Day of title defences at Manu Bay

It was a day for the defending title holders at the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona Last Saturday, May 5, as local hero Billy Stairmand and Whangamata’s Ella Williams defended their titles in a fiercely competitive day of surfing.

Williams made it four event wins in a row while Stairmand claimed his fifth title at the event over a span of twelve years.

Many forecasts were for the points of Raglan to be flat for the final day of the event but the day dawned with clean lines marching into the bay. Swells of up to a metre rolled through during the morning with glassy conditions, but the waves slowly decreased in size and intensity until heat times had to be lengthened to allow competitors enough opportunity in their heats and finals.

Stairmand finished with a 13.0 point heat total after taking an early lead in the 30 minute final, defeating Luke Cederman (Rag) who finished runner up, Nick White (Mnt) who finished in third and Daniel Farr (Tara) in fourth.

“I am super stoked. I was really looking forward to this contest after last weekend and I am happy to finish the season with a win here this weekend, get the cash and get on my way to Japan,” said Stairmand, who is eyeing up international events in the next month.

“I am going to go home after this and book for Japan and sort accommodation,” he said.

Stairmand has also been fundraising and has a Givealittle page to help him get to more international events after Japan.

The result was a turnaround from last weekend when Cederman got one over Stairmand but he was glad to get one back this weekend.

“Luke was trying to get in my grill all last weekend and we were chipping away at each other.  This weekend he went away and I wanted to do my own thing, but out there in the final, he was keen to battle again, so it is good to get one back on him”.

Surfing New Zealand