Kalani Ball (AUS) floating to earn the day’s highest two-wave heat-total. Pic ASP/Will H-S
RANGIROA, French Polynesia (Thursday, April 4, 2013) – The second event on the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, the Rangi Pro Junior got underway today. The surf is was in the 2 – 3 foot (1.5 meter) meter range, breaking over razor sharp French Polynesian reef, while the surfers battled for precious rating’s points and prize-money. The top four surfers at the end of the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series will go onto compete for an ASP World Junior Title and also get rewarded with valuable seedings into the ASP Star and PRIME events.
Jack Duggan (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) is having a breakthrough year in 2013, posing some solid results earlier in the year and continued to impress in the opening heat of the 2013 Rangi Pro Junior. Duggan ducked and weaved through the line-up and was able to pick off the best waves of the heat and unload some sharp snaps and carves.
“It’s been hard to get waves over the past few days so I’m really happy that I got some good ones during that heat,” Duggan said. “It’s nice here, everyone on the island is cool and the fishing is really good. I’m loving life over here.”
Vehiatua Prunier (Tahiti) put on a dominant performance in his opening heat today, mixing fast fins-free turns with powerful carves. Prunier, who comes from mainland Tahiti lost in the first round at this event last year and this year is looking like one of the dark-horses to take the win.
“I lost my first heat here last year so I’m very happy to win,” Prunier said. “I only caught two waves, but they were both good scores and I’m happy with my performance. I love this island, the water is clean and beautiful and the waves are fun.”
Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) easily took the win in his opening heat at the Rangi Pro Junior today. This is Hing’s first time competing at all of the ASP Australasia Pro Junior events after receiving a couple wildcards into events last year, and he’s already looking like a threat.
“It’s good to get some heats out of the way,” Hing said. “The last few days have been lay-days and we’ve just been cruising around. This is such a nice place and it’s boiling hot, it’s great to be here. I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this event because I haven’t been here before, I’ll get a bit of confidence from that heat win. In all of the free surfs everyone’s been surfing so good, it’s just going to come down to who gets the best waves.”
Dune Kennings (New Zealand) is the sole Kiwi in this year’s Rangi Pro Junior and today advanced out of his opening heat in second position behind Kai Hing. Kennings used his progressive fin throws and reverses to seal second position with two good range scores.
“I’m pretty happy to progress into the next round and get the ball rolling,” Kennings said. “I’ve had a lot of heats lately where I’ve left my run too late, so my game plan was to get lots of waves. The surf has been small and we’ve been doing a lot of fishing and catching sharks, so it’s been a fun trip so far.”
Kalani Ball (South Coast, NSW/AUS), the 16-year-old from Stanwell Park on the South Coast of NSW was the top performer of the day, scoring 14.85 (out of a possible 20) to comfortably win and advance into the Round of 32. Ball pulled into tubes, launched massive floaters over shallow reef and unloaded big turns to look right at home on his first time at this event.
“I managed to find the good waves out there,” Ball said. “I’m stoked that I can beat those guys because they’re guys I’ve looked upto for a long time. This is my first trip to Tahiti for this competition and I’m super stoked to be here, it’s an unreal contest.”
A call will be made at 7:30am local time for a possible 8am start to Round 2.