Rawls best of Gisborne groms at series-ender

A GUTSY performance by Daizee Rawls in stormy conditions highlighted the Gisborne contribution at the final contest of the Billabong Grom Series.

Rawls was the “last woman standing” for Gisborne after making the final of the under-14 girls’ division — her first final berth of the series.

The rest of the Gisborne team supported her as she paddled out into five-foot-plus howling onshore conditions at Mt Maunganui.

“The gusty northerly became a gale, and rain poured down,” Gisborne regional surfing development manager Kelly Ryan said.

“To Daizee’s credit, she made it out the back and caught a set wave before becoming caught inside for the remainder of the final.

“She grabbed a back-up on the re-form section and this was good enough for third place, a whole lot of prizes from Billabong and bragging rights for top Gisborne competitor.

“Throughout the series, Daizee has made some significant improvements in her surfing and is beginning to push harder into and out of her manoeuvres. She has developed more presence in the water and her finals appearance at this event was no accident.”

Earlier, Rawls and Hannah King kept Gisborne’s title hopes alive by advancing to the u14 semifinals. However, the pair were in the same semi and Rawls’s 4.80 score pushed her best mate into third, a mere 0.17 behind.

Saffi Vette, winner of the first contest of the series, was a surprise elimination in her opening round of the u17 girls’ division. With it went her chance of the series title.

“Saffi nabbed the best wave, a relatively clean four-foot right-hander halfway through, but failed to capitalise on the best section,” Ryan said.

“She completed a powerful and stylish carve but fell on her finishing turn.”

Finn Murphy (u17 boys), Manawa Ruru (u14 boys) and 11-year-old Jay Ryan (u14 girls) were also early victims, all three going out in Round 1.

“Manawa and Finn were not outclassed but rather lost at sea in good-size waves that were shifty and onshore with rips running through the arena,” Kelly Ryan said.

Finn Johnson was another surprise elimination.

“He fared slightly better but was left out in the cold requiring a three-point ride in Round 3 of the under-17 boys’ division.”

It was his worst result of the season, following semifinal appearances at Whangamata and Piha, but Ryan said Johnson could look back positively on his overall performance.

“Look for big results next year as he settles into competition at under-17 level.”

A GUTSY performance by Daizee Rawls in stormy conditions highlighted the Gisborne contribution at the final contest of the Billabong Grom Series.

Rawls was the “last woman standing” for Gisborne after making the final of the under-14 girls’ division — her first final berth of the series.

The rest of the Gisborne team supported her as she paddled out into five-foot-plus howling onshore conditions at Mt Maunganui.

“The gusty northerly became a gale, and rain poured down,” Gisborne regional surfing development manager Kelly Ryan said.

“To Daizee’s credit, she made it out the back and caught a set wave before becoming caught inside for the remainder of the final.

“She grabbed a back-up on the re-form section and this was good enough for third place, a whole lot of prizes from Billabong and bragging rights for top Gisborne competitor.

“Throughout the series, Daizee has made some significant improvements in her surfing and is beginning to push harder into and out of her manoeuvres. She has developed more presence in the water and her finals appearance at this event was no accident.”

Earlier, Rawls and Hannah King kept Gisborne’s title hopes alive by advancing to the u14 semifinals. However, the pair were in the same semi and Rawls’s 4.80 score pushed her best mate into third, a mere 0.17 behind.

Saffi Vette, winner of the first contest of the series, was a surprise elimination in her opening round of the u17 girls’ division. With it went her chance of the series title.

“Saffi nabbed the best wave, a relatively clean four-foot right-hander halfway through, but failed to capitalise on the best section,” Ryan said.

“She completed a powerful and stylish carve but fell on her finishing turn.”

Finn Murphy (u17 boys), Manawa Ruru (u14 boys) and 11-year-old Jay Ryan (u14 girls) were also early victims, all three going out in Round 1.

“Manawa and Finn were not outclassed but rather lost at sea in good-size waves that were shifty and onshore with rips running through the arena,” Kelly Ryan said.

Finn Johnson was another surprise elimination.

“He fared slightly better but was left out in the cold requiring a three-point ride in Round 3 of the under-17 boys’ division.”

It was his worst result of the season, following semifinal appearances at Whangamata and Piha, but Ryan said Johnson could look back positively on his overall performance.

“Look for big results next year as he settles into competition at under-17 level.”

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