BRAZILIAN STORM IGNITES BARRINHA

BRAZILIAN STORM IGNITES BARRINHA

The Oi Rio Men’s Pro kicked off on Monday in four-to-six foot (1.2 – 1.8 metre) waves at Barrinha, the event’s backup location famous for its hollow tubes and powerful waves. The fourth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Oi Rio Pro, witnessed a strong showing from the Brazilians in men’s Round 1. Out of the 14 Brazilian men in the draw today, seven will advance to Round 3 after the completion of Round 1 and the first six heats of Round 2.

Jeep Frontrunners Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) both advanced to Round 3 after winning their opening heats. The two competitors, who are equally ranked World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, earned just enough to progress, with Wilson capturing a 12.93 (out of a possible 10) and Ferreria a 10.64. Each surfer will await the remaining six Round 2 heats before they know who they will match-up against in elimination Round 3.

“I feel so good and confident, especially here in Brazil,” said Ferreira. “I missed this event last year because I was injured, but now I am just enjoying all the fans and my home. The fans in Brazil are the best part. I am just trying to feel this feeling and leave the pressure in the water.”

“There is so much excitement from the local people and it is hard to not get caught up in all of that,” said Wilson. “We’ve been waiting a few days, so that energy also builds up. I think WSL made a great decision to come up to this end of the beach. There are a lot of quality waves here and it is exciting.”

In a major upset, Adriano de Souza (BRA), the defending event winner and 2015 WSL Champion, was eliminated by CT sophomore Ian Gouveia (BRA) in Round 2 Heat 4. Gouveia left no room for the CT veteran by earning the highest two-wave total of the men’s event so far, a commanding 15.53 (out of a possible 20). Gouveia’s victory marks his first heat win of the 2018 season, and De Souza’s first 25th-place result since Trestles in 2016.

“I am stoked, but at the same time I am kind of bummed,” said Gouveia. “We’ve been competing on only right-handers and this morning I was really bummed because I want to surf lefts too. I thought we could be at Itaúna. We had three events right and the next two events are rights. I did not want to surf right again. This morning my mind wasn’t there, but this got me fired up. It is really good to have everyone here, all the family and friends. Just yeah, sometimes we want to go left.”

“I think I did well out there,” said De Souza. “Ian (Gouveia) chose the right waves and surfed amazing. Also, I fell off a couple of waves. Could have been a good chance for me to be in the lead, but now I am going to go back home and get some energy, and straight to Bali for two events. I am happy for Ian, and good luck to the other Brazilians.”

Reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) looked in incredible form to take his second heat win of the season but was stopped by injury replacement Mikey Wright (AUS). The two-time WSL Champion charged out of a huge barrel and hit an unruly closeout section, landing miraculously on his feet for a 9.10 (out of a possible 10). Despite being awarded the near-perfect score, Florence could not find a second wave to defeat Wright.

“This definitely makes me want to be on the tour more,” said Wright. “This makes me want to keep doing and getting results on the QS, and getting these spots as a replacement. I am trying to make the most out of these opportunities.”

Florence was forced to surf again in elimination Round 2 against event wildcard Deivid Silva (BRA). The 2016 event winner was on the ropes toward the end of the heat but surpassed the needed score with a 5.07 on his final ride.

“I was stoked to get through that heat,” said Florence. “The waves are really fun, but it is definitely difficult. It is just a matter of being in the right spot. Everyone keeps saying that I’ve had a super slow start, but I feel really good. I’ve only lost two events, and they canceled Margarets, so I am where I was at any other year. I’ve lost two events every year so I feel good. Hopefully, I can do the same that I did in 2016 and win here and be back in the World Title race.”

Filipe Toledo (BRA) earned the day’s first win for the Brazilian Storm in the opening heat of Round 1. Toledo’s powerful carves landed him a 13.70 combined score, just a 0.83 lead over Kanoa Igarashi (JPN).

The all-Brazilian matchup in Round 1 Heat 5 saw 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina take the win over rookie Jesse Mendes and injury replacement Alejo Muniz. The entire battle had the crowd to their feet, but Medina delivered the heat’s most exciting performances with a 7.10 and 7.07. The Brazilian superstar now advances straight to Round 3.

