Womens Fiji Pro ready for action

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posted by James Willmott

Although it seems like the Brazilian event has only just wrapped up, its already time for the top 17 women surfers to jump back in the water, this time in the pristine waters of the south pacific island of Fiji. The island is infamous for its raw beauty and powerful waves, and after an almost 10 year break, the Women’s event once again returns to the popular Fijian reef breaks.

The event will start in only a few days time, from the 25th May to the 30th. The swell charts are looking decent with some solid groundswells, keeping all competitors hungry to take out the title which was last won by Australian Melanie Redman-Carr in 2006.

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Cloudbreak’s 2006 winner Melanie Redman-Carr – Photo by ASP

Of course there are the main surfers that may be eligible for the win. The likes of current World Number 1 Carissa Moore, Stephanie Gilmore, to Rio Winner Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright all come into mind when trying to pick, especially if involved in the Fantasy Surfer league. However, as the line-ups in Fiji are predominantly left handers, this gives an almost unprecedented advantage to goofy foot surfers including New Zealands Paige Hareb, South African Bianca Buitendag and up and coming Hawaiian Alessa Quizon.

Deputy Commissioner of the ASP and previous competitor Jessi Miley-Dyer competed in the last Women’s event in Fiji in 2006. Since gaining the new title, Miley-Dyer knew Fiji’s island of Tavarua had to be on the cards.  “When I was growing up, part of the allure of the CT was that we had these amazing waves and we would go to the best locations,” Miley-Dyer said. “You got to surf waves like Cloudbreak because you had made it to that top tier. That’s why I really wanted us to have a dream location like Fiji and a wave that would challenge the girls; so that the younger girls coming up would look at the WCT like we used to, as the absolute pinnacle of the sport.”

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Rochelle Ballard rides one of the biggest barrels in women’s competition history at Cloudbreak 2006 – Photo by ASP

Sure, the competitors are going from the chunky sandy bottom beach breaks of Brazil to heavy grinding reef breaks in the south pacific awfully quickly, but that’s the excitement of the World Tour. Always surfing different waves and conditions in order to prove yourself to the other competitors, judges and the rest of the world.

“It takes a different kind of surfer to surf bigger, heavier waves, and I think this event will see a new kind of hero,” Miley-Dyer continued.We have girls on tour that we know have been pegged as the one being really good at airs or someone who has a really good power carve but we don’t have that charger.”

The Fiji Women’s Pro starts on the 25th of May and has a waiting period of 5 days. The swell forecast is looking promising, with waves predicted to start headhigh and continue to rise, providing some great entertainment. Hawaiian Carissa Moore continues to lead the Women’s rankings over Sally Fitzgibbons going into the Fijian event. The top 34 Male surfers will hit the waters between the 1st -13th, with 11 time World Champion Kelly Slater leading the rankings over Aussie Taj Burrow.

Watch the events live at the ASP official website or keep up here at the SurfStitch Blog, where we bring you the latest news and event info.