Well, I can honestly say I did not see today coming. Not a single part of it.
After what seemed a month of island-time Sundays, this morning the Outerknown Fiji Pro was back on!
The anticipation was palpable as I clicked through to fire up the webcast. After numerous lay-day edits showed the surfers enjoying overhead tubes at Cloudbreak and fun looking Restaurants, I could only imagine the amazing waves Commissioner Perrow had been waiting … for … umm … wait … what?
I thought I was seeing things as the glare from my laptop screen violated my sleep encrusted eyes into consciousness. It was wonky. It was small. Bar a couple of complete write off days, it was by far the worst waves seen thus far during the waiting period (women excluded).
So what the fuck happened? Well, you see, as accurate as surf forecasting has become, Mother Nature always has, and always will reserve the right to turn that square on its head with zero notice. She doesn’t always abide by the rules of computer modeling and today, despite the pleas of Commissioner Perrow she simply refused to get dolled up and come to the party.
This also played havoc with the expected narrative of the competition.
You know that all-important experience we’re always banging on about? The one a competitor must possess if they are to succeed at Cloudbreak? Yeah, well that goes out the window when it’s three foot.
Today the playing field was leveled. The blue singlets sensed an opportunity, and the red singlets, caught unprepared, were mercilessly slaughtered.
By the time the sun began its final decent into the Pacific Fanning, Florence, Smith, Slater, Andino and DeSouza were all floating face down in the Cloudbreak channel.
The good news is that during the last couple of heats, Cloudbreak began to even out. The waves straightened and there were even a few head dips on offer. It’s only supposed to improve overnight (fingers crossed) too and with this competition now wide open, we could still be in for a compelling Cloudbreak crescendo.