The Papara Pro Surf Festival resumed with Round's 1 and 2 of the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior, while the open ASP 1-Star Qualifying Series event and women's Vahine Pro Junior were put on standby. The surf improved throughout the day and provided the athletes pristine three foot (1 metre) powerful walls, the perfect conditions for rail carves and aerial surfing.
Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW/AUS) winner of last week's Rangiroa Pro Junior, and runner-up Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) were both eliminated in Round 2 in an interesting and exciting day of surfing that's sure to have ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series ranking's repercussions.
Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS) won through both Round 1 and 2, improving on his second Round loss at the last event. Chapman mixed smooth rail carves with critical floaters to earn a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) and advance into Round 3 where he'll face Chris Robertson (AUS), Mihimana Braye (PYF) and Jackson Baker (AUS).
"It was the same heat, with pretty much the same surfers that I lost in last week and I was worried it was going to happen again," Chapman said. "I was lucky I got that 9.00 at the start and it eased the nerves a little. It is a really fun wave here, a little like Narrabeen at home with a running left and a rippable right. After I lost in Rangiroa I came straight over, so I've been here for four days longer than everyone else and it paid off today."
O'Neill Massin (Tahiti) and Ariihoe Tefaafana (Tahiti) both top scored the day with two-wave heat-totals of 17.50 (out of a possible 20). Both surfers unloaded powerful and precise turns and snaps to easily advance into Round 3 of the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior.
"There weren't many waves at the start of the heat so I feel lucky to have gotten two good ones," Massin said. "I'm feeling really good here. I am really excited to surf in the next round and also in the 1-Star. There are so many good surfers here at this event, I know I have to stay focussed on the next heat."
Kalani Ball (South Coast, NSW/AUS) launched and landed a series of technical aerials in his Round 2 heat win at the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior. Ball was one of the day's top performers and will be up against Nick Callister (AUS), O'Neill Massin and Jack Duggan (AUS) in the next Round.
"I was watching the first two heats of this round and it looked really fun and I couldn't wait to get out there," Ball said. "There were a few ramps and I landed a couple of airs so I'm happy with how that went. This wave is really playful. As soon as the wind is going in to the right it makes it good for landing airs. It's a lot of fun!"
Kelly Norris (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) was also impressive in Round 2 of the Tahiti Nui Pro Junior, unloading power carves and posting a 9.00 (out of a possible 10). Norris controlled the line-up and was able to out-position his fellow competitors and put himself on the best waves of the heat.
"My board is going really good and the waves are fun, so I'm pumped," Norris said. "Everyone was hassling so hard out there, you have to be on your game so you don't get an interference. There's one take off spot for both the lefts and the rights and everyone is trying to get the best waves, it can be difficult, but if you can pull it off the waves are super fun and it's worth it."
The Papara Surf Festival will run from April 8 â€“ 13. For more information log on to papara.prosurfinglive.com