Round three of the Volcom Fiji Pro was sensationally put on hold today after 16-foot swell saw Raoni Monteiro retire injured after being crushed by a giant wave.
Australian Kai Otton led at the time and, after posting an un-attainable lead given Monteiro’s return to the boat, the heat was called seven minutes early before event organisers decided to cancel day 6 of the event before the start of round three.
With a northerly wind cutting into the giant swell and creating havoc for surfers on the wave face producing the kind of lumps that make Nicki Minaj look under-developed, conditions turned treacherous at the Cloudlands reef break.
Monteiro’s leg injury is the second in as many rounds after Australian Josh Kerr wiped out in round one to suffer ankle ligament damage.
Red Bull riders Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson and Jordy Smith all remain alive in round three, but it’s 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and tour leader Joel Parkinson ranked favourites for the event.
It’s the first time the tour has stopped at Fiji since 2008 and already the move is being lauded as a massive success. Like last year’s Tahiti Pro that saw one-in-a-decade swell, Fiji is providing the kind of waves that those on tour have been searching for.
Here’s to another epic contest and no more injuries…