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Fiji Time: 3:57 PM on Friday 22 August

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The waves finally arrive

Manoj Kumar On Tavarua Island
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FINALLY we got going at Cloudbreak yesterday in perfect 2-3 metre surfs.

After four lay days, the heat was back on at the Volcom Fiji Pro 2013. Organisers on the fourth stop of the ASP World Championship Tour got through rounds three, four and five.

We are now down to the last eight and later today it could come down to a mouth-watering prospect — a grand final showdown between the reigning Volcom Fiji Pro champion and the reigning world champion.

American Kelly Slater, who has surfed at Cloudbreak and Restaurants more than any other competitor in the contest, is in fine form entering the quarter-finals, so is Australian Joel Parkinson.

Slater, who beat Brazilian Gabriel Medina in the final last year, was in scintillating form in round four with a perfect 10 and a 9.30 courtesy of a massive double-barrel.

"That was unbelievable," Slater said. "Those were some of the best waves I've ever had in a contest. On the 10, I was deep in the barrel and grabbed my rail, but I had to let go to get speed and then I hit the foam ball, I barely made that one. I did the turn and got another tube," Slater recalled.

World champ Parkinson, with wins over fellow Aussie Yadin Nicole (round three) and American youngster Kolohe Andino (round four), faces another Australian Mick Fanning in one quarter-final.

Slater is up against Hawaii's Sebestian Zietz, who shocked the highly-fancied Taj Burrow in a closely contested round five heat.

Two good friends are up against each other in the third quarter-final — American CJ Hobgood and US-based Australian Josh Kerr.

Hawaiian John John Florence faces South African Jordy Smith, who won the last tour event in Brazil. They meet for the second time.

Florence, 20, got his second perfect 10 of the contest yesterday in round four when he edged Smith and Burrow in a non-elimination fourth round.

So who will it be?

Almost everyone on Tavarua is backing the king of the waves Slater to rule again. Six of the eight quarter-finalists are staying at Tavarua while Namotu's hopes are with Fanning and Parkinson.

Last year I tipped Slater to win and got it right. Slater looks set to reign again but I'd love the quietest and nicest guy on the island, who is here with his mum, to win this year. I go for young Florence!


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