Event window: Sunday, 5th June - Friday, 17th June
Location: Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
The WSL tour heads over to the beautiful Fiji for the Fiji Pro. This event is home to two left handers: Cloudbreak and Restaurants. Cloudbreak is the primary location with heavy barrels and rarely stops pumping. If it does stop they head over to the left hand reef break in front of the islands restaurant (hence the name).
Cloudbreak is a special break that consistently throws out 6-to-8 foot waves. However, surfers are very mindful of the amount of water (or lack of) between them and the reef. Australian surfer Glenn Hall had to find this out the hard way. Back in 2013 in round 2 on his last wave. A perfect barrel presented itself before suddenly bottoming out and slamming him into the coral reef. Hall fractured three vertebrae that day.
Despite the high level of risk that lurks below the Fiji Pro is one of the favourite stops on tour. Cloudbreak in particular is regularly voted as one of the 10 best/challenging waves in the world. With left hand barrels over a shallow reef and waves that break anywhere from 2 feet up to 20 feet. It is the perfect spectators wave.
It’s also the perfect wave for goofy-footers. Last year’s winner and also a goofy-footer Owen Wright put up two perfect 10’s in the final against fellow Aussie Julian Wilson. Unfortunately, Owen is out after hurting himself free surfing during the 2015 pipe masters. He suffered a severe concussion and scans revealed minor bleeding on the brain. Hopefully we see Owen in the water again soon.
In the past there has been many goofy-footers that have had success here including Damien Hobgood, C.J Hobgood, Owen Wright, Gabriel Medina and Nat Young. Over the last 8 years every winner has been a goofy-footer except Kelly Slater. He is the exception of course. With that in mind here are my tips for the 2016 Fiji Pro.
The 2014 Fiji champ looks primed for this event. Medina is currently sitting 9th on the Jeep leader board with $58,750 in earnings. He averages a higher heat score (15.04) than the Tour leader Matt Wilkinson (13.71). Medina has finished 13th,13th, 9th and 3rd in the four WSL events this year and if that trend continues Medina should come away as champion for his second Fiji Pro.
Tip: Gabriel Medina outright winner - $7 at sportsbet
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