Day of Title Defences at Manu Bay
Above: Raglan's Billy Stairmand Day One -- photo: Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine
It was a day for the defending title holders at the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona today (Saturday 5th May) 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 at the event 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) finishing in runner up, Nick White (Mnt) 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”.
Ella Williams had to battle a final that included half an international field. As well as young Mount Maunganui surfer Elin Tawharu, Williams saw off Anne Dos Santos (BRA) and Keala Tomada – Bannert (USA) with a 13.8 point total in the final.
“I am really happy, it is a good feeling to be back in comp mode and back in New Zealand and get the win, especially here at Raglan in my sponsor’s event and with the international surfers in the draw” said Williams.
Above: Ella Williams -- photo: Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine
Williams continued to post the biggest scores of the event despite the deteriorating conditions and the onshore winds that approached just before the finals.
“You could see the wind coming in prior to our heat but it actually kinda helped with the lips crumbling and you could get hits on the sections in front of you, I just wanted to keep busy, it was getting super slow out there so that was my plan” she said of her strategy which did not differ from normal despite being up against international opponents.
“I know my surfing and I know if I stick to my surfing and focus on myself it works out and this time it paid off for me” she added.
Williams also has an eye on further international events with a trip to Mexico and then South Africa in a little over a month but before that, it is time at home training.
It was the internationals that got the better of Tawharu in the final with Dos Santos finishing in second and Tomada – Bannert finishing in third.
Please see below for final results from the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona completed at Manu Bay today (Saturday 5th May).
Open Men’s Round of 32
Xavier Huxtable (AUST), 13.9, 1, Zen Wallis (Piha), 13.5, 2, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 11.25, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 10.9, 4
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 13.5, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.8, 2, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 8.85, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 6.1, 4
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 16.5, 1, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 9.4, 2, Larry Fisher (Rag), 5.4, 3, Mike Banks (Rag), 2.4, 4
Lucas Vicente (BRA), 11.75, 1, Nick White (Mnt), 11.5, 2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 8.5, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 6.95, 4
Johnny Hicks (Gis), 12, 1, Finn Hill (AUST), 9.7, 2, Guilherme Ribeiro (PT), 8.25, 3, Kora Cooper (Rag), 3.85, 4
Luke Hughes (Rag), 14.25, 1, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 11.5, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 7.5, 3, Marc Moore (Auck), 3.75, 4
Chris Malone (Gis), 13.75, 1, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 11.4, 2, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 10.5, 3, Alex Dive (Mnt), 9.6, 4
Luke Cederman (Rag), 10.5, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 9.2, 2, Kona Eru (IND), 7.9, 3, Cole Houshmand (USA), 6.9, 4
Open Men’s Quarterfinals
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 17.4, 1, Xavier Huxtable (AUST), 13.8, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 13.65, 3, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 11.85, 4
Billy Stairmand (Rag) , 16.75, 1, Nick White (Mnt), 12.7, 2, Lucas Vicente (BRA), 7.75, 3, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 7.75, 4
Johnny Hicks (Gis), 14.45, 1, Finn Hill (AUST), 12.1, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 11.7, 3, Luke Hughes (Rag), 9.15, 4
Daniel Farr (Tara), 14.75, 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 13, 2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 11.65, 3, Chris Malone (Gis), 4.15, 4
Open Men’s Semifinals
Billy Stairmand (Rag) , 14.75, 1, Nick White (Mnt), 13, 2, Xavier Huxtable (AUST), 9.3, 3, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 6.85, 4
Luke Cederman (Rag), 14.25, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.15, 2, Finn Hill (AUST), 11.2, 3, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 9.4, 4
Open Men’s Final
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 13, 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 11.95, 2, Nick White (Mnt), 7.1, 3, Daniel Farr (Tara), 7, 4
Open Women’s Semifinals
Anne Do Santos (BRA), 7.25, 1, Keala Tomada-Bannert (USA), 6.95, 2, Kirra Belle-Olson (AUS), 3.4, 3
Ella Williams (Whmata), 16.9, 1, Elin Tawahru (Mnt), 12.5, 2, Aimee Brown (GB), 9.75, 3
Open Women’s Final
Ella Williams (Whmata), 13.8, 1, Anne Do Santos (BRA), 12, 2, Keala Tomada-Bannert (USA), 11, 3, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10, 4