Vette siblings still there

Saffi and Finn showing good form

Saffi and Finn showing good form

STILL IN THE MIX: Gisborne surfer Saffi Vette remained in the contest in both open women’s and u18 divisions in the national surfing championships in Taranaki yesterday. Cory/NZ Surfing Magazine picture

GISBORNE surfers and siblings Saffi and Finn Vette remain in the mix at the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships in Taranaki.

A solid west coast swell marched up the country on Day 2 of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships, testing New Zealand’s top female surfers as they entered the water for the first time in this event.

As the swell tripled in size throughout the day to a solid two metres, defending champion Raiha Ensor (Mt Maunganui) found herself in a position of battling the ocean more than her opponents to kick off her title defence.

Ensor advanced through her first, low-scoring match-up but two former champions shone in the tough conditions.

Whangamata surfer and 2014 champion Grace Spiers posted a 13.0-point heat total, while Mt Maunganui surfer Laura Griffin, who won her title in 2010, posted a 12.47-point heat total.

Spiers has a tough Round 2 match-up with defending champion Ensor as well as Gisborne rising star Saffi Vette who will want to get one back on Spiers the next time they enter the water. Their heat also includes New Zealand junior representative Estella Hungerford, of Christchurch.

Griffin will be up against New Zealand representative Elin Tawharu (Mt Maunganui) and winner of the two most recent New Zealand Surf Series events Aimee Brown (Great Barrier). Taranaki’s most promising junior, Natasha Gouldsbury, joins the three surfers in the quarterfinal after also advancing through two junior rounds in a marathon effort.

In the third quarterfinal, 2015 champion Gabriella Sansom (Muriwai) is the hot favourite as she faces three young surfers in Zhana Hutchieson (Taranaki), Ariana Shewry (Tara) and Ava Henderson (Christchurch).

Gisborne’s Vette top-scored in the under-18 girls’ division with a 16.88-point heat total, and Brie Bennett (Raglan) posted a 12.4-point heat total in the u16 girls’ division.

The only boys to get in the water on Day 2 were the u16 boys’ division, which was contested through to the semifinals.

Local surfer Tom Butland was always going to be a force and today he proved his point in the big surf with a 15.03-point heat total after attacking the waves with no fear.

Butland will now match up against Tom Robinson (Whangarei), who looked sharp as he surfed to a 14.63-point heat total in his quarterfinal.

Christchurch surfer James Millar smoothly advanced through to the semifinals after two heat progressions and will be up against Finn Vette (Gisborne) and Navryn Malone (Raglan).

The senior men’s and women’s divisions were to start today.

The surf is expected to remain in the two-metre range with strengthening south-west winds.

GISBORNE surfers and siblings Saffi and Finn Vette remain in the mix at the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships in Taranaki.

A solid west coast swell marched up the country on Day 2 of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships, testing New Zealand’s top female surfers as they entered the water for the first time in this event.

As the swell tripled in size throughout the day to a solid two metres, defending champion Raiha Ensor (Mt Maunganui) found herself in a position of battling the ocean more than her opponents to kick off her title defence.

Ensor advanced through her first, low-scoring match-up but two former champions shone in the tough conditions.

Whangamata surfer and 2014 champion Grace Spiers posted a 13.0-point heat total, while Mt Maunganui surfer Laura Griffin, who won her title in 2010, posted a 12.47-point heat total.

Spiers has a tough Round 2 match-up with defending champion Ensor as well as Gisborne rising star Saffi Vette who will want to get one back on Spiers the next time they enter the water. Their heat also includes New Zealand junior representative Estella Hungerford, of Christchurch.

Griffin will be up against New Zealand representative Elin Tawharu (Mt Maunganui) and winner of the two most recent New Zealand Surf Series events Aimee Brown (Great Barrier). Taranaki’s most promising junior, Natasha Gouldsbury, joins the three surfers in the quarterfinal after also advancing through two junior rounds in a marathon effort.

In the third quarterfinal, 2015 champion Gabriella Sansom (Muriwai) is the hot favourite as she faces three young surfers in Zhana Hutchieson (Taranaki), Ariana Shewry (Tara) and Ava Henderson (Christchurch).

Gisborne’s Vette top-scored in the under-18 girls’ division with a 16.88-point heat total, and Brie Bennett (Raglan) posted a 12.4-point heat total in the u16 girls’ division.

The only boys to get in the water on Day 2 were the u16 boys’ division, which was contested through to the semifinals.

Local surfer Tom Butland was always going to be a force and today he proved his point in the big surf with a 15.03-point heat total after attacking the waves with no fear.

Butland will now match up against Tom Robinson (Whangarei), who looked sharp as he surfed to a 14.63-point heat total in his quarterfinal.

Christchurch surfer James Millar smoothly advanced through to the semifinals after two heat progressions and will be up against Finn Vette (Gisborne) and Navryn Malone (Raglan).

The senior men’s and women’s divisions were to start today.

The surf is expected to remain in the two-metre range with strengthening south-west winds.

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