2005 Globe WCT Fiji: Round 1 Completed

VIDEO:Remaining Round 1 Heats (# 11 – 16)

IT was a short day out at Cloudbreak today with just the remaining five heats of round one of the Globe WCT Fiji completed in what ended up being quiet average 3-5' conditions. Stron winds and bumpy wave faces were considered inappropriate to go onwards into round two.

As a change of shift we had five winners from five heats that typify the spirit of professional surfing amongst the Foster's Top 45. The five results included a legend beating respected newcomers, a rookie taking out a legend or two, and the sport's underdogs Brazil notching two solid wins with the passion that their national Latin culture embraces. It was a short but good day.

Conditions were very obviously smaller at first light, as predicted, averaging 3-4' with some odd fivers, but hopes were high that conditions would improve after the tide turned and started running out at 9.45am.

Heat 11 of round one started around 9.15am, South Africa's Greg Emslie leading early before the Gold Coast's new age stylist Dean 'Dingo' Morrison came in with his best score against the flow, and then reaped his second scorer on the way back to the takeoff zone.

Dingo is a typical example of an under-achiever and under-self believer amongst the Foster's Top 45. His surfing is the epitome of perfect flow and soul-stirring style, with a gifted twist of critical freak ability instantaneously thrown in at whim. He's currently only 11th on the ratings. 'Only' you might be questioning, but fact is he's worthy of the world champion mantle.

So far, in terms of results, he's been the poor cousin of the publicity machine of surfing freaks known as the 'Coolangatta Kids'. He started with a 17th at home on the Gold Coast, a ninth at the Bells-export of Woolamai, and fifth in Tahiti. If he doesn't choose to step up for at least a third here in the Globe WCT Fiji, he needs his half-Maori butt kicked.

Heat 12 involved three extremely respected surfers, two tight precision masters that are textbook practicioners. Daniel Wills and Taylor Knox wrote the textbook. The third combatant was Brazilian Raoni Monteiro, a year beyond rookie-dom, of enormous talent blending radical commitment with the best forehand Brazilian style since Fabio Gouveia. Taylor Knox, aka Fort Knox, otherwise known as 'Yo Yo', because he finishes top 16 one year, and barely scrapes in the next, took the heat. How about a win Fort Knox?

Number 13 featured goofies Mark Occhilupo and Brazilian aspirer Paulo Moura with Coffs Harbour's bonsai lumberjack Lee Winkler. Wink was a few trees short of a win, but Moura came home with the forest, adding the prestigious scalp of Occhilupo to the recent his prize belt, a legacy of his semi-final finish at Pipeline, and a fifth in Tahiti two weeks ago. Moura is way worthy of pioneering Brazilian surfing credence.

The following heat was another example of Brazilian passion, Neco Padaratz, younger brother of the Brasilero saviour and negotiator with the western 'gringos' (as they call us) Flavio Padaratz, surfing like the possessed unit he is to bring home four eight pointers from a ten wave tally.

The highly credentialed Tim Curran and 2005 stunner rookie Chris Ward had no answer for Neco's passion. Neco was to be Brazil's surfing saviour, but personal issues got in the way. With maturity comes wisdom, Neco finally learning that it's all about him, not the opinion of others. He doesn't need to be showman.

Heat 15 saw South Africa's small-wave wizard Travis Logie, now big wave charger, post-Teahupoo, take out one of his heroes in Luke Egan. Beating one's heroes is the first step to destiny, and the kid from Durban, as unique and sometimes bewildering as his style is, seems destined to take South African surfing to the world. Another potential great and top 10+ surfer in rookie Bede Durbidge came in third in the same heat.

In the final heat of the day, a rookie from Hawaii named Frederick Patacchia Jnr., who is quickly heading towards claiming the ASP Rookie of the Year, continued his march taking out the veteran duo of Victor Ribas from {{{Rio}}}', and San Clemente's Shane Beschen.

The day's short proceedings of just five heats summed up the Foster's Top 45. Anyone can win, at any time, on their day. They are ALL worthy. It's unfortunate that only one member of the Top 45 walks away a winner, happy and satisfied after each fixture on the Foster's Men's World Tour.

There can only be one winner, but the fact is, at the risk of being corny, surfing is the winner...just like the company of skateboarding heritage named Globe, hanging five into the formerly sacred Big Three dominated domain of pro surfing. Surfer or industry, there's always room for winners who embrace surfing's spirit. All are worthy.