The world’s best surfers are gearing up for Stop No. 8 on the 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona. The competition will be held in Saquarema at the beachbreak called Praia de Itaúna. Brazil is home to some of the world’s most passionate surf fans, and competitors are ready to put on a show for the crowd. The event holds a waiting period from June 23 through July 1, 2023.
After Brazil, there will be only two events left to decide the Final 5 men and Final 5 women who will compete for the World Titles at the Rip Curl WSL Finals. No one has clinched a spot yet, and Brazil will play an important role in deciding who could be the first. Stop No. 8 will also be crucial in determining provisional qualifications for Olympic Games Paris 2024.
About the Venue: Brazil’s High-Performance Beachbreak
During the VIVO Rio Pro, the small town of Saquarema transforms into the largest event site on the Championship Tour and becomes completely focused on surfing at Praia de Itaúna. The powerful beachbreak is capable of being a platform for high-performance surfing as well as technical barrels. Most of the big airs seen on Tour are often here in Saquarema. Competitors will have to dig deep into their bag of tricks to earn a win at Praia de Itaúna.
Carissa Moore and Griffin Colapinto Lead Rankings Going into Brazil
Five-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) will once again wear the yellow Leader jersey in Saquarema. Colapinto made his fourth Finals appearance of the season in El Salvador, earning a runner-up finish to Filipe Toledo (BRA). Moore had another solid result in El Salvador as well, finishing equal 3rd. As the defending event winner, Moore will have plenty of confidence going into Rio. On the other hand, Colapinto will be looking to improve on his 17th-place finish here last year.
Top 5 Brazilians Ready to Perform in Front of Home Crowd
Reigning World Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) arrives at the VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona as the one to beat, as he has won the last three events here. Toledo is currently sitting at No. 2 on the rankings after his win in El Salvador. He now hopes to earn a fourth-consecutive event win here to overtake the rankings lead from Colapinto.
Local Saquarema surfer João Chianca (BRA) is looking forward to being cheered on by his friends and family. He competed here as the event wildcard last year but lost out early to Ethan Ewing (AUS). Now in his sophomore year on Tour, Chianca is No. 3 on the rankings and is close to clinching a spot in the Final 5.
Three-time World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) both climbed into the Top 5 on the rankings after solid performances in El Salvador. They both are in need of a big result here to further secure their spots in the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
Silvana Lima and Samuel Pupo Announced as Event Wildcards
Former CT surfers Silvana Lima (BRA) and Samuel Pupo (BRA) have been announced as the event wildcards for the VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona. Lima is a CT veteran and finished in equal 5th the last time she competed at this event in 2019. Pupo recently fell off Tour after missing the Mid-season Cut but bounced back quickly, winning the first event of the Challenger Series, the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro. Both will be dangerous competitors to watch here in Rio.
VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
HEAT 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Caitlin Simmers (USA) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
HEAT 4: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Rio Waida (INA)
HEAT 2: Joao Chianca (BRA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Callum Robson (AUS) vs .Kelly Slater (USA)
HEAT 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ian Gentil (HAW)
HEAT 6: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)
HEAT 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (RSA)
HEAT 8: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.