Island exploration – VONU’s feature escapade into New Caledonia and the Fijian Archipelago 2018

In August 2018 VONU set sail on a feature escapade into the Fijian archipelago and the nearby islands of New Caledonia. This adventure would be a far cry from a simple campaign photo-shoot. Rather than simply motoring a small boat around the most easy to access Fijian Islands and surf resorts, the plan was to assemble a collection of the world best surfers who would sail a working
vessel across long ocean straits, battling prevailing winds, chasing favourable weather systems and searching for the most inaccessible waves and villages along the way.

 As this was no ordinary adventure it required a special collection of watermen to drive it. Perfect waves were not always a given and we needed a group of surfers that were just as excited about sailing the ship, fishing and exploring new lands as they were about finding pumping surf. Phone calls were made, discussions were had and eventually a team of 9 surfers was decided upon.

After countless votes and nominations, two surfers Lewie Buddons, Jarrah Tutton had already secured their tickets on the VONU express by winning the #VonuFirstMate competition. The contest asked people to submit nominations to Instagram of a mate they believed had the skills to foot it with the pro’s and deserved a place onboard. Joining them on the trip would be VONU adventurers Harrison Roach, Asher Wales, Asher Pacey, Jay Button, Tevita Gukilau, Ryan Callinan and Otis Carey.

Flying in from Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle courtesy of Air Calin – The team assembled at the ‘Nekweta’ surf camp in New Caledonia. The boys quickly became familiar and fond of their surrounds by hunting for new waves, fishing holes and learning about the island culture. A trip into an ancient prison provided an intriguing look into the inner workings of the islands history and chatting with locals in the village provided many smiles. The boys fished for dinner and some handy line work meant for some impressive feasts. Lewie Buddons lived up to his name of #VonuFirstMate with a nightly speech that inevitably left all the boys in stitches.

From swimming with turtles, learning history from locals and surfing hidden jewels, New Caledonia had provided an array of experience for our adventurers to sink their teeth into. However, the time had come to board the vessel and lift the sails for the voyage into the Fijian Archipelago…


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