The World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Qualifying Series (QS) contenders are ready and waiting for opening day of the Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro, a men's QS 1,000, beginning March 6 - 10. This event provides a world-class lineup of Rangiroa's pristine, barreling reef break for the conclusion of the Hawaii/Tahiti QS season. Only the Top 5, plus one wildcard, men will earn their place among the Challenger Series (CS) and the consequential wave of Rangiroa will push their abilities for qualification hopefuls.

"This is an exciting time for our region and the Tahitian Surfing Federation " said Hawaii/Tahiti Tour Manager Marty Thomas. "It brings back a world-class venue to our schedule and serves as a proving ground to our emerging, regional competitors. We can't be more grateful to the Federation and the local community for hosting us, and look forward to an epic finish to our men's QS season with so much on the line."

Finn McGill, On The Verge Heading Into Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro
The North Shore, Oahu, competitor Finn McGill prepares for the final showdown of the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui at a venue he has fond memories of.

A plethora of competitors looking to earn their place within Hawaii/Tahiti Nui's Top 5 such as North Shore, Oahu's, Finn McGill's head to Rangiroa in hopes of posting a big result. McGill currently sits at No. 7, just one spot out of the Challenger Series qualifiers, with Barron Mamiya double-qualified via the CT. McGill's comfort in waves of consequence will play to his advantage against fellow qualification threats Shion Crawford, Kai Martin, Robert Grilho, Sheldon Paishon and more, as well as his familiarity and prior success at Rangiroa.

"It's amazing to get come back [here], it's a dream spot," said McGill. "It was my first-ever QS Final back in [2016]. My goal was just learning what it's like on the QS with all the big dogs and made my first Final so it definitely holds a good place in my heart. It's such a raw place and beautiful, but you're also on survival mode a bit (laughs). To be in the spot I'm in is definitely cool, but definitely nerve-wracking, we're all really close and anything can happen."

Teoro Tahutini and Tereva David Thrive in All-Tahitian Heat
The duo came out on top among their fellow Tahitian brethren in a stout Round 1 Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro bout.

But, a heavily-contested field of competitors is in attendance including the likes of defending, 2020, event winner Mason Ho, current Hawaii/Tahiti Nui No. 1 Eli Hanneman, former Championship Tour (CT) competitor, Tahiti's own Tereva David and more could play ultimate spoiler to Challenger Series hopefuls. For David, a competitor who's earned a Perfect 10 and multiple Finals Day appearances at this event, and his fellow Tahitians this event marks an exciting return of professional surfing to their home soil.

"It's pretty amazing for us to be competing in such a special place," said David. "For us to be able to compete against the top Hawaii guys is an opportunity to show our level, be known, and share magic waves with our cousins. All the Tahitian surfers have been training really hard for this contest and we are ready to make a statement. Big thank you to WSL and the federation for making this happen."

The Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro will run on the best three days of competition beginning March 6 - 10 at the world-class wave of Rangiroa.

Event organizers will convene at 7:30 a.m. to make a call for a possible 8:00 a.m. start.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Watch LIVE

The Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro will open on March 6 and hold a competition window through March 10, 2023. Once called ON, the event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL's YouTube channel, and the free WSL app.

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