WHAT Brazil is to football, New Zealand to rugby union, Australia to rugby league, Cloudbreak Fiji is to surfing.
Its like a religion. Making that one stop at Tavarua Island to glide the unique wave is a dream for the elite in the sport. Jon Roseman described it best on the eve of the opening of the Volcom Fiji Pro.
It is the jewel in the crown, he enthused.
Cloudbreak is a world class wave known throughout the surfing world, so it only makes sense to bring the worlds best surfers here.
Roseman, managing director of the Tavarua Island Resort, the fourth stop of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship, and the locals are bubbling with excitement with the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum to officially open the event today.
With Volcom and Red Bull doing a live webcast with surfers like 11-time world champion Kelly Slater part of the world-class field, he sees this an opportunity for us to show off so many aspects of the beauty that is Fiji and the true Fijian Bula spirit.
So much hard work has been put it by Roseman and his staff.
We have constructed a new scaffolding for the judges and webcast crew, and have spruced up the island in every way, he revealed. Its exciting but all the logistics need to be covered well in advance. Being a small island on the edge of the reef can be challenging on a normal day, so when you have this many people and media coming all at once, theres a lot of planning and coordination that need to take place. Weve been bringing out endless supplies from the main island to ensure we have it all covered once the event starts.
With the event returning to our shores after a five-year hiatus, the focus of the surfing world turns to the Mamanucas starting with the opening round heats tomorrow.
The island, and Fiji as a whole, are so happy to have the event back. It does so much to promote tourism and expose Fiji as the wonderful country that it is, Roseman said.
We are so pleased to be working together with Volcom Inc., and with major contributions from Fijis national carrier, Air Pacific, and the support of the Fijian Government and the Fiji Surfing Association.
Competitors expect solid swells if the easterly wind remains favourable. Roseman said the waves were looking to be extraordinary for the first few days and anticipated a great show.
With Australians holding four of the top five places in the world, the pressure will be on other big names like American Slater and Brazilian Adriano de Souza, the ASP World No. 4, who has reportedly led the South American charge on tour.
Australian Joel Parkinson, four-time ASP World runner-up, has been in fine form too this term with 5th, 3rd and 2nd placings respectively in the opening three events
Opening round 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).