Fiji Time: 11:40 AM on Saturday 23 May

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Eyes on the waves

Manoj Kumar, From Tavarua Island Resort
Saturday, June 08, 2013

Deteriorating winds early yesterday forced a lay day at Restaurants.

The sudden change in weather saw the organisers call off proceedings at the 2013 Volcom Fiji Pro following a three-hour wait, with the next call set for 8am today.

There are some exciting match-ups in the remaining nine heats in Round Three on the fourth stop of the ASP World Championship Tour 2013.

American Kelly Slater, world champion a record 11 times, comes up against Aussie Mitch Coleburn. Coleburn shocked Slater in the opening round last year but the latter regrouped and went on to win the championship.

Australian Yadin Nicol will be hoping for another major scalp when he takes on reigning ASP World Tour champion Joel Parkinson. Nicol ousted tour ranking leader, Brazil's Adriano de Souza in the last round.

Young American Kolohe Andino, who eliminated last year's Volcom Fiji Pro runner-up Gabriel Medina, on Thursday, faces Australian Julian Wilson.

South African Jordy Smith, Australian Taj Burrow and Hawaiian John John Florence are already into the fourth round of competition.


Heitor Alves and his Brazilian mates spent some time fine tuning their football skills, Smith and a couple others took to the basketball court while Australian Josh Kerr and Volcom Fiji Pro website TV commentator Chris Cote tried their hands at tennis with other buddies. Some watched the San Antonio Spurs beat Miami Heat in game one of the NBA finals.

Kava time

Thursday night was kava time with Ratu Sakiusa Nadruku, the first Fijian surfer, his son Aca Ravulo, who put on a valiant display against Slater earlier in the day, 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro wildcard Isei Tokovou and other staff members at 'Camp Fiji' — the socialising base for the resort's workers.

Worth it

Ravulo will collect $US8000 ($F14,700) for his efforts. Last year, Isei Tokovou was handed $US6000 ($F11,045).

After tax and ASP deduction, he used the remaining sum to invest in a boat and engine.

"I bought it for my famly," said the Viwa villager Tokovou, who resides at his wife's Momi Village.

"I can use it both for fishing and for travelling to my village (Viwa)." Ravulo is yet to decide what he will do with his share.

Historic grave

Aisake Ratu, one of the oldest employees, and Dave Clark, one of the founders and directors of the resort, guided me to a historic grave on the island.

Ratu said the grave was the final resting place for an old Cuvu tribal chief — Naiyara Voro.

Ratu explained that Tavarua in the olden "cannibal days" belonged to the people of Malolo (Nadi).

He said back then Voro and the people of Cuvu were going around spreading the word of God but he and his men were mistakenly attacked by the people of Malolo thinking they themselves were under threat.

"That's when the chief (Voro) managed to somehow escape and swim to this island," Ratu said.

"However, he was badly injured and the warriors from Sabeto were tasked to finish off the job. He tried to get away but couldn't and this is where he was killed.

"Later when the people of Malolo realised they had made a mistake and when they themselves finally embraced Christianity, they decided to give this island to the Ka Levu family and the people of Cuvu to say 'sorry' for what had happened. That's the story behind this grave."

That was then, this is now — Tavarua Island Resort, Fiji and the world's premier surfing jewel and it's a pleasure being here for the Volcom Fiji Pro — let the treasured waves roll on and the finest of world surfers glide away on it.

Until tomorrow, moce mada.

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