Rip Curl Clean & Clear Women’s Pro Surfing Event

Taranaki’s Paige Hareb had a clean sweep of all possible divisions at the Rip Curl Clean and Clear Women’s Pro held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand last weekend. Hareb won the premier Open Women’s Division, the Under 18 Women’s Division and also the Clean and Clear Expression Session in an inspiring display of surfing. Recently back from Australia, Hareb’s surfing was fast and powerful as she looked to attack every wave in the clean 1.0m conditions.

The Rip Curl Open Women’s division quickly became a two horse race as Hareb started out with two good rides for an 11.25 total. She opted to surf some of the longer lefthanders that were running down the beach. Her surfing was aggressive all weekend and her time in Australia was spent surfing conditions much the same as Mount Maunganui which she credits to helping her win this weekend.

Close friend come fierce rival Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) answered back to Hareb with her own powerful surfing to challenge for the lead but requiring a 6.00 to win could only manage a 5.50 out of a possible 10 points. She had to settle for second place for the second time in the day after finishing runner up in the junior women’s division.

“Yeah we are really good friends,” commented Hareb on Wini Paul. “It doesn’t really matter who comes first or second out of us but she got me at the National Champs so it is good to get her back at this event!” Local surfer Hester Sutherland Stacey (Mnt) placed third in the final with Thandi Durham (Tara) in fourth.

Hareb took home $2,250 for her three wins this weekend: “I have just come back from Australia so it is good to see that I can still win a few comps back here as well.”

Both Hareb and Paul exploded with amazing surfing in the Under 18 Girls Division. Hareb posted an 8.50 and an 8.0 which bettered Paul’s excellent 9.0 point ride and her lower scoring 4.5. Laura Rishworth (Mnt) placed third in the final and Alexis Poulter (Piha) placed fourth.

Triple finalist Alexis Poulter (Piha) surfed to two titles in the Clean and Clear Under 16s and also the Rip Curl Under 14s. Poulter looked to be at her best with a recent move to the Raglan Surfing Academy obviously paying dividends. Her two winning heat totals were 15.00 and 14.50 respectively. Her third final did not go quiet as good as she ran out of energy managing to place fourth in the Under 18s.

In the Under 16s Poulter was followed by Auckland’s Rosa Thompson (also a double finalist) in second, India Wray Murane (Mur) in third and Westport’s Anna Hawes in fourth. Hawes is another student at the Raglan Surfing Academy spending the year up in the North Island to improve her surfing. In the Under 14’s Poulter was followed by Whangamata’s Grace Spiers scoring 13.40 in second, Ella Williams (WGM) in third and Rosa Thompson in fourth.

Ella Williams was again too good for her competitors in the Under 12s this weekend storming to victory with total heat score of 14.00 in the final. Surfing in five divisions over the weekend Ella was kept busy every hour of the event. Even though she was one of the smallest in the large field of surfers, she managed to catch waves from out the back riding them all the way through to the sand.

Gisborne’s Jayda Fitzharris held second place for much of the final after riding some long right-handers into the reform to score a total of 9.0 while Ella Spiers (WGM) placed third and Ebony Pearson (Gis) finished in fourth.

In excess of twenty girls entered the water for the Clean and Clear Expression Session prior to the finals of all divisions. The competition for waves was fierce with several drop ins over the 30 minutes but with $500 going to the surfer who performed the best move, it was no wonder. Paige Hareb found the best wave and it allowed her to perform not one but two vertical forehand re-entries that got the crowd excited.

She also ‘nailed’ an excellent backhand floater that was up there with the best along with Daisy Thomas’ forehand smash and Michelle Langdon’s ‘360’. Piha’s Anna Jolly defended her title she won in 2005 in the Rip Curl Senior Women’s Division. Jolly is a regular in surf events around New Zealand competing on both short and longboards.

Today was shortboard time and her title defence never looked in jeopardy after her first wave scored 7.50 out of a possible 10.0 points. She then backed it up with another great 6.25 point ride midway through the final to seal the win. Gina Kennings (Rag) placed second with a heat total of 10.50 ahead of Kathy Stead (Mnt) in third and Sandy Bay’s Pauline Pullman in fourth.

A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Rip Curl Open Women Finals

  • Paige Hareb (Tara), 1
  • Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 2
  • Hester Sutherland Stacey (Mnt), 3
  • Thandi Durham (Tara), 4

Rip Curl Under 18 Women Finals

  • Paige Hareb (Tara), 1
  • Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 2
  • Laura Rishworth (Mnt), 3
  • Alexis Poulter (Piha), 4

Clean and Clear Under 16 Women Finals

  • Alexis Poulter (Piha), 1
  • Rosa Thompson (Auck), 2
  • India Wray Murane (Muriwai), 3
  • Anna Hawes (Westport), 4

Rip Curl Under 14 Women Finals

  • Alexis Poulter (Piha), 1
  • Grace Spiers (Whmata), 2
  • Ella Williams (Whmata), 3
  • Rosa Thompson (Auck), 4

Rip Curl Under 12 Women Finals

  • Ella Williams (Whmata), 1
  • Jayda Fitzharris (Gis), 2
  • Ella Spiers (Whmata), 3
  • Ebony Pearson (Gis), 4

Rip Curl Over 30 Women Finals

  • Anna Jolly (Piha), 1
  • Gina Kennings (Raglan), 2
  • Kathy Steed (Mnt), 3
  • Pauline Pullman (Sandy Bay), 4

The Women’s Pro has been held for the past nineteen years and is the only national female event held in New Zealand. Rip Curl has long been associated with the event as an associate sponsor but have increased their support to sponsor the entire event. The open women’s division is part of the Corona Crown Series where valuable ratings points go on the line to find the top female for the season.


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