New Zealand Grommets Ready to Rise to Occasion at Taranaki

The New Zealand round of Quiksilver’sinaugural King of The Groms, the global youth surfing competition thatgives budding under-16 surfers an unprecedented kick-start to theircareers, will be decided this weekend at Taranaki.

Nearly 40 of New Zealand’s hottest young grommets will fight it outfor top line honours in the prestigious one-day event, with the winnerbeing awarded airfares and accommodation to France to compete in theKing of The Groms international grand final August 1 – 7.

Standout Piha 13 year-old Ryan Hawker, friend and rival Paco Divers,Tairua’s Sean Peggs, Gisborne’s Adam Cranston and local Mathis Smithwill be among those in contention for the coveted spot, with theeventual New Zealand representative being pitted against the’best-of-the best’ in the pristine French beachbreaks ofCapbreton.

48 grommets from around the globe will contest the grand final with the’King’ walking away with much more than just a trophy; guaranteedtrials slots are on offer along with airfares to three of the biggestprofessional tournaments in the world, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast,the Quiksilver Pro France and Quiksilver Pro Japan.

One spot only is available to New Zealand surfers in the U/16competition, unless they should choose to travel and compete in one ofthe other eight qualifying rounds taking place in destinations as farflung as Australia, Japan, USA, Reunion Island and South America.

Hawker, winner of six straight competitions including both the U/14National individual titles and National Scholastic titles held atTaranaki last month, heads into the event running hot.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the event,” saidHawker. “I was reading about all the prizes, just going ‘Oh, mygosh’. I’ve never been in a comp where we’ve had prizes like thisbefore.”

The snow capped mountain, Mt. Taranaki will provide the backdrop to the event, as organizers decide between any number of possible venues in the region depending on available surf conditions on Saturday.

Arawhata Rd, a right-hand rock-break that holds solid swells, turned iton for a couple of days during the Nationals and is a favorite ofHawker’s.

“I’m hoping it’ll be there,” explained Hawker. “It usuallypicks up whatever swell is on offer. If the winds are right, there’s agood chance it’ll be held there.”

Of the local contenders, Hawker rates Divers, winner of the Under-16Scholastics as a likely threat.

“Me and Paco, we’ve had heaps of heats together. Sometimes he’llwin or sometimes I’ll win, it’s a bit of a mix-up. It depends on whogets the best waves. It’s usually pretty close between us,” saidHawker.

Entry to the King of The Groms event is free for all competitors.

Along with trials spots to the three Quiksilver Pro World ChampionshipTour tournaments, the ‘King’ is also given a spot into eachevent’s Expression Session where he will be mixing it alongside thebest WCT surfers in the world with prizes awarded for the mostspectacular moves and best individual wave.

Quiksilver team rider and former world no. five, Matt Hoy will be onhand to commentate, surf and meet the local surfers.

The King of The Groms, New Zealand is proudly supported by Kiwi Surfmagazine.

A full press release and complimentary hi-resolution color digitalphotographs for newspapers and websites will be made available followingthe event.

For further information please contact:

Surfing New Zealand
Ben Kennings

Quiksilver Australasia
Media Manager
ph 61(3)5261 6000
mob 0421 384 431

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