She’s a Sensation
Fifteen-year-old wildcard Sarah Mason surprised the crowd at New Plymouth’s Fitzroy Beach beating current surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmour in the third round of the TSB Bank Classic. Mason handled the 1–1.5m waves more than capably and after Gilmore lead for most of the heat, Mason marveled with two high-scoring rides in quick succession to snatch the heat from the Australian as the hooter sounded. “I’m buzzing right now,” Mason said. “I’m so excited. This is the biggest win of my career. I was down for most of the heat, then I got a pretty good right-hander and that put me back in the hunt.” Mason then faced off against Taranaki favourite Paige Hareb, 19, in the quarter finals, Mason winning the first all-New Zealand bout in ASP history. Mason was unable to beat 17-year-old Carissa Moore of Hawaii in the semi finals, who went on to beat Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia in the final.