“Jesse (Mendes) and Alejo (Muniz) are gnarly,” said Medina. “I used to compete a lot with them in the past and I knew that was going to be a tough heat. I just tried to surf and find my waves. I just thank God that the heat came on my side. I just want to do good here and hopefully get into the Finals and win this thing. Hopefully, we can get some lefts.”

Muniz, who was relegated to elimination Round 2 after failing to overcome Medina, was paired with Owen Wright (AUS), current World No. 4. Knowing that this heat was his only opportunity to continue through the event, Muniz took an aggressive approach to oust the top seed by 0.17 points. Wright now leaves with his first 25th place result of the year.

Miguel Pupo (BRA), injury replacement for Caio Ibelli (BRA), will also advance after defeating Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Tomas Hermes (BRA) in Round 1 Heat 2.

The 2018 CT Rookie class delivered strong performances today with wins by Griffin Colapinto (USA), Yago Dora (BRA), Wade Carmichael (AUS), and Willian Cardoso (BRA).

At Margaret River, Colapinto was eliminated in last place, but his aerial rotation today made it clear that he is back in business and ready to go big at this event. The 19-year-old explained that he did not feel confident in the heat but was able to reach into his progressive repertoire to take down the defending event winner De Souza and fellow rookie Michael February (ZAF).

“I know Adriano (de Souza) has huge fan support in Brazil, and I just knew that our heat was probably going to have a lot of people on the beach and it did,” said Colapinto. “I surfed that heat pretty poorly; I was scrambling all over the place and never really got a set wave. That air really did it for me, and I just safety surfed it so hard, but I got the score and I am stoked to make it.”

Dora, who was the 2017 event stand out, made his intentions clear with his early win against Michel Bourez (PYF) and Conner Coffin (USA). Later in the afternoon, Bourez was eliminated by Keanu Asing (HAW) in Round 2 Heat 5. Coffin will face rookie Hermes in the upcoming Round 2 Heat 11.

Smith survived his Round 2 heat against Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), in addition to 2017 event runner-up Adrian Buchan (AUS) who dispatched February.

The WSL Commissioner’s Office will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:45 a.m. local time to assess the conditions and make the next call for a potential 7:00 a.m. start at Barrinha.

The Oi Rio Pro will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

Strong SSW swell continues Tuesday morning with favorable wind, with the surf easing through the day. The swell mix trends down on Wednesday but still offers fun/rippable waves during the morning. The next run of SSW/S swells shows on Friday and likely continues over the weekend, with the most favorable wind currently expected for Fri-Sat.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.70, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.07, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.73
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.10, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.66, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 8.23
Heat 3: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.60, Owen Wright (AUS) 11.26, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.17
Heat 4: Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.83, John John Florence (HAW) 13.93, Joan Duru (FRA) 10.93
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.17, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.43, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.86
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.93, Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.30, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.83
Heat 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA 10.64, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.47, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.36
Heat 8: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.60, Michael February (ZAF) 11.47, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.00
Heat 9: Yago Dora (BRA) 12.13, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.67, Conner Coffin (USA) 2.87
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.60, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.30, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.57
Heat 11: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 11.16, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.60, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.30
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.40, Frederico Morais (PRT) 11.76, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 7.00

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 2 Results (H1-6):
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 12.24 def. Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.94
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.57 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.40
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.70 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 9.94
Heat 4: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 15.53 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.83
Heat 5: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.77 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.66
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.63 def. Michael February (ZAF) 3.96

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Remaining Round 2 Matchups (H6-12):
Heat 7: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 11: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 12: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)

Oi Rio Women’s Pro Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Caroline Marks (USA)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Sage Erickson (USA)

Barra Bazzas!

The Billabong Rio Pro, Stop No. 4 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, saw a thrilling day of surfing on super Sunday and ran through Men’s Rounds 3 and 4 in barreling four foot (1.2 metre) surf. The first of the Quarterfinalists were decided in a flurry of Brazilian defeats, with only Adriano de Souza left in the running to represent the host country. Bede Durbidge was the standout surfer of the day, claiming the highest two-wave heat total with 16.33.

The first heat of the day featured a barrel shootout between current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and veteran Travis Logie (ZAF). Medina wasted little time in establishing a lead, earning an 8.50 for a deep forehand barrel in the opening minute of the heat. Medina looked poised for victory when he found another forehand tube for a 6.50, but Logie’s patience paid off. With 1:30 remaining on the clock, the South African drove through an incredible forehand barrel, posting a near-perfect 9.50 for a win over the Brazilian favorite. Medina leaves the competition in equal 13th place. Logie went on to be defeated by Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Nat Young (USA) in Round 4 but will get another chance to fight for a place in the Quarterfinals against Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 5 .

