The 5th Annual Rangiroa Pro Junior got started today in long winding three foot (1 meter) surf at Rangiroa atoll in the Tuamotu islands, French Polynesia. Two event Trials Heats and four Heats of Round 1 were run and won in fun surf at the world-class reef break.
Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS) won the opening heat of Round 1 at the Rangiroa Pro Junior today, showcasing a variety of carving turns and snaps, finishing the heat with two excellent scores an 8.25 and a 7.00 (out of a possible 10). Chapman will now face Soli Bailey (AUS), Matt Williams (AUS) and Shane Campbell (AUS) in Round 2 when competition resumes.
"It was a long day waiting until three in the afternoon to run, but I knew there'd be good waves and it was really fun out there," Chapman said. "I came here two years ago and the surf was pumping, so I was really excited to come back because we have had really small surf on the ASP Qualifying Series so far this year. Those were the best waves I've surfed in a heat so far this year."
Harley Ross-Webster (North Curl Curl, NSW/AUS) top scored the day with an impressive two-wave heat-total of 16.60 (out of a possible 20). This is Ross-Webster's first time at this event, but he excelled in the tricky and shallow conditions putting on a show with smooth rail surfing.
"This is my first time here and it's definitely shallower than I was expecting," Ross-Webster said. "You just have to commit one hundred percent out there and hope for the best. It's been flat all week so it's really good to get some waves, especially with only four guys out because it can be tough to get waves out there sometimes. This island is great, I'm loving it here."
Hawaiian Luke Shepardson and Tahitian Teofan Aubriot won through the Trials this morning and advanced into Round 1 of the Rangiroa Pro Junior.
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