- 09 September 2011 | Surfing
Surfing teams from Tahiti, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Vanuatu and Kiribati battled for gold medals at the 14th Edition of the Pacific Games, held at Passe de Ouarai at Ouano (La Foa), New Caledonia.
Consistent four foot set waves throughout the three-day event peeled hollow and fast along the reef, providing the perfect setting for surfing athletes to impress the judges.
The Grand Finals decided the Gold and Silver medal winners, to excite the fans in the flotilla of boats bordering the reef's edge.
The Longboarders hit the water first. Heifara Tahutini (TAH) registered a high early score, leaving Remy Darkis (NCL) waiting for a good wave of his own to mount a challenge. Tahutini showed all the skills of the champion. Good wave selection, strong turns in critical sections of the waves, floaters and nose rides all got their turn in his repertoire.
Darkis worked hard on lesser waves, taking it to his limits with multiple carving turns and nose rides. Tahutini picked off a heat-winning wave in the late stages of the final, racing the critical sections the length of the reef with aggressive moves to win the Gold.
The Women’s final saw Jenna Cinedrawa (NCL) take the initiative with a good early wave that was topped by Patricia Rossi (TAH), who managed to do a couple of critical turns. Cinedrawa then forged ahead with additional set waves and an attacking approach of power turning and re-entries. Rossi fought back again, showing the skills and courage of the seasoned competitor she is but fell short on the bell as she rode her last wave. Cinedrawa's wave selection, powerful paddling, aggressive attitude to the wave, carving turns and flow, helped her take the Gold.
The Men’s final was a fitting conclusion to the program of the day. Jocelyn Poulou (TAH) showed his waterman’s skills to find the best waves, displaying a vertical and powerful approach of strong bottom turns, lip line turns and floaters to set up his high scores.
Jordan David (NCL) surfed tight and fast but couldn’t find the scores he needed on the smaller waves. Poulou threw himself around on the set waves aggressively, defying the sections with snaps and floaters, taking a well deserved Gold medal.