- WSL / Sam Norwood

The World Surf League (WSL) and region of Hawaii and Tahiti Nui (HAW/TAH) are excited to announce the addition of four events to the 2016 regional calendar: the Rangiroa Open Pro (Men) QS1,000 from March 8-10 and the Papara Open Pro (Men) QS1,000; Papara Pro Junior (Men) JT1,000; and Vahine Pro Junior (Women) JT1,000 from March 13-18.

WSL Hawaii welcomes Tahiti into its region, which will allow surfers the opportunity to count the Rangiroa and Papara event points toward regional rankings. With these new contest additions, there are now six events in HAW/TAH where athletes can gain points to qualify for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the prestigious culmination of events at the end of every WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour year.

"In the sport of surfing Hawaii and Tahiti have had a long relationship, and now through the partnership of quality surfing events we have the chance to strengthen that relationship into the future," said WSL Hawaii Tour Manager Bert Ishimaru. "Like Hawaii, Tahiti has some of the best reef breaks in the world and for our regional surfers to have the opportunity to compete at these locations is priceless."

President of the Tahitian Surfing Federation, Lionel Teihotu, said that after five years of hosting the pro junior competition in Rangiroa, he is pleased that the WSL has sanctioned it as a QS1,000. Furthermore, that they are maintaining the pro junior men and women's competition alongside another QS1,000 at the beach break of Papara.

Soli Bailey clocking some tube time at the Rangiroa Pro Junior today Soli Bailey (AUS) finds a beautiful right at Rangiroa. - WSL / Will Hayden-Smith

"The Tahitian Surfing Federation aims to develop international surfing competitions in order to offer our surfers the opportunity to compete and measure themselves against the best international surfers and keep improving their ratings to join our Tahitian champion, Michel Bourez, at the CT level," said Teihotu.

"We invite all regional and international surfers to join us at our beautiful surfing spots and share our nice reef waves and beach breaks while also sharing a rich cultural and emotional experience through our traditional living style."

Papara Pro Surf Festival Opening Ceremony Papara Pro Surf Tahiti opening ceremony. - WSL / Will Hayden-Smith

Rangiroa is the main atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago, with a lagoon that boasts beautiful colors and plentiful diving activities that epitomize the allure of Tahiti. Rangiroa's reefbreaks are also known to deliver great waves with a north swell, while Papara offers an equally stunning beach break at the Taharuu river mouth on the black sand beach of Popoti.

Surfers should look to these Tahitian events to build and strengthen not only their regional rankings, but also to enrich cultural experiences that come from world travel. There is now a unique opportunity for surfers to enjoy the waves and lifestyle of Tahiti and also work toward the career goal of surfing on the professional platform.

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