Ruapuke Relocation Delivers Waves For Kiwi Juniors



Junior surfers from around the country commenced the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro in perfect conditions at the back-up venue of Ruapuke Beach south of Raglan today (Friday 27 April).

Dawn presented competitors with flat conditions at Manu Bay, but Ruapuke remained clean throughout the day with a solid 1.0m swell that broke during all tides helped by the prevailing offshore winds.

The premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions were permitted the day off as event organisers aim for superior conditions on Raglan’s points during the weekend.

However, the excellent conditions on offer allowed for some outstanding performances, and none more so than from Whakatane surfer Jack Lee.  Lee won all four of his heats today to advance through to the semifinals of both the Under 18 Boys Division and his preferred Under 16 Boys Division. 

“I go to school here at Raglan in the surf academy and we surf out here quite a lot so I am comfortable with these waves” commented Lee about his seemingly impeccable rhythm with the ocean today. 

“There was an outer bank and it was linking through onto the inside when the sets came and I decided to wait out the back for the biggest waves and it paid off” he added.

“There might be a wave on the points tomorrow but the wind will be bad, I think I would rather surf here at Ruapuke tomorrow” he said while still catching his breath after his final heat of the day.

Lee was joined by several other big performers including local surfer Kora Cooper who surfed through to the semifinals of the Under 16 Boys Division with a 12.77 point heat total in the quarterfinals – the highest of the round.  The win allowed Cooper to avoid the ‘death’ semifinal which sees Lee go up against Tom Robinson (Whangarei), Jayden Willoughby (Rag) and Australian Saxon Reber.

Reber was one of two Australians that challenged the Kiwi surfers heat after heat today in both divisions, the other being Axel Rose - Curotta.  The two surfers are frequents at the Backdoor events and today Reber was the standout on his backhand on the right-handers with his fast approach which saw him advance to the semifinals of both junior divisions.

In the Under 18 Boys Semifinal, Reber will face his mate Rose – Curotta as well as the inform Caleb Cutmore (Ham) and Whangarei’s Max Brunker who impressed with his power surfing and flare.

Raglan surfer Brie Bennett advanced to the final of both the Under 18 Girls Division and Under 16 Girls Division today.  While the young surfer is more accustom to the point breaks, she made good use of her time on the beach break.  She will be joined by double finalist Georgia Wederell in the Under 18 Girls Division and another Raglan Surf Academy student in Aimee Brown (Grt Barrier).

The surf is expected to remain a similar size for the second day of the event and build late in the afternoon.  The low pressure system located to the north of the country is likely to bring strong offshore winds and rain on Saturday.

The updated draw is live on the Surfing New Zealand website and can be viewed here.

Full rankings for the New Zealand Surf Series and the New Zealand Grom Series can be viewed here.

Please see below for results from day one of the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro held at Ruapuke Beach south of Raglan today (Friday 27th April). 

Under 18 Boys Round 1
Heat 1
Jackson Peak (Auck), 9.90, 1, Cameron Hankins (Waihi Bch), 6.00, 2, Cody Lucas (Piha), 5.20, 3
Heat 2
Lucca Lind (Tara), 4.50, 1, Jack Luke (Tara), 3.56, 2, Clarky Amor (Tara), 2.54, 3, Alex Laurenson (Wgtn), 2.00, 4
Heat 3
Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.96, 1, Axel Rose - Curotta (AUS), 9.90, 2, Ayrton Yarrell (Waihi Bch), 5.10, 3, Jay Evans (Tara), 4.30, 4
Heat 4 
Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 11.40, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.70, 2, Shay Wells (Tara), 5.90, 3, Oscar Brady (Mnt), 3.70, 4

