Tahiti continued to turn on great waves for the Final day of the 2015 Papara Surf Festival. Big scores and exciting back and forth battles was the order of the day that saw three champions crowned on the tiny tropical island in the Pacific.
Taumata Puhetini (PYF) took out the blue ribbon Papara Pro Surf Festival QS1000 division over fellow Tahitian and one of the most decorated surfers in the country, Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF). The pair left their friendship on the sand and put it all on the line in the fight to claim the points, prize money and prestige of claiming Tahiti's only WSL Qualifying Series event title.
"Hira (Teriinatoofa) is so good here, it's his local beach and I knew I was going to have to surf my best," Puhetini said. "That was a really close heat. I lost last year to Hira in the Quarterfinals. I really wanted to do better than that this year and I'm so happy now."
Isabella Nichols (AUS) has continued her stellar competitive season to take out the Vahine Pro Junior final and the No. 1 spot on the WSL Australasia Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) rankings. Nichols used her polished and precise approach to take the win over Holly Wawn (AUS) 17.60 to 14.85.
"Papara is such an awesome place to run an event. I want to thank all the locals for being so accommodating and letting us surf with only one other girl out," Nichols said. "Coming into this event I knew that Holly (Wawn) and I were really close on the rankings but I think winning this event has put me just in front."
O'Neill Massin (PYF) went one step better than his runner-up finish at the event last week when he defeated Lliam Mortensen (AUS) in the Final of the Papara Pro Junior. The pair finished separated by less than 1 point and Massin now moves to 3rd place on the WSL Australasia JQS rankings.
"It's so good to win at Papara. I really wanted to win that heat against Mihimana (Braye) and then to win the final is the best feeling in the world." Massin said. "I felt bad using my priority against Mihimana but we're really good friends and in competition you have to do that sort of thing. It's really cool that Mihimana won in Rangiroa and that I won here, with all our friends and family here it means a lot to everyone."
Papara Pro QS1000 event site here.
Papara Pro Junior event site here.
Vahine Pro Junior event site here.