Kalani Ball (AUS) jumping into the next Round. Pic ASP/Will H-S
PAPARA, Tahiti (Wednesday, April 10, 2013) – The second of two back-to-back ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series events in French Polynesia, the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior ran the opening Round of the men’s competition today at Papara rivermouth, Tahiti. With 2 – 3 foot (1.5 meter) running lefts and rights on offer, the field of international competitors unloaded their full repertoire in an exciting day of surfing.
The second annual Tahiti Nui Pro Junior carries an ASP 3-Star rating for the men’s division and for the fist 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.
Kalani Ball (South Coast, NSW/AUS) opened the event with a dominant heat win, mixing carves and big aerials to easily advance into the next Round with the highest two-wave heat-total of the event thus far 16.00 (out of a possible 20).
“At the start of the heat I couldn’t get any waves,” Ball said. “Halfway through I just started catching a few little ones to get my score up and then I got a really good wave and got a 9.00 so I’m stoked. I’m so happy to win that heat, it was a hard heat with all of the guys getting good scores.”
Jack Duggan (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) suffered a slow start to his opening heat at the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior today, and looked like he was headed for a first round exit. In the second half of the heat he switched on, executing a big air-reverse and smooth carves to take a Round of 48 heat win and advance into the Round of 32.
“Papara is such a fun wave,” Duggan said. “It feels good to start the event with a good heat. I had a slow start, but I snagged a few and managed to get the win so I’m pretty happy. I love this place, we scored some great waves at Rangiroa last week, but the reef is a bit dodgy. Now we’re in Tahiti and we’ve surfed some fun reefs and Papara is such a great little beachbreak!”
Dune Kennings (New Zealand) launched and landed the biggest air of the day, earning an 8.50 out of a possible 10 for his efforts. Kennings backed up his 8.50 with a mid-range score and took the heat win and will now take on Jake Scott (AUS), Mateia Hiquily (PYF) and Heimana Buisson (PYF) in the Round of 32.
“The surf looked so fun, I couldn’t wait to get out there,” Kennings said. “I got the big score on a wave that was about to close out so I just went for an air and landed so it paid off. The waves here are super fun and similar to where I live so I feel comfortable out there. I’m the only Kiwi in the event and it’s a good opportunity for me to try my best against the best surfers.”
O’Neil Massin (Tahiti) led the local Tahitian charge today, absolutely tearing apart both lefts and rights with sharp vertical turns and powerful carves. He will now take on Kurtis Herman (AUS), Ryan Hunt (AUS) and Kevin Bourez (PYF) when competition resumes.