Intent on undertaking valuable research on surf locations suitable for oldfartsurfers, Old Farts Surf Head Honcho, Mex (OFSC No. 4) and Rouge (OFSC No. 45) planned an expedition to Fiji. After surfing the southern Tassie points earlier in the week, the boys arrived on the 8th June expecting to see the same swell hitting Fiji and the WCT contest at Cloudbreak.
(Coke head Rouge psyches up for a big surf)
Travelling from the airport at Nadi along the Coral Coast in the back of a van with no shock absorbers, Rouge could see the swell hitting the reefs and remarked "looks like a bit of swell". What the boys didn't know was that the swell was peaking at around 20' at that moment and according to the Mex "all reports said it was the most perfect wave of that size has ever been ridden".
(Mex Kavas it up and metamorphoses into Chief Bill)
The Mex and Rouge had been tempted to surf the WCT but Rouge said "Mex and I, along with the Dude (OFSC No. 12), who at the same time was doing his own oldfartsurfing research in Sri Lanka, had withstood the lure of competitive surfing in order to dedicate ourselves to researching suitable locataions for oldfartsurfers."
(Chief Bill of Australia, New Zealand, France and Mother England channels a Buttons Kaluhiaokani)
"Having a big swell waiting for us we were keen to take advantage" said Mex. "Oldfartsurfer research invariably involves keeping the missus happy, so we'd booked ourselves into a comfy looking resort called the Fiji Palms with nearby shopping" explained Mex. "Once the ladies were settled we went off to talk to the local village chief about access to the local break"
(The real Buttons, no that's Rouge)
"The local chief insisted on a big welcoming kava ceremony and Mex was dobbed in to represent us as the Chief of the village of Australia, New Zealand, France and Mother England" said Rouge, "a task he performed admirably."
(Fans gather on the shore as the boys prepare to paddle out)
With fans eagerly waiting for the boys to paddle out they donned their life vests and were taken out to the waves in boats provided by the local village. "I was pretty nervous as we prepared to go out" said Mex, "then I saw Rouge with a thousand yard stare like a man about to meet his destiny and new everything would be OK."
(A messy big right hander at Sigatoka river mouth)
(With a 1000 yard stare Rouge dons a vest and Old Farts Surf Co. bucket hat for safety)
(Rouge in OFSC bucket hat on the way out the back in the long boat)
(Local crew follow the boys out to check out the action)
Once out the back the biggest and best wave of the day came through. "True to oldfartsurfer etiquette, it was declared a team wave" said Rouge, " and we both took the big drop together."
(Leap of faith, Rouge and Mex take big the drop on a team wave)
"After coming off the bottom we both got the biggest barrel of our lives, easily big enough for both of us!"
(A barrel big enough for two, Rouge and Mex cling to the wall)
After catching the wave of the day Mex said "we paddled back in to the local village, there was a bit of a fanfare going on and the local chief was preparing the village for a big party for us.
(Bob the McTavish Bobsled gets a nose job)
Not everything was hunky dory though, According to Mex, "Bob my trusty McTavish bobsled had received a bit of treatment on the reef. It was sad but mendable".
(Fanfare for our heroes)
Read the next installment to find out about the party and a bit of a coup.
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