World Tour heats at Cloudbreak are notorious for swinging like a pendulum, subject to the whims of lully, long period south swells touching bottom across the atoll that is Thundercloud reef. One minute you're ducking eight wave sets, the next minute your wondering where all the waves went. Midway through his Round Two heat, Reunion Island's Jeremy Flores (hilariously dubbed "Jerry" by South African play-by-play man Gigs Celliers) was staring at a total heat score well below the double-digit mark as California's Nat Young looked to be building momentum.
Then a funny thing happened, Cloudbreak came alive. And so did Flores, scoring a 9.57 on a draining, spinning bomb of a wave. Raised on the perfectly groomed lefthand tubes of St. Leu, one of the most perfect waves on the planet, Flores credited his big performance with feeling comfortable and relaxed in Fiji. "I love island vibes, I love Tahiti, Hawaii," he said. "I'm from Reunion, I feel comfortable in these types of places."