SPORTS

Gukilau Wins Druku Open

Surfer Tevita Gukilau is the winner of the 2017 Druku Memorial Open surfing competition at the Cloudbreak, Tavarua last Saturday. The Druku Memorial is the Fiji Surfing Association’s season opening
28 Feb 2017 10:55
Gukilau Wins Druku Open

Surfer Tevita Gukilau is the winner of the 2017 Druku Memorial Open surfing competition at the Cloudbreak, Tavarua last Saturday.

The Druku Memorial is the Fiji Surfing Association’s season opening event, which was previously known as the “King of Cloudbreak”. It was then rebranded to Druku Memorial as a mark of respect to the late Chief Druku who passed away last year.

In small clean conditions many of the quarter and semifinals came down to less than one point separating first and second.

Jimmy Tuitavuki just fell short against the experience of Aca Raculo. A close result between Inia Nakalevu and Lesi Navuwai saw some excellent rides but in the end Navuwai claimed the quarterfinal spot.

Two of Fiji’s best surfers Isei Tokovou and Ulai Niunitoga faced off in an exciting quarter with Tokovou just doing enough to outpoint Niunitoga. Then in the quarters with the new guard for Fiji surfing, Gukilau and Che Slatter, was a demonstration of progressive surfing with Gukilau coming out the winner.

The first semi-final between Aca Ravulo and Lesi Navuwai was an entertaining dual of powerful backhand surfing. This saw Navuwai, take a win by less than one point. Then the second semi had Tokovou against Gukilau. The surfing performance lifted again as both surfers having high scoring rides but in another close result Gukilau claimed the win.

In the final Gukilau started the final strongly posting two high scoring waves leaving Navuwai to play catch up. In the search for better waves Navuwai paddled deeper inside while Gukilau was happy sitting slightly wider.

In the end Navuwai was unable to make up the points difference, which mean Gukilau claiming the win and the $1000 prize money.

According to FSA, invitations have been sent to surfers who have qualified for the Fiji Pro wildcard trials in May. Last year Guikilau won the trial event and took part in the World Championship event.

 

Full Results: 1- Tevita Gukilau; 2- Lesi Navuwai; 3- Aca Raculo, Isei Tokovou; 5- Inia Nakalevu, Che Slatter, Ulai Niunitoga, Jimmy Tuitavuki; 9- Uri Kurop, Seva Navuwai,  Kalani Wakeham,  John Vasea

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