AVATORUA, Rangiroa / French Polynesia (Monday, April 4, 2011) – Australian surfers outclassed their local competitors during the 5-Star ASP TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior, advancing into the semifinals at Avatorua Point today.
Demonstrating high risk, combination surfing and superior wave selection, Thomas Woods (AUS), James Woods (AUS), Dean Bowen (AUS) and Garret Parkes (AUS) marched into the semifinals convincingly.
ASP Australasian Pro Junior ratings leader Thomas Woods (Gold Coast, AUS) came from behind to post what the judges were calling one of the best turns of the whole competition. His critical frontside nose-pick in the dying minutes of his quarterfinal heat saw Woods score the 6.85 (out of ten) he needed to defeat heat leader Keoni Yan (PYF).
“I took off on that wave and I thought I saw only one section so I went as hard as a I could and got the score,” Woods said. “The last few minutes are usually where the most happens in heats and I wasn’t going to give up.”
A fierce competitor Yan pushed Woods further and further up the point in a fierce paddle battle that saw Yan sit deeper, tucking into two clean barrels to score a 7.25 and a 5.50 for an early heat lead.
“It was a tough heat, he was really wanted the inside and we paddled so deep,” explained Woods. “He was playing a bit dirty out there and pulled my shoulder back as we went over a wave. You cant do that in heats so I’m stoked I beat him.”
Garret Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW) continued his great form, his patience paying off picking two of the better set-waves of the heat to post 5.90 and a 6.25 scores eliminating defending event champion and local favourite Tamaroa McComb (PYF) from the competition.
“Tamaroa is one of the toughest guys to beat here, it wasn’t exactly as good as it gets out there today but it was still good to beat him,” Parkes said.
The lack of barrels gave Dean Bowen (South Coast, NSW) his edge over skilled barrel rider O’Neill Massin (PYF) during their quarterfinal clash. Bowen unleashing his powerful backhand snaps to overcome the Tahitian and advance into the semifinals.
“He beat me in the first round so I really wanted to get him back,” Bowen said. “He’s a great surfer but unfortunately there were not many barrels out there. I thought I would do a bit better if I could do more turns because he is a good barrel rider but his turns aren’t like our Aussie turns so I got lucky today.
Bowen gained momentum building on his scores to seal his victory off his final two waves of the heat posting 6.50 and 5.95 scores to advance in first place.
James Woods (Gold Coast, AUS) rose to the top of the only all-Aussie clash, eliminating early event standout Harrison Mann (Victoria).
While Mann opted to ride as many waves as he could, Woods waited patiently before picking up a solid set wave to post a great 5.75 opener for his combination of power turns and critical floaters. Following up with a 4.75 Woods joined his brother in tomorrows semifinals.
The next call will be at 10H00 local time tomorrow and organisers will wait for the best possible conditions to run the semifinals.