FIJI is beautiful and like all beautiful things it looks great from every angle - even if the devil wind is blowing. And blow it did, that SE which Cloudbreak loves until unrideable chunks fly up the face. Restaurants was also suffering but exits were just possible and high drama ensued at the Volcom Fiji Pro.
Highlight of the day was seeing Mr John John Florence return, the tow-headed barrel freak surfed three times, stuttering in Round 1 before dominating in Round 2 and 3. There's positive correlation between the top guys making tricky conditions look easy and he optimises that truism. Also it is just great to see him back in the water
“That’s the best the waves have been since I’ve been here,” Florence said. “The waves just turned on for my heat. Restaurants is just a perfect wave. It’s such a machine and with these winds every wave’s just perfect. You can really just sit in the barrel the whole way.”
Chris Cote described it as "dancing with Edward Scissor Hands" whipping down the line at Mach 5, skimming a reef of live fire coral whilst trying to stay attached to your board negotiating foot high ribs in a fast down-the-line barel. The surfers who won described it as the best barrel in the world.
We wanted Cloudbreak, we wanted the tour to redeem the status they lost last year. But here's a lesson: do not place your desire in anything which flies in the face of a trade wind, you will be remorselessly beaten down.
MSW Forecaster, Francisco, breaks down why this wind has been blowing so fiercely: "Normally this time of the year we'd expect to see a high pressure system located over Australia and an extensive low pressure system just a bit north of the Equator (above Fiji). That high pressure system, which was located over Australia, is moving towards New Zealand; a shift which directly impacts the wind conditions in Fiji. From this we are seeing an intensification of the trade winds, a situation expected to prevail for a few more days, and we should only expect a decrease in wind speed towards the end of the contest waiting period."
Check out the forecast for the Volcom Fiji Pro.
And don't forget Volcom's Heats on Demand
VOLCOM FIJI PRO REMAINING ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.80, Nat Young (USA) 12.93, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.10
Heat 12: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.20, John John Florence (HAW) 12.40, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.00
VOLCOM FIJI PRO ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27 def. Aca Lalabalavu (FJI) 10.90
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.67 def. Alex Grey (USA) 6.27
Heat 3: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.60
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.47 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.53
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 7.87 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.76
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.50 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 8.43
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.67
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.93 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.04
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.57 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.33
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.06
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) 19.80 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.83
Heat 12: Nat Young (USA) 18.23 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.60
VOLCOM FIJI PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.10 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.33
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.10 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.06
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.30 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.70
UPCOMING VOLCOM FIJI PRO REMAINING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs.Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5: Kai Otton (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Mitchel Coleborn (AUS)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 11: Nat Young (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)