutmore took out the under 17 boys’ final in the dying seconds. His 7.23 point ride saw him leapfrog Ohope’s Jared Gebet – who’d led the final from the outset – and in the process earn a mystery trip to the international GromSearch final.
Two of Raglan’s other wins came in the under 14 divisions. Kora Cooper cruised to a comprehensive victory in the boys’ section after posting a perfect 10-point ride on the first day, while a last-minute interference by Shewry gifted Bennet, who was only just behind her, a win in the girls’ section.
The under 12 boys’ division saw Raglan’s Navryn Malone dominate the final to take his first national win over the other form surfer from day one, Taranaki’s Ryder Pennington.