We’re back, this time we’ve traded the sands and cliffs of the Australian leg for fibreglass and a romantically decrepit tower. We’re here at tour stop number five and we’ve brought along our lenses once again to capture the fantastic peripherals of competitive surfing in the latest Stab x Corona Beach Chair episode.
We take delight in the moments before and after the sirens sound – admittedly the pregame and speculation excites us. So today, on the eve of the event, we climbed aboard the tower (under strict instructions not to flick a single switch) and put a camera in the sky to share vision from the warm-up routine of the top 34.
The day started quietly. At sunrise Cloudbreak was barely topping the shoulders, by evening it was consistent overhead. For most, today was the first opportunity to stretch the legs. The few that arrived earlier, like Jack Freestone, had been grounded by flat conditions and were forced to share the first of the energy with the rest of the tour who sailed in before noon.
It was a competitive lineup throughout the day, and the goofy-footers appeared to have a considerable advantage in the quick, textured conditions. Sitting up the point were Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Nat Young and Matt Wilkinson who attacked the feathering walls at pace, Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall took the same approach and sold us his twin fin, free surf dream while injury wildcard, Yago Dora made his fresh presence more than felt. From the natural footer’s corner, Frederico Morais, Conner Coffin, Jack Freestone, Bede Durbidge, Steph Gilmore and Stu Kennedy all found an opportunity to utilise rail in the onshore breeze. Back from recent injury, Italo Ferreira got busy resuming his campaign, while Tatiana Weston-Webb and Courtney Conlogue prepped for their final showdown.
Tomorrow competition begins. They’ll run Courtney and Tatiana’s final before men’s heat one commences and we’re expecting twice as much size. Stay tuned for more dispatches from the pristine waters of Fiji thanks to your pals at Stab and Corona.