The Volcom Fiji Pro, the fourth of 11 stops on this year's ASP World Tour, will kick off this Sunday at Cloudbreak, a screaming open-ocean reef break -- one of the best lefthanders on the planet -- located about a mile south of the island of Tavarua.
The world's top 34 have been in collective froth mode about the tour's return to Fiji for the first time since the 2008 season.
“My experience in Fiji is one the best I’ve ever had since being on tour," said Adriano De Souza, one of several Red Bull surfers heading to Fiji. "I always watch Kelly [Slater] and the Hobgood brothers [C.J. and Damien]. I’m always watching what those guys are doing out there and then try to apply it to my surfing.”
If swell models are correct, the contest -- which runs June 3-15 -- will get off to a fast start on Sunday. Forecasters are expecting a solid southwest swell and favorable off shore winds.
“The waves in Fiji are some of the best I’ve experienced in competition,” said Red Bull surfer Mick Fanning, who is second in the ASP World Tour rankings. “Cloudbreak and Restaurants are really different waves. I love the power, unpredictability and challenge of surfing Cloudbreak. Restaurants is more perfect but breaks in really shallow water. Both waves are world class so hopefully the swell pulses and we get both on.”
Volcom Fiji Pro Round One Match-ups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Brett Simpson (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Mitch Coleborn (AUS)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Isei Tokovu (FIJ)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 9: John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
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- Volcom Fiji Pro Official Website