World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii/Tahiti Nui is proud to announce that the Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro, a men's Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000, is back to provide the ultimate conclusion to its 2022/23 regional QS season. The world-class reef break will test competitors' barrel-riding ability with its hollow, challenging tendencies. This event will determine the final QS rankings for athletes' 2023 Challenger Series qualification as they look to make a move toward the elite Championship Tour (CT).
"Māuruuru roa to the Tahitian Surfing Federation and Rangiroa community for bringing this event back for our Hawaii/Tahiti Nui athletes," said WSL North America/Hawaii Regional Director Robin Erb. "This is a thrilling venue for the conclusion of the men's regional season, and we look forward to some incredible performances and the determination of our Challenger Series qualifiers."
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event hosted some of the region's best competitors from 2016 - 2020 and proved to be one the QS's destination events. For Tahitian competitors, and the community of Rangiroa, this event is crucial as they don't have travel beyond their borders to compete and have the opportunity to get important points toward earning a spot onto the Challenger Series.
"The Tahitian Surfing Federation is overjoyed to be able to hold the exciting WSL event at the Rangiroa reef again," said President of the Tahitian Surfing Federation, Lionel Teihotu. "This is the first WSL QS event since the pandemic and for our Tahitian surfers it is very important to compete and measure up to surfers from around the region."
Multiple 10-point rides have been recorded at Rangiroa, the main atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago, throughout its brief, but electric competition history. From the likes of defending event winner, Mason Ho, to Tahiti's own Tereva David, those willing to throw themselves over the ledge will be rewarded.
With current No. 1 Eli Hanneman already accruing 1,350 points, four remaining spots are up for grabs toward the 2023 Challenger Series with the likes of Joshua Moniz, Jackson Bunch, Billy Kemper, and Shion Crawford looking to hold their ground and clinch those respective spots.
The Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro will run on the best three days during the event window beginning March 6 - 10.