Rangiroa Open Pro
WSL QS1000 Men's Event
Hawaii/Tahiti Nui WSL Region
8 - 11 March 2016
New event taps Polynesian thread between Tahiti and Hawaii
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 March, 2016 - Hotu A Ura Pass, Rangiroa, Tahiti - For the first time in surfing's history, Rangiroa – the largest atoll in Tahiti and second largest in the world – will play host to an international World Surf League Qualifying Series 1,000 event, the Rangiroa Open Pro.
The Rangiroa Open Pro will also be the first official event under the new Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region, bringing Polynesian surfers back together again as they pursue valuable world and regional ratings points.
“For the Federation it’s great news to see the birth of the new region, Hawaii/Tahiti Nui,” said Lionel Teihotu, President of Federation Tahitien de Surf (FTS). “We heard about it at the end of 2015 and today it’s official. For many centuries, Hawaii and Tahiti were linked in the Polynesia Triangle and now that link will continue, but with surfing. The voyage keeps going.”
The holding period for this two-day competition is from March 8 – 11 and forecasters predict that the NW swell that recently hit Hawaii will turn up on the shores of Rangiroa, producing contestable 8-10 foot wave face heights for the entire holding period.
Today will see a traditional ceremony to welcome visitors and surfers and inaugurate the event. With nine different countries gathering on the white coral shores of the Hotu A Ura Pass, the melding of the different nations allow a unique opportunity for cross cultural exchange and relationship building. While the surfing will be at an all time high, the experiences gained in Rangiroa will also be equally memorable.
Today, surfers prepared to tackle the steep and critical right-hander reef break that favors a NE or NW swell. The open, barreling wave has attracted the notable likes of Tahitian legends Manoa Drollet, Raimana Van Bastolaer and Vetea David.
Event organizers, surfers, and island residents have worked together for the past few days to transform the coastline into a colorful and professional surfing venue. This year, the Federation and WSL Hawaii are working to fine-tune their events and raise the level of surfing for future generations.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to learn how to create better events,” continues Teihotu. “This will help us better all around surfing, and also with cultural relations, environmental actions and ocean protections. So many good things can be accomplished with this new region.”
An official call will be made by 7am tomorrow to determine whether the competition will get an immediate start. The event will be broadcast locally by Tahiti Broadcasting System 5, or catch live updates online at worldsurfleague.com.