All Photos by Nick Liotta.
While the surfing world’s attention was focused on the European leg of the ASP World Tour, a sneaky storm in the Southern Ocean sent an XXL swell to Fiji’s infamous Cloudbreak last Sunday. Lucky for us, our Sundance Beach Pioneer Andrew Bennett and Surfing Mag lensman Nick Liotta headed out to meet the swell in the nick of time.
Above: A warm welcome from the staff at Tavarua Island.
Above: Boats are an essential mode of transpo in this water world.
Above: Andrew Bennett scoring perfect 6-8ft Restaurants in between Cloudbreak sessions.
It didn’t have the size of the legendary Volcom Fiji Pro swell of June 2012, but it was definitely the biggest swell to reach the tiny island chain since. Big-wave Aussie chargers Ryan Hipwood and Paul Morgan, Hawaiian legend Bruce Irons, as well as Enviro-warrior Dave Rastovich were on hand alongside Andrew and a bunch of guys that are comfortable paddling into moving mountains of water.
Above: Yoga is surely needed after battling with quadruple overhead Cloudbreak.
The swell had moments of perfection between rain squalls and changes in wind direction allowing for the dozen plus mad men to stroke into some 12-15ft bombs that could rip the boardshorts right off of ya. Andrew scored some nuggets and looked poised and calm in the heavy situations. Bruce’s ankle had a meet and greet with the coral reef below leaving a nasty wound, and Paul Morgan and Rasta snagged the biggest beasts of the day.
At the end of the session giant tubes were made, flotation vests were used, jet ski rescues were successful, and smiles were everywhere back on Tavarua. Check out some standout moments of the day captured by Nick Liotta in the gallery below.