Soli Bailey (AUS) on his perfect 10-point-ride. Pic ASP/Will H-S
RANGIROA, French Polynesia (Friday, April 5, 2013) – Competitors arrived at the reef pass at the Rangi Pro Junior today and were greeted by excellent surf in the 5 – 6 foot (1.5 – 2 meter) range. The surfers brave enough to paddle deep up the reef, over the shallow live coral were either rewarded with deep tube rides and big scores, or punished with heavy wipeouts and reef cuts.
Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW/AUS), last year’s Rangi Pro Junior runner-up today surfed a near-flawless heat, posting a monster 9.25 and backed it up with a perfect 10-point-ride. Bailey paddled deep up the point and picked off the biggest waves of the heat and threaded the barrel through multiple heavy and shallow sections and was rewarded accordingly.
“I saw those ones up the reef and I knew you could get a 10 out there,” Bailey said. “I got into that wave late, then the first section nearly clipped me. I got through to the second section and nearly got clipped again, but I was thinking there’s no way I was going to fall off. I’ve still got the shakes, that was was incredible. I had to paddle through the strongest rip to get out there, but I’m so glad I did.”
Jack Scollard (Central Coast, NSW/AUS) was in sync with the powerful polynesian tubes today, locking into two solid barrels, earning two scores in the eight-point-range and easily winning his heat.
“I’m pretty stoked to have gotten those waves,” Scollard said. “I was just sitting deeper than everyone else and I got lucky. It’s shallow out there, I hit the bottom out there a couple of times, nothing too bad though. I stayed in Tahiti longer than all the boys to surf, I only got here two days ago and since then it’s just been surfing and fishing.”
Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) is the current No. 1 on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series after winning the season opening event during Surfest, Newcastle. Sylvester dominated his opening heat at the Rangi Pro Junior today, pulling into tubes and unloading powerful carves.
“It feels good to get that first heat out of the way,” Sylvester said. “After such a good event at home in Newcastle, I just had to reset and start over again. I’d love to win the Australasian Pro Junior Series, there’s not a lot of events this year so you need to make each one count. The surf was pretty bad earlier in the week, but it’s kicked in and we’ve managed to get the best of it today.”
Enrique Ariitu (Tahiti) led the local charge at the event today, taking off deep in some solid tubes and executing some of the day’s best turns. Ariitu is a threat in all conditions, with skills in the tube, on the open face and in the air.
“It’s my goal to win this event,” Ariitu said. “I live in Tahiti but feel at home here. I spend a lot of time in Australia too, so it’s fun to be here with my friends. We’ve been waiting for five days, so it’s good to have some fun waves. I would prefer it to be a little bigger, but it was still really good today.
Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) closed out the day with an impressive display of tube riding, scoring a near perfect – 9.00 (out of a possible 10). Parkinson won his heat, but came in from the water tender after being slammed on the reef on a solid wave in the last few minutes of the heat.
“It felt like I broke my ribs, but I’m okay now,” Parkinson said. “The bottom was a lot harder than the sand at Snapper, but the barrels were fun so I’m stoked to win and be in a comp with waves like this. Being in the last heat of the day and watching all of the guys get barrels all day was the most difficult thing I’ve done. I was mind surfing all day until I got out there.”