The ASP is being forced to cancel this year's Globe Fiji and Roxy Pro events on the beautiful island of Tavarua due to political instability in the region. Back in December Fiji's leading military commander seized control of the country and dismissed the elected prime minister. It's the fourth such coup in the past 20 years. The move was condemned by the international community, and threw a major wrench in the ASP's annual plans because getting the required insurance is next to impossible with the current situation.
“There’s no point trying to push it for this year and risk making it worse.” — Timmy Reyes
"We're still hoping to find some alternative location," said ASP CEO Brodie Carr, "But it's very difficult at this stage. It's an unfortunate development for sure, because the surfers, more than anywhere else, look forward to their time on Tavarua."
The island is arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and home to two of the world's premier lefthanders, which will be missed by many of the goofyfooters on tour who view that spot as a place to make a surge in the ratings. The loss of Tavarua on the schedule will undoubtedly have an impact on the standings, which is something both the competitors themselves and thousands of Fantasy Surfers readying for 2007 are pondering.
There is, however, some consolation for the goofyfooters on tour thanks to the new Rip Curl Search event that's slated to take place in Chile this June. Whispers on the street are that the break, a heavy reef slab with a bit of a wall, can resemble a coldwater Pipeline when it's doing its thing. Rip Curl is doing its best to keep details on the down low for now, but there is apparently a pretty solid left on tap.
The other interesting piece of WCT related news to develop this week was confirmation from California's Tim Reyes that he'd be missing, at a minimum, the first half of the season due to the injury he suffered back in October. As a WCT rookie last year, Reyes was well on his way to finishing in the Top 10 before attempting a high risk floater in Santa Cruz that blew out his knee. He was forced to miss the last three events on the schedule in 2006 and yet still finished the season rated 11th in the world. According to Reyes, it's not outside the realm of possibility for him to come back a little sooner, but he maintains his biggest priority is to get his knee back to 100% before the 2008 season kickoff. "There's no point trying to push it for this year and risk making it worse," he told friends. Naturally, Reyes need not look too far for inspiration on coming back from such an ordeal. Mick Fanning, last year's 3rd rated surfer, missed the entire 2004 season after tearing muscle away from bone on a similar move. This year, Fanning looks to be primed and ready for a big surge toward the top spot.
Finally, SURFER Magazine's Fantasy Surfer game is seeing an incredible surge in interest this year thanks in large part to Boost Mobile, who has joined forces with SURFER to present the game bigger and better than ever.
“We are very exited with FantasySurfer.com heading into the 2007 season,” says Jake Hefner, who heads up the digital business side of Primedia's Action Sports Group. “Today’s participatory media landscape perpetuates an environment where our audiences collaborate with us as creators. We’ve added a number of very informative and unique features which our users not only suggested, but worked with us to develop over the last 12 months. For the fifth consecutive year the grand prize winner will receive a boat trip for two. We are thankful for the support of Boost and our users for helping make this year’s game the best yet.”
Needless to say, if you think you know your WCT surfers well, head on over to fantasysurfer.com and register your team for the new season, and stay tuned for SURFER's complete breakdown and analysis of the surfers themselves. We're holding nothing back this year, giving you all the inside dirt in our effort to help you win. Good luck.