TAHITI, French Polynesia (Saturday, April 7, 2012) –Wade Carmichael (AUS) has taken out the Inaugural Billabong Tahiti Nui Pro Junior, his second ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series event win this week! Eight locals and eight international surfers battled it out in two-to-three foot (1.5 meter) surf at Papara beach, Tahiti today with Carmichael claiming the top spot over Aiihoe Tefaafana (PYF).
Carmichael solidified his spot as the number on ranked ASP Australasian Pro Junior surfer with his back-to-back wins in Tahiti this week. Carmichael used his unrivalled power carves and snaps to take the win today and even launched one of the event’s best aerials with a massive backhand air-reverse.
“It feels so good to win two events in a row!” Carmichael said. “It’s a pretty nice way to end what’s been an awesome trip to Tahiti. I don’t really know what the secret to my success is, I’ve just been enjoying my surfing, doing some turns and getting some good waves. That Semifinal against Tim (Macdonald) was a tough one, that backhand air-reverse just snuck me through. It was a good heat, it was close. Then I started the Final off pretty well, Aiihoe (Tefaafana) lives here and knows this wave really well so I just tried to get some quick score and put the pressure on him and it worked. I think I’ll do a trip to Teahupoo with all the boys tomorrow to celebrate, hopefully we will score some barrels!”
Aiihoe Tefaafana (PYF) was the last Tahitian standing after his fellow countrymen Jocelyn Poulou (PYF), Teoro Tahutini (PYF), Mateia Hiquily (PYF) and Enrique Ariitu (PYF) all lost in the Quarterfinals. Tefaafana tore through the draw with his lightning fast snaps and critical airs. Carmichael started the Final with two massive scores and Tefaafana put up a good fight, but was unable to chase down the 8.96 (out of a possible 10) he required to take the win.
“This was my first Pro Junior Final!” Tefaafana said. “I’m so happy! This was a great event for me. Congratulations to Wade (Carmichael), he surfed really well in the Final and proved he’s the best. He had a good technique to get some big score early in the heat. This is my home surf spot and I’m very happy that I made the Final.”
Connor O’Leary (AUS) was a standout performer all event, consistently posting big scores with powerful and progressive surfing. He came up just short in his Semifinal clash against the red hot local surfer Aiihoe Tefaafana (PYF).
“I got a big score at the start and I thought I’d be ok,” O’Leary said. “Then it stopped breaking for 10 minutes and then I got the score I needed to go into first, but then he got a better one behind me. I was just having fun at this event, there was no pressure and I had a ball.”
Photo: Wade Carmichael (AUS), winner of back-to-back events in Tahiti and number 1 on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series. © ASP/ Will H-S