In the pristine, warm tropical waters of French Polynesia, Tahitian Mihimana Braye has taken the first World Surf League (WSL) win of his career at the Rangiroa Pro Junior over countryman O'Neill Massin in Hollow 1-2 metre surf over shallow sharp coral reef.
Massin had Braye against the ropes early posting an excellent 8.75 for a heat total of 14.25, but Braye's persistence saw him narrowly take the win with a 7.25 and 7.40 to put him in front by just .40 of a point.
The win has moved Braye nine places up the Australasian Junior Tour Rankings to 4th place, and into contention for the prestigious Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) championship.
"It feels incredible to win a WSL event!" Braye said. "I've been coming to Rangiroa and competing for a few years now so to finally win is a great feeling. There were a lot of great surfers in the draw and O'Neill (Massin) has been on fire all day, I just stuck to my game and it worked out."
On his way to victory, Braye took down Australian Jackson Baker in the Semifinals, giving him an equal 3rd place, his best result for the year so far which moves him eight places up the rankings to 8th overall.
"I've been having a bit of a shocker this year so to make the Semis is just what I needed to get back on track," Baker said. "This island is very remote and has a really shallow ripple wave. You can fish, surf and have a great time."
Braye finished the contest with a clean sheet, placing first in every heat he surfed. He will be hoping to continue this form when competition resumes at the next event, the Papara Pro Junior, Tahiti where all the action kicks off on April 7.