Mauiki Raioha (PYF) kicked off the competition with the best disappearing act of the event, a benchmark barrel that set the standard for Day 2 of the Rangiroa Open Pro. The 17-year-old secured the first 10-point ride of the event on his opening wave in the first heat of the afternoon, after a lull that kept the competition from running until 2 p.m.
A deep takeoff put the Papenoo local in perfect positioning to drive through multiple sections and narrowly escape the curtain of water for a clean finale.
Competitors Shane Sykes (ZAF), Elijah Gates (HAW) and Gatien Delahaye (GLP) attempted to catch Raioha, but he backed up his perfect score with a 7.95 for a combined heat total of 17.95, the highest of the event so far.
"A 10 is nice, I hope to make it into the Final," said Raioha in a post-heat interview. "It's fun today, there's a couple good waves but you have to be on them and you have to make the scores."
Close behind Raioha's 17.95 was O'Neill Massin's (PYF) 17.75, which ultimately edged out Shane Holmes (AUS) and Dege O'Connell (HAW). The Tahitian has had an impressive performance so far and secured the second-highest score of the day, an excellent 9.50. Hawaii's Eala Stewart will continue his campaign into Round 3 as well.
Mihimana Braye (PYF), defending champion from last year's Rangiroa Pro Junior, got busy in his heat against Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) and Tinirau Taramu (PYF) and posted two mid-range scores -- a 4.65 and 5.90 -- to stay in the running. Braye, 20, is considered Tahiti's newest threat. Earlier this year at the SEAT Pro Netanya in Israel, he finished runner-up.
In an all-Hawaiian heat, Makai McNamara (HAW) showed calm confidence as he tallied two high scores -- an 8.25 and 7.25 -- to advance in first. Finn McGill (HAW) was patient and caught only two waves, but scored enough points to propel into the next round. Both surfers are standouts on the North Shore of Oahu, which is considered the proving grounds of the sport. McNamara recently placed third in the Volcom Pipe Pro, a WSL QS3,000 event that kicked off the 2016 Hawaii/Tahiti Nui season.
After taking the morning to asses conditions, contest organizers called the Rangiroa Open Pro, a WSL QS1,000 event, ON in a building NW swell with set waves in the 8-10 foot range. Tomorrow the team will reconvene at 7 a.m, to determine if the contest will resume.
Here's a look at the two remaining matchups in Round 2:
Steven Pierson (PYF)
Taumata Puhetini (PYF)
Danny Fuller (HAW)
Braiden Maither (AUS)
Kekoa Cazimero (HAW)
Max Longhurst (AUS)
Vehiatua Prunier (PYF)
Taaroa Sanford (PYF)