THE day was all about colour, waves, tradition, smiling faces, fun and feast.
It started with the helicopter ride from Denarau to the island with the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The 10-minute journey was awesome especially being flown over Cloudbreak twice as we got to see firsthand the giant waves that await the start of the Volcom Fiji Pro.
Its the fourth event on the ASP World Surfing Championship with loads of cash, almost F$1million at stake.
Khaiyum was accorded a traditional welcome ceremony on arrival.
Lunch followed for him and the media crew as interviews were lined up.
The island though very basic and laid-back is a class of its own.
From the owner Jon Roseman to the staff at the resort and even the villagers eat, breathe and sleep surfing.
Roseman and his wonderful staff were very welcoming.
A little break later it was to the launch of the prestigious event that starts today with the round one heats.
It was a colourful opening featuring representatives from the sponsors Volcom, ASP, the chief guest and Tourism Minister Khaiyum, and the 32 participants from eight nations.
The eye-catching bit was what followed during the traditional yagona ceremony following all the other formalities.
One each representative from each nation took their turns to present their sevusevu (yagona) to the villagers who accorded the welcome ceremony.
Another interesting aspect was the fact that each surfer wore the same design and colour bula shirt at the ceremony.
Countries represented are USA, Australia, Portugal, Tahiti, Brazil, Hawaii, France and South Africa.
Singing and dancing followed as villagers and resort staff welcomed the worlds elite surfers to our shores.
It was a fine day to what should be a fine championship and as for me there is no finer place to be right now than the Tavarua Island Resort in the Mamanucas.
Tomorrow: Its time to hit the waves.