The Papara Pro Surf Festival started with the opening ceremony, followed by Rounds 1 and 2 of the Vahine Pro Junior in clean two-to-three foot (1 meter) surf. The Tahiti Nui Pro Junior and the open ASP 1-Star Qualifying Series event for the men were called off for the day. The surf is expected to rise all week and all three ASP divisions are expected to finish on the weekend in excellent conditions.
Keely Andrew (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS), current No. 2 on the ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series won her first heat at the Vahine Pro Junior, earning the right to skip Round 2 and advance directly into the Quarterfinals. Andrew's smooth and powerful carving turns saw her earn one of the day's highest single wave scores - 8.50 out of a possible 10.
"It was so good to be able to surf this wave in a heat with just one other girl," Andrew said. "I love Tahiti, the weather is great, the people is nice and it has some of the best waves in the world. I'm really trying to enjoy it as much as possible because it will be winter soon at home. I'd love to keep making heats at this event and climb up the ranking's, Bronte (Macaulay) is above me and she's a great surfer, but I'd love to move back to No. 1."
Holly-Sue Coffey (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) won through to the Quarterfinals of the Vahine Pro Junior with a series of powerful wrapping turns. Currently ranked No. 4 on the ASP Australasia JQS, Holly-Sue will be looking to keep the event title in the family after seeing her sister Ellie-Jean take out this event last year.
"Tahiti is my favourite place in the world!" Coffey said. "Winning that first heat and skipping a round of competition takes some nerves away and some pressure off. It's a long way to travel for an event so I didn't want to go out early, so I'm really happy that I started well and hopefully I can keep it going to the end. There aren't a lot of girls in this event, but the standard and quality of their surfing is high, so this would be a great event to win."
Tahitian surfers Karelle Poppke (PYF) and Vahine Fierro (PYF) were also event standouts today, posting big scores and surfing with flair and flow to advance into the Quarterfinals.
The Papara Surf Festival will run from April 8 â€“ 13. For more information log on to papara.prosurfinglive.com
UPCOMING VAHINE PRO JUNIOR QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS: QF 1: Karelle Poppke (PYF) vs. Lucy Callister (AUS) QF 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Shelby Detmers (AUS) QF 3: Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) vs. Vahine Fierro (PYF) QF 4: Sophia Bernard (AUS) vs. Ellie Brooks (AUS)