Steph Single (AUS) and William Aliotti (FRA) claim their first ASP Pro Junior wins at Papara today. Pic ASP/Will H-S
PAPARA, Tahiti (Friday, April 12, 2013) – William Aliotti (FRA) won the men’s Tahiti Nui Pro Junior and Stephanie Single (Lennox Head, NSW/AUS) took out the women’s Vahine Pro Junior in an epic final day showdown. The level of surfing went thorough the roof as the competitors tore apart the clean 3 foot (1.5 meter) surf at Papara today.
The second annual Tahiti Nui Pro Junior carries an ASP 3-Star rating for the men’s division and for the first time the event has added a women’s ASP 3-Star division, the Vahine Pro Junior. This event offers vital points and prize-money towards qualifying for the ASP World Junior Championships.
The Tahiti Nui Pro Junior final saw Frenchman William Aliotti (FRA) take on the hometown hero Enrique Ariitu (PYF). Aliotti has been the most consistent performer throughout the event and he got off to an early lead, Ariitu fought back hard, launching and landing some massive airs but his scores fell just short and Aliotti took the title.
“This is my first ASP Pro Junior win, I’m really happy!” Aliotti said. “To be in Tahiti for it makes the win event better. Everyday I was focussed and I didn’t fall much. Two years ago I did really good on the ASP Europe Pro Junior Series and then last year I did really bad so this win will give me confidence when I go home to compete.”
Ariitu lives right near Papara and used his local knowledge to advance all the way to his best ever result on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, finishing runner-up today. This result moves him to No. 3 on the ratings doing the Tahitian contingent proud.
“It’s hard to go all the way to the Final and fall short,” Ariitu said. “I’m still happy with the result, I have had a lot of Semifinals, but no Finals. I think I caught too many waves and I probably should have waited for the bombs. It was a great event, I love Papara, I live here and surf it a lot. The Tahitians and everyone were all surfing really good all week. I just really want to thank my Mum for all he help and support, she’s the best!”
The Vahine Pro Junior final was an all-Australian battle, natural verse goofy-footer, with both girls tearing apart the clean running walls at Papara rivermouth. Coffey used her powerful backhand attack, while Single unleashed her gouging forehand snaps. In the end it was Single who edged out Coffey by less than one point on the last wave of the event! This is Single’s first ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series event win and sees her move to No. 1 on the ratings.
“I’m really happy right now!” Single said. “I’ve never won one of these before and I was hoping this would be my first win! When I first got here the surf was small and I was worried because I’m not very good in small waves, but as the surf got bigger I feel like I’ve kept improving. This win is going to give me a big confidence boost as I go off and try to do some ASP World Tour 6-Star events later in the year.”
Coffey is having a breakthrough year, starting with a win at the ASP Pro Junior in Newcastle and now a runner-up here at the Vahine Pro Junior. She held the lead for 28 minutes of the 30 minute final, letting Single steal the lead on her last wave.
“I really wanted to win!” Coffey said. “I’m disappointed with second, but it happens. I’m in Tahiti and I love it here so I shouldn’t let it get me down. This was a great event, the waves were fun and it’s paradise here.
Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) has finished equal 3rd place at the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior today after losing to local hero Enrique Ariitu (PYF) in the Semifinals. Parkinson had been one of the event standouts, launching some of the event’s best aerials and slicing through the open face with his signature smooth style. This result moves Parkinson to No. 2 on the rankings just behind Jake Sylvester (AUS).
“My best result before I came on this trip was a 5th and that was only a month ago in Newcastle,” Parkinson said. “To come to Tahiti and get a second and then a third here is way better than I was expecting. I’m over the moon with my performance and with the way I surfed. I can’t believe I’m second on the rankings, I’ve never been that high, I finished last year ranked 30 something, so I’m really happy.”