AVATORUA, Rangiroa / French Polynesia (Saturday, April 2, 2011) – Pro Junior surfers competing in the 5 Star ASP TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior put on an impressive show on the opening day of competition at Avatorua Point, Rangiroa in French Polynesia on Saturday.
Combining some of the finest barrel riding with power carves and critical snaps both Australian and Tahitian surfers took their share of the spoils in the great half to one-meter -surf on offer.
James Woods (Tugan, AUS) topped the day’s scoreboard with an incredible 16.15 heat total (out of 20.00) to advance in first place over fellow high scorer Harrison Mann (Aus).
Riding just three waves, Woods opened with a solid 7.00 ride (out of ten) committing a series of powerful turns on an open-faced wall before sealing his victory of an incredible 9.15-barrel ride. Woods came screaming out of a deep looking barrel to finish off with two powerful off the lip carves, providing just what the judges were looking for.
“I was watching the heat before and it looked a bit slow but there were good waves so I knew I just had to be as patient as I could and pick the best waves,” Woods said. “These are easily the best waves we’ve surfed on the junior series, it’s amazing to surf such a good wave, its paradise!”
Remarkably, Mann delivered a similarly exceptional performance in the very same heat, posting a perfect 9.00 ride barrel ride to advance in second place with 15.35 heat total.
Defending event champion Tamaroa McComb (Tahiti) had the local community whistling and cheering as he pulled into countless gaping barrels to win his round 2 heat ahead of fellow countryman Ariimona David, who advanced in second.
Inspired by McComb’s performance Australian Garret Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW) chose to be patient waiting for the better set waves, a strategy that paid off handsomely with a round two victory.
Opening with 6.25-barrel ride, Parkes was able to back-up his score with a 5.00 ride to advance in first place over Jack Scollard (AUS).
“It was pretty tricky, the wind came up and it got really bumpy but I was pretty lucky I got one at the start,” Parkes said. “I was watching Tamaroa’s heat before, the Tahitian surfers know this wave really well and they are good in the barrel. It can be anyone’s game though, it comes down to whoever gets the waves on the day.”
With four heats of round 2 completed, it was Wade Charmichael (AUS) who took the last of the day’s victories, posting two good scores to advance over Mitchell James (AUS).
Round 1 saw a determined charge from the Tahitian surfers, Jocelyn Poulou posting a huge upset by eliminating Australian junior star Matt Banting (AUS) from the event.
Teoro Tahutini secured another impressive round 1 victory, posting a near perfect 8.00 ride for his combination of barrel riding and off the lip snaps while Ariihoe Tefaafana added to the impressive local showing with a convincing victory over Billy Bain (AUS).
Australian round 1 heat winners included Harrison Mann, Tim MacDonald, Asher Wales and Sam Clift.
The live webcast as well as updated results, photos and news can be found on http://www.aspaustralasia.com/live/asp/tahiti/results.php.