Starting out the day was the men's WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event that surfed through the round of 32 to decide the Quarterfinalists. Posting the second highest heat total of the day, 16.50 (out of a possible 20) in the Pro Junior and the highest heat total of the day in the QS1000, a 17.50 was local surfer Mihimana Braye, who will be looking for a strong result after winning the last event at Rangiroa.
"I'm so stoked to be back here," Braye said. "I've been surfing Papara since I was young -- it's my local break. I know the wave, I know where the good waves are and so I just focused on my game plan. That left I got was so good. I managed to do three turns, a floater and then to finish with that air, I was so stoked. I hope to finish with a good result."
The QS1000 rated Papara Surf Festival pushed through the round of 32 to narrow the field to just 16 surfers. After being knocked out of the Pro Junior event earlier in the day, Australian Harry Bryant was able to focus solely on the open QS, posting a solid 14.30 to place second in his heat and move through to the Round of 16.
"I took all my rage from the Pro Junior heat out there," Bryant said. "I can just focus on the QS now and it should be a fun week. I haven't had much experience in QS heats and there's some pretty big names here so it should be a good experience. Tahiti is a great place. This is my second time here and I'm really thankful that the WSL can have an event in such a remote location. This is the best conditions we've had for a Pro Junior event all year. It's the most perfect set up. It caters for goofy and regularfooters so it's an even playing field."
Other standout performers from the round of 32 included defending champion Mateia Higuily (PYF) who won through to the round of 16 posting a heat total of 14.90, Australia's Riley Laing winning his heat with a 14.50 and Keoni Yan (HAW) winning his heat with a near perfect 9-point-ride.
Papara Pro QS1000 event site here.
Papara Pro Junior event site here.
Vahine Pro Junior event site here.