Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro Men
World Surf League Men’s QS 1000 event
6 - 10 March, 2017
Barrel And Air SHOW For Day 2 of Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 March, 2017 - Avatoru, Rangiroa Tuamotu Islands, Tahiti - Day 2 of the Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro delivered a highly-entertaining high-performance show for both competitors and spectators, with Hawaii’s Imaikalani deVault and Tahiti’s Enrique Ariitu Turo stealing the limelight for aerial maneuvers and Tahiti’s O’Neill Massin nabbing the best barrel of the day.
The Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro is a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event and offers surfers from both Hawaii and Tahiti Nui the opportunity to garner points toward their regional rankings.
At just 20 years old, Massin is a household name in the regional realm and has continuously demonstrated his aptitude in heavier waves like Rangiroa and Sunset Beach on Oahu. Massin made his countrymen proud after nabbing the best barrel of the day and highest single wave score of the event, a 9.60 for a lengthy disappearing act in an overhead tube followed with a calculated cutback.
Massin backed up the near-perfect score with a 7.25 and advanced ahead of deVault with only two waves ridden during the 30-minute heat. Hawaii surfers Kai Lenny (Maui) and Jason Shibata (Oahu) were nudged out of the competition after falling to Massin and deVault in Round Three Heat 1.
“Kai (Lenny) took the first one of the set and I knew behind it was going to be a better wave,” said Massin. “It was good, a perfect barrel, I am lucky.” Following the excellent score, Massin stayed focused on the task at hand. “I was not super stoked, like ‘oh yes, with this wave I made the heat,’ you know,” continued Massin. “I just stayed focused, got another wave and just tried to do my best.”
Meanwhile, deVault treated beach goers to an air show, attacking the inside sections with commitment and precision. DeVault advanced with a combined two-wave total of 15.90 and edged out Lenny by less than half a point.
Earlier in the day, Ariitu Turo helped lay the groundwork for both aerial and barrel scores, and showcased a playful spirit while landing multiple frontside airs.
“I’ve been surfing with my magic board for like two weeks now,” said Ariitu Turo. “My good friend Nomme Mignot gave it to me from Mexico and it works perfect in the air. The waves today are good for the airs too so I’m stoked.” The 5’10 swallow tail looked light and agile under his feet and helped propel him to a Round Three appearance against Heifara Tahutini (PYF), Jocelyn Poulou (PYF) and Tom Dosland (HAW).
Ariitu Turo has been surfing this competition since its inception in 2010 as a junior series, and looks inform for a potential podium finish.
“I remember the first year they put it on and it was one of the best waves I ever surfed,” continued Ariitu Turo. “My goal is to requalify for the Triple Crown. I just want to show that I can do good both in Tahiti and Hawaii.”
Another notable performance came from Anthony Walsh (HAW) who scored a 9.15 for a flawlessly executed standing barrel.
“It was just a perfect, easy wave and I had priority and was in the right spot,” said Walsh. “I just had to pretty much stand there and get barreled. When those waves come through, I mean it’s pretty easy, it’s easier than having to grovel and do some turns and work for the score. Those are the kind of waves I like and I’m comfortable in these conditions.”
Originally from Lennox Head, Australia, Walsh, 34, has been living on the North Shore of Oahu for over a decade and now surfs under the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region. No stranger to waves of consequence, Walsh looked calm and collected in the overhead surf and backed up his 9.60 with a 7.75. Wave selection was key for his advancement into Round Three, as Walsh caught only two waves, albeit the best waves, during the heat.
Finn McGill (HAW) and Jake Marshall (USA) battled it out in the final heat of the day to keep the anticipation high, both posting scores in the excellent range and trading waves from the outside peak to the inside bowl. Marshall scored a 9.00 for a hollow barrel, which changed the situation in the lineup, but McGill pulled ahead in first after securing an 8.75 for a barrel/turn combination in the final minutes of the heat. The two young guns ousted Tahitian powerhouse Taumata Puhetini and Dante Silva (HAW).
With only 13 heats left in the event, contest organizers will be selective on when to run in the last two days of the holding period. The swell is predicted to drop a bit and swing more North, which will still provide barrels but also favor big maneuvers. Organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:00am to determine a call. Visit WorldSurfLeague.com for the official call, updates and recaps of the event.
Surfers shown in order of 1st through 4th place. Athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted.
Round 3 – 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25h place
H1: O’Neill Massin (PYF), Imaikalani deVault, Kai Lenny, Jason Shibata
H2: Steven Pierson (PYF), Benji Brand, Cristobal De Col (PER), Miguel Blanco (PRT)
H3: Michael O’Shaughnessy, Makana Eleogram, Kala Willard, Tereva David (PYF)
H4: Olamana Eleogram, Logan Bediamol, Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF), Chris Foster
H5: Jocelyn Poulou (PYF), Enrique Ariitu Turo (PYF), Heifara Tahutini (PYF), Tom Dosland
H6: Finn McGill, Jake Marshall (USA), Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Dante Silva
Round 2 - 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 33rd place, 4th = 49th place
H1: O’Neill Massin (PYF), Steven Pierson (PYF), Eliott Napias (PYF), Brad Young (HAW)
H2: Imaikalani deVault, Cristobal De Col (PER), Luke Shepardson, David Dandois (PYF)
H3: Miguel Blanco (PRT), Kai Lenny, Kainehe Hunt, Luke Adolfson
H4: Benji Brand, Jason Shibata, Mauiki Raioha (PYF), Lorenzo Avvenenti (PYF)
H5: Makana Eleogram, Logan Bediamol, Christopher Bluthardt, Makai McNamara
H6: Kala Willard, Chris Foster, Vehiatua Prunier (PYF), Ryder Guest
H7: Olamana Eleogram, Tereva David (PYF), Tikanui Smith (PYF), Roberto Araki (CHL)
H8: Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF), Michael O’Shaughnessy, Kai Mana Henry, William Peckett (PYF)
H9: Heifara Tahutini (PYF), Finn McGill, Shayden Pacarro, Kelson Lau
H10: Enrique Ariitu Turo (PYF), Dante Silva, Kekoa Cazimero, Ruarii Atani (PYF)
H11: Jake Marshall (USA), Jocelyn Poulou (PYF), Ulualoha Napeahi, Danilo Cerda (CHL)
H12: Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Matahi Drollet (PYF), Braiden Maither, Matahi Drollet (PYF)
H13: Heremoana Luciani (PYF), Kaito Kino, Barron Mamiya, Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF)
H14: Anthony Walsh, Kaimana Jaquias, Heimoananui (PYF), Noah Beschen
H15: Keoni Yan, Sheldon Paishon, Ludo Horoi (PYF), Jean Pierre Quiroz (PER)
H16: Elijah Gates, Sunny Garcia, Isaac Stant, Makana Pang