Soli Bailey: blue is the water

Soli Bailey has conquered the 2014 Rangiroa Pro Junior, after winning the final over Kai Hing, in two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf, at Rangiroa, French Polynesia.

Bailey held his nerve in the final after Hing started with a bang posting a 8.00, answering back with a 9.00 and a 9.70.

Bailey lost in the final in 2012 and finished third last year, but wouldn't be denied in 2014. Huge gouging carves and tweaked aerials saw him take the win, he was by far the standout surfer of the event.

"It's really amazing to be able to come over here and surf this wave. I've come close to winning the past two years, and then sitting out there in 2nd needing a big score was pretty frustrating - I was thinking 'not again'," explains Bailey.

"I was fortunate enough to then go on and get two good scores. I finished the event with my highest heat score in the Final which is what you want. I've got an amazing family I stay with here and they treat me like one of their own. I've had such a great trip and this just tops it off."

Kai Hing didn't make any mistakes in the Final, starting with an excellent score and backed it up with 7.00, but had to settle for second place. Hing was gracious in defeat applauding Bailey in the water and already talking about going one better next year.

"We've had a few heats with some good barrels. I'm happy to get a second for sure, it's two heats better than last year. Maybe I can do what Soli did and win it next year," added Hing.

2014 Rangiroa Pro Junior Final:

Soli Bailey (AUS) 18.70 def. Kai Hing (AUS)

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

We can't choose our height, and 80 percent of it is genetic. But if you're into surfing, taller and shorter surfers feel noticeable differences in getting acquainted with boards, paddling for, and riding a wave.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).

Nothing fuels more controversy in and outside the water than awarding scores for waves ridden in competitive surfing.