The Inertia for Good Editor

The Inertia

João Chianca, Jack Robinson, Yago Dora, and Ian Gentil had big years in 2023. Chianca and Robinson both fought their way into the top five and competed at Trestles on the last day of the CT season. For Chianca, who had fallen short of the cut line in 2022 and then requalified for the CT via the Challenger Series, it was a massive redemption story and a leap into an elite tier on the tour. Robinson had the yellow jersey at one point before an injury took him out of the Margaret River Pro followed by a slow burn getting back to top form. He was sent home after the Elimination Round three times after the cut before eventually winning at Teahupo’o and clawing his way into a Finals Day appearance. That win effectively stole a top five spot from Yago Dora, who finished the year in the top 10 for a second time and seems to have established himself as a legitimate world title threat. Meanwhile, Ian Gentil put together a Rookie of the Year campaign with a second half of the 2023 season that saw more consistent results, including a run to the semifinals in El Salvador.

All four surfers were responsible for sending other members of the group home from a contest at different points in the season a. And as filmmaker Loïc Wirth points out, they all “had justified reasons not to go on a trip together right away.” A little breather after the CT season would be understandable, especially some time away from the same people standing between each of them and a world title. The 2005 versions of Andy Irons and Kelly Slater would never wrap up a CT campaign and go on a boat trip. Hell, Andy probably wouldn’t have gone on a trip with his own brother through the stretch Bruce was on tour.

But when it was announced Cloudbreak would be put on the 2024 Championship Tour schedule, all four surfers set up a strike mission to Fiji. Robinson shared that he’d actually never been to Cloudbreak prior to the trip, which makes it a bit of a reconnaissance operation.

“I always wondered about this — like, how good is it?” he said last fall. “I remember Parko was telling me a long time ago, he’s like, ‘You get so deep in the barrel it feels like you can be so far behind and still make it out and be behind the foam ball.’ And yeah, it’s true.”

As much as the trip was needed for training and gathering intel on Cloudbreak, it looks like Ian Gentil, Yago Dora, Jack Robinson, João Chianca, who’s still recovering from an injury at Pipe and has sat out the tour’s first two events, genuinely bonded during their time in Fiji.


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