A cyclone bearing down on a surf contest on the east coast of the North Island is something of a gift. But Dovi had a nasty streak. Here’s the full story in 40 Frames from Day 2 of the second round of the 2022 Billabong Grom Series held at Whangamata.
At one point Surfing New Zealand suggested calling the event off. Parents, who were ducking bouquets of pohutukawa leaves most of the day, weren’t keen. The swell blew up to almost 2m in the onshore northeasterly winds, then it went offshore before midday. The wind intensified and the swell dropped almost instantly. Trees bent over until they snapped like matchsticks as the glancing blow of Dovi wreaked havoc across the town and even worse further south.
The best surfers still came to the top and the Under 16 Boys, Under 18 Girls and Under 18 Boys put on a stellar show – a left rip bowl the only saving grace in an otherwise dismal lineup.
In the end Bill Byers lay down some big turns to claim the Under 18s Boys, with Natasha Gouldsbury victorious in the Under 18 Women’s despite the talent-stacked final four. In the Under 16 Boys Tao Mouldey made it two from two as he zeroes in on the hat trick on offer in Piha in two weeks time.