This week the ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series will resume in the Tuamotu Islands on Rangiroa atoll for the 5th Annual Rangiroa Pro Junior. The best junior (U21) surfers from Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti will take part in the event and compete for valuable rating's points and prize-money, with the top rated surfers at the end of the season having the chance to compete at the ASP World Junior Championships.
Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) has returned to Rangiroa for his second time and is looking forward to the event getting started and is hoping to score some epic surf at the Rangiroa Pro Junior this week. Hing finished equal 5th place at this event last year and will be one to watch when competition starts.
"It's great for us to have some events outside of Australia and good for the Tahitian surfers to have some events at home," Hing said. "The wave here is really good! Last year we got some good barrels and I hope it gets big again so we can get more this year. It's one of the heaviest waves because it's so shallow and if you manage to stay on your board you're going to get really barrelled."
Philippe Klima from the Tahitian Surfing Federation is proud of this event, and the world-class waves that Rangiroa has to offer. The surf is small at the moment but there's a swell on the horizon that's predicted to bring great waves later in the week.
"This event is a fantastic opportunity for the young Tahitian surfers," Klima said. "We have some of the best junior surfers in world here to showcase the talent and the waves we have here in Rangiroa and Tahiti."
Glen Elliot, Rangiroa Pro Junior Head Judge is looking forward to seeing the great mix of international surfing talent taking to the powerful Pacific reef break at the Rangiroa Pro Junior this week.
"The waves here are powerful, it's great to test these aspiring young professional surfers," Elliot said. "The local community put on a great event here, the opening ceremony was fantastic with Tahitian music and dancers, it was the perfect way to start such a great event."
Today is day 1 of the event and a lay-day has been called, the next call is at 7am tomorrow.
This is the first of two back-to-back events in French Polynesia, with the ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series moving to Tahiti next week for the Papara Pro Surf Festival that will host a pro junior event for the men, the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior, the Vahine Pro Junior for the women and an open ASP 1-Star Qualifying Series event for the men.
The Rangiroa Pro Junior will run from April 2 â€“ 6 and the Papara Surf Festival will run from April 8 â€“ 13