Stairmand Tames Raw Swell Best

National Champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) took no time to show everyone how to tame unruly West Coast swells on Day 1 of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Galbraiths held at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 5th May).

Stairmand surfed with precision in his own back yard progressing through to the second round with ease posting a 16.0 point heat total.

The swell was solid although not the anticipated 2.0m swell that was forecasted.  However it was the surface conditions and strong currents that upset the swell making life challenging for the best surfers in New Zealand to find the right waves.

Stairmand comes into the event after having won his third straight National Title but the Rip Curl Pro presented by Galbraiths has eluded him for the past five years.  His form today suggests he will be the surfer to beat when the event concludes on Saturday afternoon.

Above: Billy Stairmand warm-up session, Elliot Paerata-Reid looking on - Photo: COL/

As always, the day was set up for the natural footers with the likes of Taylor Hutchison (Rag), Bobby Hansen (Gis), Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), Matt Hewitt (Mnt) and Alex Dive (Mnt) all joining Stairmand in winning their first round heats.

However, not everything went the natural footers way with ex-local Luke Cederman surfing to a massive 15.53 point heat total thanks to his patented big forehand hacks.  The only other goofy foot surfers to join Cederman in winning their heats was Raglan’s Chris Malone, a finalist in 2016 as well as young Mount Maunganui surfer Dylan Preston.  Preston caused the upset of the round edging defending champion Maz Quinn (Gis) into second place in their heat.  Quinn still advanced to the second round but will need to find some old form if he is to have another shot at defending his title for the third time tomorrow.

Full event photo coverage - Check out COL / S2 here

Preston’s win causes Quinn to meet up with Cederman in the second round as well as number one seed Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and ex-national representative Nick White (Mnt).  It will be the highlight of the early morning heats as the event nears the quarterfinal stage.

The afternoon conditions improved by the time the Open Women’s Division hit the water and Auckland’s Gabriella Sansom (Albany) that attacked her first heat to post a 12.87 point heat total and advance through to the semifinals. 

Above: Jessica Santorik 4xchamp - Photo: COL/

Unlike the Men’s Division, it was the goofy foot surfers that dominated in the Women’s Division with Sansom being joined by defending champion Ella Williams (WGM) and 2005 event champion Kelly Clarkson (Rag) who both won their heats.

Clarkson will face Sansom in the semifinal along with Indica Ratima (Rag) and Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mnt).  Meanwhile Wiliams will go up against four time event champion Jessica Santorik (Rag), Saffi Vette (Gis) and Claudia Fraser (Piha). 

The final day of the event will be streamed live by Garage TV on their Facebook page from 8:00am – 12:00pm at which point the broadcast will switch to Sky Sport on channel 53 for the last four hours of the event.

Action will take place between 8am – 4pm tomorrow (Saturday 6th May).  The swell is expected to ease overnight and throughout the day. 

The Rip Curl Pro presented by Galbraiths also includes the all-time Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club thanks to Galbraiths.  This year’s entertainment includes People of Paris and Mangrooves.

The event is the fourth of five events on the New Zealand Surf Series with the final event being the Backdoor BayBash being held in the Hawkes Bay during November.

Please see below for results from Day 1 of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Galbraiths held at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 5th May).

Open Men’s Division Round of 64
Heat 1
Bachelor Tipene (Tara), 10.07, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 9.23, 2, Jeremy Grainger (Tara), 9.13, 3, Marc Moore (Auck), 8.63, 4
Heat 2
Dylan Preston (WGM), 11.17, 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 8.33, 2, Daniel Tingey (Auck), 6.97, 3, Zac Curle (Waihi Bch), 5.93, 4
Heat 3
Nick White (Mnt), 12.27, 1, Nat Hughes (Rag), 10.97, 2, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 8.5, 3, Jacob Warnes (Mnt), 7.37, 4
Heat 4 
Luke Cederman (Auck), 15.53, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 11.47, 2, Manu Scott - Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 9.37, 3, Lockie O'Connor (Mnt), 4.6, 4
Heat 5 
Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 13.9, 1, Coy Perkovich (Aus), 12.16, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 9.17, 3, Josh Curtis (Auck), 5.17, 4
Heat 6 
Joe Gethen (Ham), 10.83, 1, Ben Kennings (WGM), 10.37, 2, Nick Hardie (Rag), 6.6, 3, Simon Deken (Tara), n/s
Heat 7 
Chris Malone (Rag), 12.6, 1, Ben Poulter (Waihi Bch), 12.4, 2, Malachi Farrant (Rag), 7.2, 3, Kora Cooper (Rag), 7.17, 4
Heat 8 
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 14.27, 1, Conor McLennan (Chch), 11.27, 2, Ben Smith (Coro), 7.13, 3, Ben Storey (T Awa), 2.33, 4
Heat 9 
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 16, 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 12.4, 2, Usman Trioko (IND), 11.2, 3, Dylan Herk (Nthlnd), 3.38, 4
Heat 10
Callum Chuter (Mnt), 11.23, 1, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 9.13, 2, Rian Boyd (Auck), 8.2, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 5.57, 4
Heat 11
Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 12.43, 1, Deane Hishon (Rag), 9.97, 2, Travis Morton (Waihi Bch), 9.43, 3, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 9.17, 4
Heat 12
Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha), 13.77, 1, Larry Fisher (Rag), 12.43, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 10.9, 3, Miles Ratima (Rag), 9.03, 4
Heat 13 
Alex Dive (Mnt), 14.07, 1, Tane Wallis (Piha), 11.3, 2, Jayson Robinson (Rag), 11, 3, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 8.67, 4
Heat 14 
Sid West (GB), 11.2, 1, William Van Der Beek (Mnt), 8.7, 2, Phil Willoughby (Rag), 6.8, 3, Andrew Archibald (Rag), 3.47, 4
Heat 15 
Harry Macintosh (Waiheke), 13.43, 1, Jack Rosewarne (T Awa), 6.53, 4, Fraser Falconer (Auck), 11.83, 2, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 10.3, 3
Heat 16 
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 15.13, 1, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 12.43, 2, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 9.8, 3, Chris Wilkes (Tara), 4.93, 4

Open Women’s Round of 20
Heat 1
Indica Ratima (Rag), 2, 1, Celeste Calway (Waihi Beach), 1, 2, Poppie Holland (Rag), N/S
Heat 2 
Kelly Clarkeson (Rag), 11.1, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 9.53, 2, Grace Spiers (Whmata), 8.73, 3, Ariel Hughes (Rag), 8.33, 4
Heat 1 
Saffi Vette (Gis), 11.8, 1, Indica Ratima (Rag), 10.2, 2, Brie Bennett (Rag), 7.8, 3, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 5.7, 4
Heat 2
Ella Williams (Whmata), 11.1, 1, Tiana-Breeze de Mooij (Mnt), 8.73, 2, Aimee Brown (GB), 8.3, 3, Celeste Calway (Waihi Beach), 3.63, 4
Heat 3
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 12.9, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 11.2, 2, Ariana Shewry (Oakura), 7.63, 3, Georgia Wederell (Chch), 4
Heat 4
Kelly Clarkeson (Rag), 10.6, 1, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 8.73, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 6.83, 3, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 4.77, 4