Byron Bay surfer claims major title in French Polynesia
BYRON Bay surfer Soli Bailey has taken out the Rangiroa Pro Junior event in French Polynesia.
He was always going to be hard to beat after finishing third last year and runner up in 2012.
Bailey nailed a 9 (out of a possible 10) and 9.70 as he beat Sunshine Coast surfer Kai Hing (15) in the final.
"It's really amazing to be able to come over here and surf this wave," Bailey said.
"I've come close to winning the past two years and then sitting out there in second and needing a big score was pretty frustrating.
"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 so far and this just tops it off."
Bailey scored a 17 to overcome Josh Hay (11.50) and registered a 15.50 against Shane Campbell (11.55) in the quarter-final.
The Rangiroa Pro is the first of two back-to-back events in French Polynesia.
Both events are part of the ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series with the Papara Pro Surf Festival in Tahiti next week.