The Melanesian Surfing Cup came to a dramatic conclusion yesterday at Cloudbreak. Fijian surfing champions, Aca Raculo and Isei Tokovou were both knocked out at the semi final stage of the Open Male category after not finding enough high scoring waves in the difficult conditions. Foy Chung of Lami however came through for the hosts Fiji, winning the Over 35 Male Shortboard category. Fijian Hannah Bennett placed 1st in the Open Women’s Longboard and 3rd in the Open Female Shortboard. Scotty O’Conner from Namotu Island Resort, also came through strongly for the hosts, placing 2nd in the Open Male Longboard final, making up valuable points for the Fiji point score towards the prestigious Melanesian Cup.
In form Shane Pier of Guam in the Men’s shortboard semi-finals.
“It’s been great to compete against my Melanesian cousins,” said Isei after the event. “We really pushed each other to do our best surfing. It’s so important for us Fijians to compete as much as possible. I learned so much from the experience.”
It was Vanuatu that proved too strong in the end taking the Melanesian Cup by a narrow 200 points from New Caledonia with Fiji another 200 points behind to take 3rd. It was Vanuatu’s strength in the boys age groups which made the difference. Vanuatu’s Tuppe Leroy Kalmet dominated his age group, winning the Under 18 Male Shortboard category. “Fiji’s waves are amazing. This is the best competition I have ever been to,” said Tuppe after the event.
Tom Morat of New Caledonia won the Under 14 years age group but it was the shear numbers of Vanuatu boys surfers in the age bracket events which made the difference. Fiji Surfing Association President, John Philp said, “The waves held up over the second and final day. We couldn’t be happier with how things ran.”
Fijian Aca Raculo of Fiji came up short in the Mens Shortboard semi-final despite throwing moves like this.
From December 6-8, 2013, the Fiji Surfing Association (FSA) hosted the 4th Annual Melanesian Surf Cup at Cloudbreak, Tavarua. 47 competitors from Vanuatu and New Caledonia including their Polynesian cousins from Samoa and Guam competed against 18 Fijian surfers for the coveted Melanesian Cup Trophy.
The Fiji Surfing Association is grateful to its cash sponsors Tourism Fiji, and the Fiji National Sports Commission; as well as long time corporate supporters Namotu Island Resort & Tavarua Island Resort. Corona were first time sponsors of surfing in Fiji via provision of product & prizes.
The Fiji Surfing Association (FSA) is Fiji’s national governing body for surfing. The FSA is instrumental in ensuring the success of international surfing competitions, such as the Volcom Fiji Pro held at Fiji’s world famous Cloudbreak. The FSA complements its support for international competitions with regional and national-based events such as The Fiji Games, StandUp-Paddle Board competitions, and The Melanesian Cup to build and enhance participation in surfing at the local level.