Mitch Parkinson (AUS) on one of the waves of the day. Pic ASP/Will H-S
RANGIROA, French Polynesia (Sunday, April 7, 2013) – The Rangi Pro Junior today was treated to a mixed bag of conditions, with both solid, heaving barrels and long winding walls on offer for Australasia’s best junior surfers. The ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series 3-Star rated event saw the surfers do battle over the razor sharp reef as the field of 48 surfers was culled to just six after competition was called off after the second Quarterfinal.
Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS), current ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series No.1 ranked surfer, posted impressive wins in his Round of 16 heat and the Quarterfinals to advance into the Semifinals today. Sylvester missed out on going to the ASP World Junior Championships by one spot last year, with the top four surfers getting the call up. This year he’s doing all he can to not let that happen again, surfing with confidence, power and flow.
“I’ve broken all of my board except for this one,” Sylvester said. “I’m feeling really good right now, I’m one of the older guys and I made it work for me today by catching all the good waves. That happened to me for years from the older guys and now it’s my turn to do it to the younger guys. It feels great to be into the Semifinals and I’m going to just try and keep this roll going.”
Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW/AUS), last year’s Rangi Pro Junior runner-up and form surfer of the this year’s event continues to storm through the draw. Bailey will take on fellow Australian Kurtis Herman (AUS) on the final day of competition tomorrow in Quarterfinal 3.
“I got a big scratch on my stomach after belly flopping onto dry reef yesterday, it’s pretty shallow out there. It’s ok, but it hurts every time I paddle. I’m pretty stoked to be through to the Quarterfinals, the waves have been good and should be even better tomorrow. I made the Final at this event last year which was really special for me, it was my first ASP Pro Junior Series final and I hope I can go one better and win it this year.”
Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) continued to show his finely tuned barrel riding prowess, clocking two excellent scores to easily advance into the Quarterfinals. This matches Parkinson’s Quarterfinal finish at the season opening ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series event at Surfest, Newcastle and he will take on Kai Hing (AUS) when competition resumes tomorrow.
“I’ve already equalled my best Pro Junior result so I’m stoked,” Parkinson said. “I only caught two waves in my heat but they were both eights so that was enough. I injured my ankle earlier in the year and it’s still a little sore, I just have to make sure I do all my warm ups and it feels ok to surf. I’ve been to Tahiti a couple of times before, but this is my first time to Rangiroa and it is unreal. The waves are fun and it’s paradise, to have a junior comp at a place like this is unbelievable.”
Jack Scollard (AUS) took out the last heat of the day and eliminated the last local Tahitian, Mihimana Braye. Scollard put it all on the line to post his best result on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, pulling into some deep, dredging tubes and threading the needle to be rewarded with a 9-point-ride.
“I love barrels so I was hoping to do well at this event,” Scollard said. “It’s my last year in the Pro Juniors so I want to go out with a bang. That wave I got the 9-point-ride on was sick, I was really deep and didn’t think I was going to make it out. Then somehow it opened up and I came flying out. Hopefully the waves are good tomorrow because I feel like if the waves are good then I can keep going.”
Mihimana Braye (Tahiti) was the last standing Tahitian surfer in the draw, but couldn’t get past an on fire Jack Scollard (AUS). Braye takes home an equal 5th place finish.
“I would have liked to do better, but this is an improvement from last year for me,” Braye said. “I love Rangiroa, and I feel at home here. This contest was great for us Tahitian surfers, hopefully we can do better next year.”
A call will be made at 9am tomorrow for a possible 9:30am start.