“The Perfect Storm” Swell Headed Towards Tavarua

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).

Foster’s Men’s World Tour.

Globe WCT Fiji May 22nd — June 3rd 2005.

Catch it LIVE on aspworldtour.com and www.globefiji.com

Tavarua’s Perfect Storm Is Brewing

As the fifth day of the waiting period for the inaugural Globe WCT Fiji passes us by with the South Pacific remaining devoid of contestable conditions for the fourth fixture of the 2005 Foster’s Men’s World Tour, organisers and surfers remain confident and content with the knowledge that a massive storm brewing down in the Great Southern Ocean virtually guarantees not only deliverance but what could be epic conditions.

The Globe event’s official surf forecaster Sean Collins from Surfline.com was struggling for words as he surveyed the charts and projected swell models from his office in Huntington Beach California this morning.

“I could not imagine a better scenario being scripted for the Globe WCT Fiji than this incredible new storm south of the Australian continent, said Collins.

“We were already confident of swell pumping into the Fijian window from late tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, and sustaining solidly over the weekend, but this new system that will back it up is so exciting that I’m really tempted to jump on a plane and head down there just to check it out.

“It’s pretty much as good as it gets! Everything is coming together perfectly. I was just checking the satellite passes and they confirm both the projected swell and winds. We’re looking at Fiji’s version of the Hollywood movie ‘The Perfect Storm” declared Collins.

The thrilling 2000 celluloid epic directed by Wolfgang Peterson, based on Sebastian Junger’s novel of the same name, starred George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. The movie graphically depicted the fate of fishermen who sailed out into the North Atlantic from Gloucester Massachusetts on the trawler Andrea Gail on an extended haul hunting swordfish schools.

The Andrea Gail sailed straight into the teeth of a storm that was of an intensity that had never before been recorded in history, the result of three cell systems colliding. We’ve had two collide, and the resultant swell is going to be a beauty. We’re obviously talking bounty here, and not calamity, though you wouldn’t want to be sailing around in the Great Australian Bight tonight.

“A tremendous amount of tropical moisture got shovelled down into the lower latitudes and merged almost seamlessly with a developing low down there, continued Collins.

“It will be very strong tonight, peaking with 60 kph winds and ocean swells in the vicinity of 45-50′, but the best thing for the Globe WCT Fiji is that it will spin a fetch in a real positive way towards Tavarua. As the swell marches up the Tasman Sea, the wind will follow it and continue to sustain and push it.

“The end result is that it will be building solidly through Monday, and Tuesday will be frickin’ huge, and then there’s another round of swell on top of it on Wednesday. I couldn’t pick what will be the best Tuesday thru Thursday, but it’s just going to be non-stop swell.

“Cloudbreak will be a solid Hawaiian 10-15 feet with 25 foot wave faces and even some 30′ faces on the bigger sets. Restaurants out there in front of Tavarua should be a solid six to eight foot, and it can get a little funky out there at that size, particularly with that reverse current, but we’ll just have to wait and see, said Collins.

If all holds together, as it indeed appears it will, Tavarua will be about as big as it gets next Tuesday and Wednesday, and with the swell building out at Cloudbreak in the interim, we’re looking at Globe kicking off their involvement with the Foster’s Men’s World Tour with one hell of a bang.

The next call for the Globe WCT Fiji will be at 6.30am tomorrow (Friday May 27th) morning.

From Paul Sargeant