Volcom Fiji Pro
The world's best surfers are taking over Tavarua for the Volcom Fiji Pro, which will run June 2-14. Maybe the most challenging event on the ASP schedule to produce, here's a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it happen.
Kelly Slater won the Volcom Fiji Pro in historic fashion last year. Our guess is he's looking to repeat.
Nothing happens on Tavarua without the blessing of Chief Druku. It's his village that plays host to the surfers, and per Fijian custom, it all starts with a kava ceremony.
More than five tons of gear from three countries will be brought to the island. Most of it will be used for the webcast, but there's probably a few extra cases of Fiji Bitter in there too.
No, it's not a floating surf shop. This is what an athlete support boat looks like in the channel at Cloudbreak. A luxury yacht with all the amenities, it's not the worst place to watch a surf contest.
Last year, when the Pacific flexed and got too big to run the contest, the heavy-water crew took over. Kohl Christensen flagged this bomb in the midst of the action as the water patrol looked on.
Just about the only thing the surfers are responsible for is their boards (and bags). CJ Hobgood has everything under control.
The Nerve Center
A 25-person crew with six editing stations, an on-island satellite and all the bandwidth you can handle. The production end of the Volcom Fiji Pro isn't taken lightly.
With eight cameras in operation when the contest is running, there's no shortage of angles, but water photographer Larry Haynes had the toughest assignment shooting from the impact zone.
Making the final last year, Gabriel Medina impressed everybody. The runner-up result helped him shake his reputation as just being an air guy.
Somebody has to make all that wonderful food. The beautiful women in the kitchen keep the surfers and staff well fed and always do it with a smile on their faces.
Happy hour at the pool is a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. Pat and Dane Gudauskas and Fred Patacchia salute another day in paradise.
The Tavarua locals are pretty much fearless when it comes to charging Cloudbreak, which is why one always gets a wild card into the event. Isei Tokovu brings it hard off the bottom.
Everything on the island that uses electricity runs off a generator, which requires an abundance of petrol.
The tower on the reef at Cloudbreak serves as both a judges' viewing area and a broadcast platform. Located two miles off the Tavarua shore, it's literally in the middle of the ocean.
Slater's victory party in Tavarua co-owner Jon Roseman's humble abode.
Last year, the surf was about as good as Cloudbreak gets. Hobgood and friends are hoping for more of the same this time around.