The Fiji Surf Pro, the 3rd event of the PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour 2023, finally got underway on Thursday 1st June at the legendary Cloudbreak spot in Fiji. And while French waveriders Baptiste Cloarec and Antoine Martin shone, there were also surprise eliminations for Marcilio Browne and Victor Fernandez, as well as the withdrawal of Philip Köster...
After the photos and videos that have been lighting up the social networks over the past few days, the Fiji Surf Pro, the 3rd of 8 events on this year's PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour, gets underway on 1 June.
After a 40-minute boat ride to get to the famous wave, a light but adequate wind picked up in the early afternoon, with waves that had dropped a little but were still between 5 and 6 metres high.
The first heat of the day started without Philip Köster, who had finally decided to withdraw after injuring his foot a few weeks ago. Liam Dunkerbeck and Antoine Albert were lucky enough to qualify for the next round. Bernd Roediger and Ricardo Campello secured their places in the next round, as did Florian Jung and Antony Ruenes at the expense of Victor Fernandez.
Frenchman Baptiste Cloarec, who had been in great form over the previous days, made a remarkable entry with 2 waves over 7 points, the best score of the day with 14.80 points and, by all accounts, the biggest aerial of the event! FRA-258 qualified with Morgan Noireaux.
In the next round it was Antoine Martin's turn to show the extent of his talent with the second best score of the day, 13.86 points. Leon Jamaer and Takuma Sugi also qualified for the next round. But the big surprise of the day was the elimination of the reigning World Champion, Brazilian Marcilio Browne, who was up against Federico Morisio, Marc Paré (both qualified) and Kai Katchadorian. Arriving too late on the lip of the wave, BRA-105 suffered a monumental fall, which resulted in a long swim to recover his equipment. The last heat of the day saw Robby Swift and Takara Ishii take the last 2 qualifying places.
The Fiji Surf Pro is a direct elimination competition (with no double elimination to get back into the competition), with live streaming of the finals scheduled from 4 June. There are still 10 days to go before the Fiji Surf Pro offers some magical conditions...
Source: PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour
Photos: Fish Bowl Diaries