Only victory is beautiful


At the end of a final day of competition on Monday in Fiji, Sarah Hauser and Baptiste Cloarec won the Fiji Surf Pro on the Cloudbreak wave, in a competition that favoured showmanship over sporting fairness. Despite a few hiccups, which we'll return to later in the week, Hauser and Cloarec won a prestigious event in which their talent was never in doubt...

The final day of the Fiji Surf Pro, which counts towards the PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour, saw the waves return to Cloudbreak in Fiji on Monday. The competition finally got underway in the early afternoon with very light winds and 30-minute heats. The women were the first to hit the water for their 2 semi-finals, with Sarah Hauser, Jessica Crisp, Sarah Hauser and Coraline Foveau qualifying for the last four. It was the men's turn to start the competition with a new 'rule' discussed the day before at the briefing: the possibility of being rescued and brought back to the line up by the only safety jet ski in the event of a serious fall in the water, a jet ski that must not exceed a certain limit off shore marked by a yellow buoy.

It was against this backdrop that the 1st men's semi-final began, with Baptiste Cloarec, as impressive and fast as ever, qualifying alongside Ricardo Campello. In the other men's series, which was more closely contested, Robby Swift and Takuma Sugi qualified by the skin of their teeth in a heat that saw Antoine Martin, one of the favourites, miss out.
As we await the final confrontation of the week, it's the women's final, a mano a mano between Sarah Hauser and Sarah-Quita Offringa. Although the 20-time world champion took the lead, the Frenchwoman from the island of Maui in Hawaii was able to assert her surfing style with authority to win the event. Battling it out with Australian Jessica Crisp for 3rd place, Frenchwoman Coraline Foveau caught a 2nd wave at the last minute to climb onto the podium...

In the men's final, conditions were as difficult as ever, with very light winds. On a Cloudbreak wave that he seems to have known all his life, Baptiste Cloarec took his time and caught 5 waves, 3 of which scored more than 8 out of 10 points! FRA-258, which had been so impressive over the previous days, flew over the competition and this wave, which was unforgiving of the slightest mistake. Ricardo Campello, Robby Swift and Takuma Sugi, who were more diligent but less airborne, had to accept being powerless spectators in the face of the Frenchman's commitment. In the middle of the final, Antoine Martin made a surprise appearance, which ended up being a five-man race, after the French waverider protested that he had been "rescued" too late and that Robby Swift and Takuma Sugi had been dropped by the jet-ski well beyond the yellow buoy during the semi-final. None of this mattered, however, and Sarah Hauser and Baptiste Cloarec went on to win one of the most beautiful wave events of recent years.
The Fiji Surf Pro
has come to an end, with spectacular images that will fill the web for days to come. And if winning is the only beautiful thing about it, it's hard not to wonder if this event didn't put the show and the buzz on social networks a little too much ahead of the sporting fairness to which we've become accustomed...


Source: PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour
Photos: Fish Bowl Diaries

tags: PWA IWT Unified Wave Tour Fiji Surf Pro Cloudbreak Sarah Hauser Baptiste Cloarec

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