Brisa Hennessy’s Fijian Epiphany
We genuinely can’t wait for the Pacific to re-open.
Being lucky enough to be “stranded” in Australia for the past year, the travel itch hasn’t been too hard to scratch; borders have long been open and it’s a vast, beautiful, wave-rich land.
And then a link arrived in the inbox titled “Brisa Hennessy Fiji”, and a quick scan revealed crystal clear water, empty line ups, lush tropical landscapes and perfect Cloudbreak tubes. All thoughts of travel restrictions “not being the end of the world” evaporated in the westerly and “when is Fiji opening?” was typed straight into Dr google (answer = pending).
Brisa Hennessy’s another who can’t complain about the “year off.” She lists Costa Rica, Hawaii and Fiji as her places of residence (how good’s growing up with surfy parents!). So, the draw-dropping footage featured above isn’t one of those, “Bloody pro surfers, rules don’t apply to them…” stories, Brisa’s a card-carrying Fijian resident and the fruits of that, well, you can see that sweet, sweet nectar dripping off the screen.
Brisa’s surf-saturated upbringing – raised in Costa, formative years on the North Shore and then summers in Fiji, to be precise – have resulted in her being undeniably comfy in serious reef breaks; her performance at the last Keramas contest was testament to that. That being said, the year off footage featured up top is something to marvel at. Speak to any mortal surfer who’s tackled the Cloudbreak and they’ll tell you: it’s a big lineup with a lot of water moving, it’s way, way scarier than it often looks on film, and, it’s notoriously hard to pick one (they say the ones that look like closeouts are the go, but that’s easier said than done when it’s 6ft+). Brisa has a swing, got to give her that, and the patience, patience into backdooring a throaty, windy cathedral at 13:15 is a statement from the 21-year-old (mainly) Costa Rican.
Whilst at this stage we can’t write a mad dash to Cloudbreak in our diaries quite yet (it wasn’t uncommon, in the hedonistic early years of stabmag.com for Cloudbreak to be considered a weekend destination), it’s clearly heading in the direction of opening up; rumours have reached our ears that the Pacific Islands could be added to the Oz/Nz travel bubble, but they remain unconfirmed.
One thing’s for sure, Brisa’s Fijian sabbatical sure has jogged our minds into conjuring fond Fijian memories. Google alerts have been set up, and, as if you needed further incentive to hit green on a hit to the tropics when applicable, you can rest easy that if you/we make it over this year, it’ll mean Fiji tourism will be kicking back into action, which is good for locals and travellers alike. Until next time, Fiji…
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