King of the Groms
2012 MAZ QUINN’S QUIKSILVER
WHATEVER CONNECTION MAZ QUINN HAS WITH THE GODS OF THE SEA AROUND THE GISBORNE COAST IT IS A SECRET HE SHOULD KEEP TUCKED AWAY, MANY MEN HAVE BEEN KILLED FOR LESS.
Now in its fourth year, ever since the events inception the waves have simply pumped to provide the best contest waves of the year every year. The event, initially slated for earlier in the year, was postponed due to the forecasted surf conditions and the fact that because of a giant landslide in the Waioeka Gorge the arterial route to Gisborne was closed, meaning the only way in and out was an extra three hour drive more than normal. The surf during that postponed weekend ended up pumping and calls of “You blew it” were being thrown around. What they couldn’t see yet was what Maz had ordered up from Tangaroa.
Many contests are held in Gisborne and most are held at the more accessible Makorori, or every so often at Pines’ at Wainui. Maz however grew up at the legendary ‘Stock Route’ break at the southern end of Wainui, he cut his teeth here, and the wave quality and punchy peaks are what shaped his style of surfing. There had not been a national surf comp held here since the 1991 National Champs and to hold a surf comp at ‘Stock Route’ had been a dream of Maz’s for a number of years.
With the illustrious titles and prizes on offer, a big turnout was assured and groms from all over the country made their way to Gizzy, most by way of the now opened gorge after the six week closure. With poor sand banks along Wainui, Maz’s dream looked to have been put on ice and day one of the KOG was held at Makorori’s ‘Creek’ break. With both rights and lefts on offer the surf pumped for the groms and was a perfect size to put out all the younger divisions. With a southerly onshore change predicted by mid morning, there was no sign of it yet, and competitors and organisers alike were granted an epic day in the sun. And speaking of the sun and being out in it all day, event presenters ‘Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin’ were on hand with their mobile darkroom complete with an ultra technical UV camera inside that shot photos of your face, showing the damage that the sun has caused to your skin over the years. Sometimes it is only when people are made aware of damage they cannot visibly see, that they become aware of the dangers associated with over exposure to the sun, so by starting with our younger generation at events such as this it empowers the kids through education, for their own futures and others. With the southerly not kicking in till late afternoon, when it did it came in strong forcing the postponement of the last two remaining heats of the day until Sunday, as organisers struggled to pull down the tents against gale force chilly winds.
Sunday morning dawned a new day, with clear skies, offshore winds and an increase in swell, and with two swells running, the perfect ingredient for pumping Wainui. The dream had become a reality, Maz drove away and snobbed absolutely pumping Makorori and declared the contest at ‘Stock Route’. You would have thought Maz was the grom, such was the huge smile from ear to ear. Many of the groms however were less than impressed, they had seen long peeling open faced waves at Makorori and were now looking at thumping barrels at Wainui. Many called for the comp to shift back, but Maz stood fast, explaining that with an incoming tide it would soon begin to pump, and pump it did. When the best groms in the country are given a canvas like that to compete on, that brings out the best surfing. Most of these groms wouldn’t have competed in barrelling waves like this before but they were picking off waves, getting tubed, coming out and having a big face to perform on. To put it bluntly, over the next four hours, that was the best grommet surfing ever seen in this country. Kehu Butler was going for the Ironman award competing in all divisions. He already had two wins under his belt with the U12’s and U14’s, and was being fed energy drinks at the waters edge and being massaged in between heats to get him through, the scene was set for one of the greatest performances by a grom since Bobby Hansen. However Dune Kennings had other plans and with his good mate Elliot Paerata-Reid having won the greatest prize in NZ grom surfing - a return trip to France to compete as part of the Quiksilver Pro in the KOG Finals for the past two years - Dune now wanted his piece. He had come into the event in career form, after a stellar domestic season and competing on the Pro Junior circuit, and this form proved too hard to match. In the Girls U16 division Bianca Samson took the win, proving that after her twin sister’s success at the World Tour event in Taranaki she also had the goods. Congrats to all the groms, and see you all next year!
Many thanks must go to the even’s sponsors for making this now legendary event possible: Quiksilver, Roxy, Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin, DC Shoes, Sequence Surf Shop, Surfers Skin, Pro Lite, Sticky Johnson, and NZ Surfing Magazine. For a full list of results and a photo gallery from the event check out
AFTER 21 YEARS OF CONTEST DROUGHT WAINUI’S STOCK-ROUTE
COMES TO THE PARTY.