Rangiroa Open Pro
WSL QS1000 Men's Event
Hawaii/Tahiti Nui WSL Region
8 - 11 March 2016
Avatoru’s Only Underdog Misses out in Round 2
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 March, 2016 - Avatoru, Rangiroa - The first day of the Rangiroa Open Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event saw technical barrel riding from some of Tahiti’s finest, plus impressive performances from Hawaii and international notables. The competition continued to heat up as key athletes advanced and the field narrowed.
A NW swell pulsed barreling 6-8 foot faces throughout the morning, but by 11:30am contest organizers called the competition on standby until the waves proved more consistent. By 2:30pm, the surf had picked up and Round 2 was in action. Mild offshore winds cooled down the hot and humid temperatures while local Tahitian music filled the event site and added to the island atmosphere.
Judges were looking for well-executed performances and completed waves, which proved to be tricky for surfers as conditions shifted in the afternoon.
In the opening heat of the morning, Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) kept the lead against fellow competitorsLudo Horoi (PYF) and Moana Domenech (PYF), posting a 6.25 and 5.25 to secure first and advance onto the next round. Ouvre continued his winning streak by moving onto the third round after surfing against a stacked heat that included Jason Shibata (HAW), Tereva David (PYF) and Mateia Hiquily (PYF). Shibata also advanced into Round 3.
The only competitor to call Rangiroa home, Horoi, had a unique advantage given his sharpened knack to the nuances of the complex wave. The Tahiti surfer was able to secure the second highest scoring wave of his first heat, however, Horoi’s crusade was cut short after an interference call was made against his favor in Round 2.
Standouts of the day included South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray, who posted a near-perfect 9.90 score after taking off deep in a barrel that measured 10 feet on the face, working through two sections and wowing the judges by narrowly escaping on dry reef. Contestants are striving to make little to no mistakes here at Rangiroa, since one fall could result in a broken board – which was the fate of many surfers' equipment today – or worse.
Brothers Teoro Tahutini (PYF) and Heifara Tahutini (PYF) of Papenoo were among the top talents of the day, matched up against one another in the second heat. Heifara set the benchmark with a solid, in-command Tahitian style of surfing and advanced in first with two good scores, a 6.25 and 7.50. Teoro advanced behind his brother, surely making dad proud, who won the ISA World Surfing Games Open Division in Japan, 1990.
Rurarii Atani (PYF) secured the second highest ride of the day, an excellent 9.0 score for a deep, off the point take off. Atani showed expert skill as he drove through an 8-foot barrel and made a clean exit, then re-entered into a second barrel to round out a smooth, clean, well executed ride.
Atani also scored an 8.0 in his first heat, where he locked in on a critical take-off, threaded the barrel and found the exit just in time before ending on dry reef, an exciting feat that judges rewarded today.
Two of the few Australians of the event, Braiden Maither and Shane Holmes were both able to secure their place in the upcoming day 2 of competition, placing first and second respectively in their heats.
Contest organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:00am to determine if the Rangiroa Open Pro will resume. If called on, the competition will pick up at Round 2 Heat 8 with Gatien Delahaye (GLP) Elijah Gates (HAW), Shane Sykes (ZAF) and Mauiki Raioha.
Round of 64 – 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 33rd place, 4th = 49th place
H1: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM), Jason Shibata (HAW), Tereva David (PYF), Mateia Hiquily (PYF)
H2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Slade Prestwich (ZAF), Teiki Charles (PYF), Ludo Horoi (PYF)
H3: Hank Gaskell (HAW), Heifara Tahutini (PYF), Landon McNamara (HAW), Kelson Lau (HAW)
H4: Teoro Tahutini (PYF), Kaimana Jaquias (HAW), Joaquin Del Castillo (PER), Kona Oliveira (HAW)
H5: Eli Olson (HAW), Keoni Yan (HAW), Chris Foster (HAW), William Peckett (PYF)
H6: Turo Enrique Ariitu (PYF), Luke Shepardson (HAW), Dylan Goodale (HAW), Logan Bediamol (HAW)
H7: Billy Kemper (HAW), Kai Mana Henry (HAW), Ruarii Atani (PYF), Alex Pendleton (HAW)
Round of 80 – 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 65th place
H1: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM), Ludo Horoi (PYF), Moana Domenech (PYF)
H2: Heifara Tahutini (PYF), Teoro Tahutini (PYF), Mike Voirin (PYF)
H3: William Peckett (PYF), Logan Bediamol (HAW), Pono Auld (HAW) - NS
H4: Ruarii Atani (PYF), Mauiki Raioha (PYF), Noah Hill (USA)
H5: Tinirau Taramu (PYF), Shane Holmes (AUS), Heimoananui David (PYF), Keanu Moux (PYF) - INJ
H6: Lance Gruver (HAW), Nainoa Surratt (HAW), Christopher Bluthardt (HAW) - NS
H7: Ariimoana David (PYF), Warren Peckett (PYF), Koa Rothman (HAW) - NS
H8: Braiden Maither (AUS), Taaroa Sanford (PYF), Jean Pierre Quiroz (PER)