Back to Back for Cederman at Backdoor Manu Bay Pro


Thirty-six-year old Luke Cederman has triumphed over several up and coming junior surfers half his age to claim back-to-back titles at the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro.

The final day of the event was contested at the backup venue of Ruapuke Beach today (Sunday 5th May) with the day starting out in fun 1.0m waves and variable winds before the tide dropped out in the afternoon.

Cederman surfed to an impressive 15 point heat total in the final.  Knowing that one, or if you were lucky two turns, were going to be all that was possible in the low tide conditions, Cederman took to the air on his forehand.  His best turn came in at 8.87 points for a big air reverse.

“Well, I was a little sceptical on backing anything up because I am usually a one hit wonder” said Cederman of his title defence chances.

“But yeah, nah, I managed to do it and beat all these little kids which was good”. 

“The waves were less than desirable so my strategy in the final was to do two turns or an air and I pulled a good air on that wave and claimed it” he added. 



Above: Raglan's Luke Cederman



Cederman being his candid self was quick to point out his success at Raglan over the past two years.  “I am actually four finals in a row at Raglan with two wins and the only person that has beaten me is Billy Stairmand” he added.

Cederman was up against two surfers less than half his age in triple finalist Saxon Reber (Aus) and Jack Lee (Whaka) along with Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch). 

It was Reber that challenged Cederman for the lead but came up short finishing in second place.  Levi Stewart finished third in the final after leading in the early stages while Jack Lee finished the final in fourth place.

Stewart’s result was enough to see him take the number one ranking on the New Zealand Surf Series with one event remaining.

Reber’s runner-up finish in the Open was sweetened by a win in the Under 20 Boys Division.  Like Cederman, Reber took to the air on his forehand for a near full rotation in the dying stages of the final.  The wave netted him a 7.17 point ride which was enough to push Luke Griffin (Mnt) back into second place after leading the entire final.  Conor McLennan (Chch) finished third in the final ahead of Jayden Willoughby (Rag) in fourth.




Above: Saxon Reber (Australia) runner up Open Men's



Raglan based Kai Woolf won her first event in the Open Women’s Division with the 17-year-old goofy foot surfer coming out on top in the tricky conditions.

“I am so happy, I came in from the heat and broke a big smile, I’m so excited.  I had a really bad start to the event on the first day so I am stoked to come back with the win” said Woolf who started the final with a 7.5 point ride and never looked back.

“We had been watching that side of the beach, Larry and I, and saw a couple of opportunities.  I was lucky to get into that first wave but it set me up for a really good rhythm right through the heat” added Woolf.   

Woolf is a student at the Raglan Surf Academy and has been surfing Ruapuke on a number of occasions but she noted how hard the conditions were for the final despite having surfed the beach often.

Finishing second in the final was Raiha Ensor (Mnt) who could not find the same wave quality as Woolf finishing with a 7.54 point heat total to beat out Aimee Brown (GB) in third and Saffi Vette (Gis) in fourth.




Above: Kai Woolf (Raglan) took out the Open Women's Title


Ensor went one better than the Open Women’s Division for a win in the Under 20 Girls Division.  In a final that reproduced three of the same competitors as the Women’s Division, it was Ensor that managed the tricky closeout conditions best this time around.  She finished with a 9.96 point heat total to push Brie Bennett (Rag) back to second with Saffi Vette (Gis) in third and Aimee Brown (Great Barrier) in fourth.

Australian Axel Rose – Curotta claimed the win in the Under 16 Boys Division with a clutch five point ride at the end of the final to jump from fourth to first.  Rose – Curotta, who has been coming to the event since its inception, started the final with a 7.33 point ride but then the conditions worked against him until the last minute.  The win nudged local standout Kora Cooper into second place with Jayden Willoughby (Rag) finishing in third and Saxon Reber (Aus) in fourth.

Brie Bennett claimed her first win of the year in home waters winning the Under 16 Girls Division.  In a low scoring final, Bennett claimed the win which was enough to see her climb one spot to third overall on the rankings.  Finishing in second place was Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) ahead of Anna Brock (Mnt) in third and Liv Haysom (Piha) in fourth.

The Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro is the sixth event of the New Zealand Surf Series which caters for New Zealand’s top male and female surfers.  The event also doubles as the second-last event of the New Zealand Grom Series for the surfers in the Under 16 divisions.

Please see below for final results from the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro completed at Ruapuke Beach, Raglan today (Sunday 5th May).

Open Men’s Division Round 2
Heat 1
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 1, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 2, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 3, Jack Rosewarne (Ham), n/s
Heat 2
Jack Lee (Whaka), 1, Darren Celliers (Rag), 2, Nick Dunne (Tara), 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 4
Heat 3
Saxon Reber (AUS), 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 2, Conor McLennan (Chch), 3, Alex Dive (Mnt), n/s
Heat 4 
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 1, Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd), 2, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 3, Luis Southerwood, 4
Heat 5 
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 3, Zac Curle (Waihi Beach), 4
Heat 6 
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 2, Mike Banks (Rag), 3, Alex O'Dwyer (Whaka), 4
Heat 7 
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 3, Tom Norton (Whangarei), 4
Heat 8 
Larry Fisher (Rag), 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 2, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 3, Kora Cooper (Rag), 4

Open Men’s Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd), 17.66, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 12.97, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 12.23, 3, Shane Kraus (Piha), 11.3, 4
Heat 2
Saxon Reber (AUS), 11.9, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 11.27, 2, Darren Celliers (Rag), 10.2, 3, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 6.2, 4
Heat 3 
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 13.9, 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 13.67, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 11.93, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.4, 4
Heat 4
Larry Fisher (Rag), 12.57, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 11.33, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.2, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 9.27, 4

Open Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Saxon Reber (AUS), 14.00, 1, Jack Lee (Whaka), 12.57, 2, Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd), 11.40, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 9.17, 4
Heat 2 
Luke Cederman (Rag), 12.7, 1, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 12.17, 2, Larry Fisher (Rag), 9.37, 3, Luke Hughes (Rag), 9.17, 4

Open Men’s Division Final
Luke Cederman (Rag), 15.0, 1, Saxon Reber (AUS), 12.74, 2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 11.57, 3, Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.50, 4


Open Women’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 13.34, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 11.3, 2, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 4.3, 3
Heat 2 
Kai Woolf (Rag), 12.83, 1, Aimee Brown (GB), 10.2, 2, Brie Bennett (Rag), 9.57, 3

Open Women’s Division Final
Kai Woolf (Rag), 11.0, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 7.54, 2, Aimee Brown (GB), 5.9, 3, Saffi Vette (Gis), 5.2, 4


Under 20 Boys Division Final
Saxon Reber (AUS), 13.44, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 12.13, 2, Conor McLennan (Chch), 11.06, 3, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 7.77, 4


Under 16 Boys Division Final
Axel Rose - Currota (AUS), 12.33, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 9.2, 2, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 8.67,3, Saxon Reber (AUS), 8.6, 4


Under 20 Girls Division Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 9.96, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 8.2, 2, Saffi Vette (Gis), 7.43, 3, Aimee Brown (GB), 7.34, 4


Under 16 Girls Division Final
Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.3, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 8.77, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 7.93, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 3, 4