2008 Globe Pro Fiji: Day 1

Well, we arrived in paradise yesterday to pulsing swell and both Cloudbreak and Restaurants pumping. The pack was neaty divided along national lines – the Aussies on Namotu enjoying solid six to eight foot Cloudbreak to themselves – Mick F and Taj dominating with some clean tubes and sharp carves. Meanwhile, the Tavarua contingent were weaving through slightly ruffled but still crazy three to five feet Restaurants. It was always going to be a tough call getting the surfers to come in for the traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony but fortunately a good proportion of them did, as the Fijian Prime Minister himself was in attendance to welcome them. Globe presented the PM with his own Channel Island board and Kelly suggested to the PM’s wife that he might want to try a few lessons. Then the Fijians embarked on their enthusiastic kava drinking, singing and dancing and a good time was had by all.

Today, the swell had bumped up slightly and the morning session at Restaurants was busy but polite as the surfers warmed up for round one, A dropping tide slowed things down slightly as the day drew on.Taj sat for 15 minutes needing a three and didn’t get it. But even the ocean seemed to co-operate when Kelly paddled out for his heat. Pulsing sets roared through the lineup as he madly collected nines, while his competitors Taylor Knox and local trialist Esai picked up the left overs.

At one point, Kelly picked up another long, double tube ride, as the others paddled back out and the commentator announced they both needed a combination of 18.6. “Sorry, make that 19.6. Kelly just got a 10,” he announced. Mick F was sharp in winning his heat, while Occy cruised through his comeback to WCT competition. The energy level and swell seemed to drop after Kelly’s heat and it was the luck of the draw whether your heat was blessed with sets or not. With swell slowly dropping over the next few days, they are going to go into the first two heats of round two today, and the event could well be at solid Cloubreak for the next couple of days, with a wait for more swell to finish sometime in the latter stages of the waiting period. No complaints here, this place is absurdly beautiful, and there are waves everywhere. The food is amazing, the people the friendliest on earth, and if the swell drops out Namotu management have kindly organised helicopter rides to the nearest golf course and all equipment, for whoever cares to cough up $499 for the privilege. Don’t let anyone tell you the life of a pro surfer is a picnic – it is more like a smorgasbord over here.


(1st advances to Round 3; 2nd & 3rd advance to Round 2)

Heat 1: 1- Jordy Smith, 2- Royden Bryson, 3- Adrian Buchan
Heat 2: 1- Tiago Pires, 2- Bobby Martinez, 3- Luke Munro
Heat 3: 1- Ben Dunn, 2- Kai Otton, 3- Jihad Khodr
Heat 4: 1- Jeremy Flores, 2- Damien Hobgood, 3- Daniel Ross
Heat 5: 1- Andy Irons, 2- Neco Padaratz, 3- Ricky Basnett
Heat 6: 1- Travis Logie, 2- Bede Durbidge, 3- Bruce Irons
Heat 7: 1- Aritz Aranburu, 2- Taj Burrow, 3- Dayyan Neve
Heat 8: 1- Kelly Slater, 2- Taylor Knox, 3- Isei Tokovou
Heat 9: 1- Mick Fanning, 2- Tim Reyes, 3- Mark Occhilupo
Heat 10: 1- Joel Parkinson, 2- Yadin Nicol, 3- Pancho Sullivan
Heat 11: 1- Fred Patacchia, 2- {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, 3- Jay Thompson
Heat 12: 1- Roy Powers, 2- Adriano de Souza, 3- Chris Ward
Heat 13: 1- Heitor Alves, 2- Mikael Picon, 3- Dean Morrison
Heat 14: 1- Luke Stedman, 2- Leonardo Neves, 3- Rodrigo Dornelles
Heat 15: 1- Kieren Perrow, 2- Daniel Wills, 3- Matia Waqa
Heat 16: 1- Michael Campbell, 2- Ben Bourgeois, 3- Tom Whitaker

(1st advances to Round 3; 2nd finishes =33rd)

Heat 1: Taj Burrow def. Matia Waqa
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge def. Isei Tokovou

Heat 3: Kai Otton v. Mark Occhilupo
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez v. Yadin Nicol
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan v. Ricky Basnett
Heat 6: CJ Hobgood v. Daniel Ross
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza v. Jihad Khodr
Heat 8: Dean Morrison v. Royden Bryson
Heat 9: Tom Whitaker v. Chris Ward
Heat 10: Taylor Knox v. Rodrigo Dornelles
Heat 11: Tim Reyes v. Ben Bourgeois
Heat 12: Pancho Sullivan v. Daniel Wills
Heat 13: Dayyan Neve v. Leonardo Neves
Heat 14: Bruce irons v. Mikael Picon
Heat 15: Neco Padaratz v. Jay Thompson
Heat 16: Damien Hobgood v. Luke Munro