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Here's Why The 2003 Quiksilver Pro Fiji Was One For The Books

Fiji has all the elements that make for an epic surfing contest, and the 2003 Quiksilver Pro Fiji did not disappoint. Here are six reasons to take a journey back to this epic event with this week's edition of The WSL Vault.

The Waves Were Big And Challenging

Cloudbreak looks idyllic - and it's without a doubt one of the best waves on the planet - but it's also shifty, hard to read and catches even some of most competent surfers off guard. In 2003, there was solid surf throughout the event, making for quite a show.

Fiji Quiksilver Pro Fiji Quiksilver Pro WSL / Pierre Tostee

Andy Irons Was Ripping

The late, great Andy Irons was one of the most comfortable surfers in waves of consequence we've ever seen; he could surf big, shallow and powerful reefs as if they were a 2-foot shorebreak. It's hard to think of another surfer who has looked quite so comfortable on their backhand at Cloudbreak.

Andy won the event -- the first regular-footer to do it -- banking three perfect rides along the way. That year, he'd go on to win his second World Title.

Andy Irons Andy Irons WSL / Pierre Tostee

So Was Cory Lopez

Cory Lopez -- another surfer very comfortable in big, heavy reef waves -- was shredding all event. He made it through to the Final, where he lost to his good friend, Andy Irons. This was his second-best result on the Championship Tour, after a win in 2001 at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo.

Cory Lopez Cory Lopez WSL / Pierre Tostee

Kieren Perrow Was In His Element

This was an event with the waves needed to bring out the best in some of the chargers on the Championship Tour at the time, such as Kieren Perrow, who finished third. Throughout his time on Tour, KP -- who would eventually spend six years as the WSL Commissioner -- was a fearless tube rider, and put on one of his all-time performances in Fiji.

KP KP WSL / Pierre Tostee

Because It's Fiji

We all need more Fiji in our lives. And this year, everything came together to deliver one of the best contests on record at Cloudbreak. Just see for yourself.

2003 Quiksilver Pro Fiji
52:01
Episode 8 takes us to Fiji when Andy Irons took the victory over close friend Cory Lopez at pumping Cloudbreak.
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