High Flying Kiwi Surfers Contesting Season-ending Raglan Event

SURFING NEW ZEALAND --- High Flying Kiwi Surfers Contesting Season-ending Raglan Event

Top flight domestic surfing returns to Raglan this weekend with the King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver taking place from Friday and climaxing on Sunday (6-8 November).

The event has attracted our top talent including 2019 WSL World Tour surfers Paige Hareb (Tara) and Ricardo Christie (Gis) along with provisional Olympic qualifiers Ella Williams (WGM) and local favourite Billy Stairmand (Rag).

Above: Ricardo Christie / Photo: WSL

The disrupted year that is 2020 means that this is only the second, and also last event of the truncated New Zealand Surf Series.  The National Championships were completed at Dunedin during January before the remainder of the season was cancelled leaving just the two events.

The King and Queen of the Point boasts $15,000 in prize money as the richest event of the year and with maximum national ranking points on offer.

Hareb last competed at a national event in 2016, coincidentally at Raglan.  Williams on the other hand has four recent victories at Raglan although she finished third in this event in her last outing.

Hareb and Williams will go head to head this weekend as they look to stave off the young surfers coming through the ranks including Christchurch’s Ava Henderson, the explosive young 15-year-old that won the National Championships in January.

Christie and Stairmand will go up against two time defending event champion Luke Cederman (Rag) in the Open Men’s Division.  Stairmand is on the hunt for a win over Cederman, one that has eluded him in the past two editions of the event.  Meanwhile it will be the first time Christie has competed in New Zealand in almost two years with the Gisborne surfer expected to make a big impact on the field.

Another surfer in the way of Cederman completing a three-peat will be Kehu Butler (Mnt) who will be competing at the event after recently claiming the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles in phenomenal fashion in Northland.  Butler has not surfed at a Raglan event for five years but is expected to challenge for a podium finish.

Above: Paige Hareb / Photo: Backdoor.co.nz

Added to the event favourites, the men’s draw is filled with a large contingent of top Kiwi talent including the likes of Paul Moretti (Mur), Taylor Hutchieson (Rag), Caleb Cutmore (Rag), Dune Kennings (Piha), Daniel Farr (Tara) and Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch) to name a few who are all capable of putting in big performances to make the final.

Alongside the premier Men’s and Women’s Divisions sits the Under 20 and 16 Boys and Girls Divisions with the event acting as the final of the season determining overall 2020 Under 16 Champions.

Three surfers can take out the Under 16 Boys Division with a win this weekend.  Jayden Willoughby (Rag) currently holds the slightest lead over Kora Cooper (Rag) and Finn Vette (Gis).

The Under 16 Girls Division has four potential series champions with current leader Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) needing to finish within one place of runner-up Liv Haysom (Piha) to take the title.  However, current number four Ava Henderson (Chch) could defend her Under 16 title by winning the event this weekend.  Third placed Anna Brock (Mnt) needs a win and results to go her way for a chance at winning the series.

The Under 20s Division is a rare opportunity for a number of surfers coming out of the junior ranks to compete in another age group.  The long forgotten Under 20 Division will play host to arguably one of the star surfers of the weekend in Kehu Butler (Mnt).  He will be joined by Caleb Cutmore, Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti), Connor McLennan (Chch), Luke Griffin (Mnt) and the top up-and-coming groms.

The King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver will take three full days of surfing to complete with all finals being held on Sunday.  The event will be mobile with the option of running at Ruapuke if there is no surf at Manu Bay. 

A pulse of swell is expected to push in through Friday and continue to build throughout the weekend with the peak of the swell on Sunday afternoon.

The provisional draw has been published on the Surfing New Zealand website and can be viewed here.

Please see below for previous winners of the event.

Open Men’s Division
2019 – Luke Cederman (Rag)
2018 – Luke Cederman (Rag)

Open Women’s Division
2019 – Kai Woolf (Rag)
2018 – Aimee Brown (Grt Barrier)

Under 16 Boys Rankings – Top 5
1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag)
2, Kora Cooper (Rag)
3, Finn Vette (Gis)
4, Navryn Malone (Rag)
5=, Bill Byers (Piha)
5=, Jack McKenzie (Chch)

Under 16 Girls Rankings – Top 5
1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara)
2, Liv Haysom (Piha)
3, Anna Brock (Mnt)
4, Ava Henderson (Chch)
5, Asia Braithwaite (Gis)