Under 18 Boys Round 2
Heat 1
Tom Norton (Waipu), 9.36, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 6.24, 2, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 6.10, 3, Jackson Peak (Auck), 5.03, 4
Heat 2
Shane Kraus (Piha), 7.26, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 5.70, 2, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 5.33, 3, Cameron Hankins (Waihi Bch), 5.13, 4
Heat 3
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.23, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 8.9, 2, Lucca Lind (Tara), 5.8, 3, Jack Rosewarne (Ham), 1.97, 4
Heat 4 
Jack Lee (Whaka), 14.17, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 9.20, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 9.17, 3, Jack Luke (Tara), 5.43, 4
Heat 5 
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 13.70, 1, Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.66, 2, Kora Cooper (Rag), 6.26, 3, Alex O'Dwyer (Whaka), 5.57, 4
Heat 6 
Max Brunker (Whngrei), 7.23, 1, Axel Rose - Curotta (AUS), 6.93, 2, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 6.73, 3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 6.17, 4
Heat 7 
Jared Gebert (Ohope), 11.90, 1, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 9.37, 2, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 7.70, 3, Tanner Hayes (Kati), 5.36, 4
Heat 8 
Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 12.07, 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 8.53, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 6.70, 3, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 6.17, 4

Under 18 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Tom Norton (Waipu), 11.77, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 11.47, 2, Shane Kraus (Piha), 10.93, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 9.23, 4
Heat 2
Jack Lee (Whaka), 8.1, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 7.76, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 7.37, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 4.7, 4
Heat 3
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 11.5, 1, Max Brunker (Whngrei), 11.3, 2, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 8.7, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 7.63, 4
Heat 4
Axel Rose - Curotta (AUS), 13.5, 1, Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.27, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 9.9, 3, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 9.07, 4


Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Tegen Bishop (Chch), 7.57, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 7.33, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 4.93, 3, Tia Ngarimu (Whiti), 1.47, 4
Heat 2
Brie Bennett (Rag), 9.17, 1, Aimee Brown (Auck), 8, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 2.9, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), inj


Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Brie Bennett (Rag), 8.1, 1, Hannah King (Gis), 7.97, 2, Amelie Brady (Mnt), 2.96, 3
Heat 2 
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 2


Under 16 Boys Round 1
Heat 1
Finn Vette (Gis), 10, 1, Harper Mcbride (Mnt), 7.36, 2, Jacob Saunders (TGA), 4.83, 3, Billy Gilbert (Whngrei), 4.44, 4
Heat 2
Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.3, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 8.13, 2, Ollie Holland (Rag), 5.8, 3, Shay Wells (Tara), 4.97, 4
Heat 3
Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 11.53, 1, Axel Rose - Currota (Aus), 10.76, 2, Luis Southerwood (Whaka), 7.32, 3, Jack Luke (Tara), 5.4, 4
Heat 4 
Saxon Reber (AUS), 9.5, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 9.14, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 6.17, 3
Heat 5
Ben Storey (Rag), 6.37, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 5.67, 2, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay), 3.77, 3
Heat 6 
Jack Hinton (Mnt), 6.5, 1, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 4.26, 2, Charles Harris (Mnt), 0, 3, Tyce Schumacher (Mnt), 0, 4
Heat 7 
Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 8.43, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 7.27, 2, Connor Van Der Pol (Mnt), 3, 3
Heat 8
Tom Butland (Tara), 18.2, 1, Jackson Peak (Auck), 6.97, 2, Ethan Wray (Tara), 5.1, 3, Lennox McBride (Mnt), 3.37, 4

Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Jack Lee (Whaka), 10.1, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 8.5, 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 2.57, 3, Axel Rose - Currota (Aus), 2.4, 4
Heat 2
Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.5, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 7.47, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 5.99, 3, Harper Mcbride (Mnt), 1.3, 4
Heat 3 
Bill Byers (Piha), 9.8, 1, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 7.46, 2, Jackson Peak (Auck), 7.24, 3, Ben Storey (Rag), 4.44, 4
Heat 4
Kora Cooper (Rag), 12.8, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 9.4, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 7.97, 3, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 3.73, 4


The recently upgraded event has attracted 140 entries from surfers throughout the country.  For the past four years, the event has focussed on the youth of New Zealand but with the support of Oceanbridge, the event now includes Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions as well as Under 18 and Under 16 Divisions.

The Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro is the fourth event of the New Zealand Surf Series which caters for New Zealand’s top male and female surfers.