Apart from perhaps Teahupo’o, Cloudbreak’s shorter, meaner, South Pacific cousin, the CT stop in Fiji is one of the most anticipated events for surf fans. And for the surfers themselves? It IS the most anticipated. And for good reason. After the swarming masses and congestion of Brazilian beaches, they are delivered to tropical islands (either Namotu or Tavarua) by boat, where they’re welcomed by the world’s friendliest people. They have privacy. They have coconuts. And, oh yes, they have waves. Cloudbreak and Restaurants — two world-class lefts — are they fields on which the top-34 will do battle. And with the world title race too close to call, we can expect those battles to be bloody.
The waiting period for the Fiji Pro is from June 4 - 16. Fiji is 19 hours ahead of the US West Coast. Bad at math? It’s OK. Just pretend they’re five hours behind…tomorrow.
Owen Wright: Remember the last time Owen surfed an event in Fiji? Of course you do, he got four 10s and surfed a perfect heat. This year, O-dog is salivating like a dog with the dinner bell, the yellow jersey in his crosshairs.
Conner Coffin: Conner considers Tavarua a second home, and in his second year competing there, he’s hoping to pig-dog to the podium and bring (second) home the bacon!
Miguel Pupo: Miggy likes lefts, Fiji’s got lefts. This is all working out really nicely.
Frederico Morais: The Portuguese rookie will be competing in Fiji for the first time, but with an uncanny ability in open-water waves, we expect he’ll adjust just fine.
Filipe Toledo: He’s on timeout ‘cause he yelled at the judges in Brazil. (Geez, the WSL is so sensitive these days.)
What about the girls? They will finish their comp on Sunday. Our girl Tyler Wright made the semis. No biggie.
How’s the forecast look? The 2017 roll continues! Promising surf is on tap for first few days of the event waiting period.
What’s this about a Namotu vs. Tavarua rivalry? With most of the Aussies and Brazilians staying on Namotu, and Americans staying on Tavarua, the competition for which island takes home the trophy is always a delightful sideshow.
Clear your afternoons and watch some heats at worldsurfleague.com