TENDING TOWARDS BOARDOM
News provided by ASP World Tour on 24 May 2005
IT’S day three of the Globe WCT Fiji waiting period, and we’re on hold once again, the eagerness of the Foster’s Top 45 stepping up a little as we await our forecast swell that promises five days of solid waves and conditions kicking in by the weekend. With every imaginable alternate recreational pursuit from fishing to poker having been expended over the past few days, the boys are very definitely tending back towards their boards and the job at hand when we start this the fourth fixture of the 2005 Foster’s Men’s World Tour.
You can take the man out of the saltwater, but you can’t take the saltwater out of the man, and when Globe’s Contest Director Steve Robertson checked Cloudbreak before dawn this morning he found Aussie duo Taj Burrow and Mark Occhilupo out there already tucking into a nice fresh little southwest swell. Since that hour, many of the boys from both Namotu and Tavarua have eventually taken to the water to relieve their forever-prevalent surfing addictions. Some were slower than others, but the spirit remains the same.
“Well here we are for the early – in the jacquzzi!” chuckled reigning World Champion Andy Irons this morning, soaking away on Tavarua, mineral water in hand.
“I wish I listened to CJ,” pipped up Cory Lopez sitting poolside. “He said there wasn’t going to be any swell for the first few days of the waiting period. I could have been home!”
“But then you wouldn’t be hanging out with us!” quipped back Irons.
“Oh well, I really need that don’t I! I spend more time with you in a year than I spend with my girlfriend,” replied Lopez with a definite tinge of cynicism, prompting the pair into laughter.
Missing wives and girlfriends, entertaining those lucky enough to be here, as well as fishing and tennis have been the main pursuits of the past two days. There have been some hefty scaly specimens hauled over the side of the island boats, especially just east of us in the shipping straits of Momi Bay where the yellow fin tuna have been running…or trying to run away from the likes of Shea Lopez (USA), Mick Lowe (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS) Troy Brooks (AUS), and former event sponsor Quiksilver’s Goodwill Ambassador to this new Globe event Todd Kline (USA).
Kline hooked the initial catch of the day, a sizeable Wahoo, but that effort was eclipsed when Nathan ‘Hog’ Hedge turned up for breakfast on Namotu early yesterday morning with a Wahoo bigger than himself slung over his shoulder. After losing a few battles with yellow fin tunas in the gargantuan scale on a 20lb line, Mick Lowe brought home a huge Trevally yesterday.
Strangely, though he’s been out there on board the boats, one of the Foster’s Men’s World Tour’s most dedicated and tenacious fishermen, Floridian Cory Lopez is yet to pitch a lure. When he goes fishing Lopez gets all professional. Last week in Tahiti a harpooned 35lb+ Wahi Wahi broke the line as he hauled the five-foot long monster towards the surface. He dived in, southwester raincoat and all, and wrestled the prime and prized trophy back up to the boat.
“I’ve been relaxing like everyone else and haven’t been bothered yet to put in to the serious business of an all-day session on the end of the rod,” said Lopez this morning.
Lopez has been coaching instead, Hawaiians Sunny Garcia and Bruce Irons amongst his students. He attempted to progressively choreograph the pair yesterday as they tripped all over each other, crossing over back and forth as they simultaneously fought Wahoos up from the depths. Sunny has only ever caught a 10 inch long Wobbegong before, so he was very happy with the 30-pounder he eventually got into the boat. Bruce went one better with a 35 pounder.
“He has a lot to learn, that boy Sunny,” laughed Lopes Junior this morning. “He’s big and strong, but he doesn’t know how to hold that pole to fight a fish”.
As we all know, Sunny does know how to grip his toes to a surfboard deck and fight a wave. He’s obviously not the only one, and that’s what we’re all waiting for as the swell hones in from the deep South Pacific en route to the Globe WCT Fiji. It’s comin’ Ladies and Gents out there in web world. Stay tuned!
The next call for the Globe WCT Fiji will be at 6.30am tomorrow (Wednesday May 25th) morning.
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