“I’m baffled,” said Travis Logie. “That was a nice little birthday present. I got two good waves and I pulled the rabbit out of the hat at the end of the heat. I don’t know how I did that, I’m speechless. I’ve been doing this for a while now so I just kept relaxed even though I’d resigned myself to losing the heat. I just thought to myself it’s me against the ocean. I’m stoked.”

“It was tricky out there,” said Gabriel Medina. “My first wave was good but I couldn’t find a second one. Travis (Logie) is always a dangerous guy and I knew it would be a tough heat. I just tried to pay attention to him and he got me at the end. He was at the right spot at the right time. It’s so good to have all the support here, there’s no better support than here in Brazil. I’m looking forward to Fiji, that was just a throwaway result. Now I’ll train more and get ready for the next event.” 

Thumping barrels at Barra Da Tijuca saw Australian powerhouse Bede Durbidge deliver today’s top performance. First he faced prodigious Brazilian Filipe Toledo in Round 3 Heat 5. Durbidge took control of the heat and banked the highest two-wave heat total of the day, leaving the sophomore standout in need of an excellent 9.10. Toledo was unable to find the near-perfect ride and the veteran advanced to Round 4 where his success continued against Americans Kolohe Andino and Kelly Slater. Durbidge revelled in the powerful beachbreak conditions, kicking off his Round 4 campaign with a deep backhand barrel for a near-perfect 9.10. Andino and Slater could not find the scores needed to better the Australian who backed up his stunning opener with a 6.10, securing a Quarterfinals berth.

“It was tough to draw a Brazilian here and I knew Filipe (Toledo) would be doing his airs, but I’m glad we had swell and I’m glad I got the win,” said Bede Durbidge. “I really wanted to keep my momentum going because I had such a good heat earlier today. Preparation is key for me. I love getting fired up before the heats and surfing with lots of aggression so I just need to keep that going. I feel right at home here because I grew up surfing conditions like this.”

2013 event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) is one step closer to defending his title after eliminating Brazilian Jadson Andre in Round 3. The pair battled in barreling conditions and Smith struck first, driving through a thick barrel for a 7.60. Andre fought to get on the board, but posted only low scores for the first half of the heat. A crucial exchanged unfolded with 12 minutes remaining but the South African’s 8.50 score carried him to a convincing win. Smith was able to build on his success in Round 4 against Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW). The pair posted solid scores but were unable to back them up, leaving Smith to secure a Quarterfinals berth, while Parkinson and Zietz will have to surf again in Round 5 when competition resumes.

“I was really inspired by Travis Logie’s performance earlier today,” said Jordy Smith. “It would really be something special if we could both make the Final. These days you have to pull everything out from the get go. Jadson (Andre) is an incredible surfer and really had the crowd behind him. It played on my mind a bit but got me fired up to do better. I’m feeling more confident than ever.”

2013 Rookie of the Year Nat Young (USA) fast tracked his way to the Quarterfinals after victory in Round 3 against Mitch Crews (AUS) and another win in Round 4 against Travis Logie (ZAF) and Adriano de Souza (BRA). Nat Young took off early in Round 3, earning midrange scores in the opening five minutes with back-to-back tube rides. Another quick barrel with a clean cutback finish improved his bottom score to a 5.93 and forcing rookie Crews to hunt for an excellent score he was unable to secure. The three-man non-elimination Round 4 began came down to a crucial exchange with six minutes remaining. De Souza picked off the first wave of a set, posting a 6.07 for a modest barrel, but Young backdoored the following wave, driving deep through the barrel, punctuated with a clean exit for a heat-high 8.17 to take the lead and eventual heat win.

“I feel like I didn’t start very well,” said Nat Young. “I didn’t get too many waves but I managed to find those two decent barrels out there at the end and I’m slowly getting better scores. I’m happy to skip that fifth round. I don’t have the best luck in that round and I’m happy to be in the Quarterfinals.”

Taj Burrow (AUS), fresh from runner-up finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, advanced through two heats today, securing a spot in the Quarterfinals. While most of the day saw clean, barreling conditions grace the lineup, the Western Australian was forced to battle the elements in order to earn his victories in Rounds 3 and 4. He faced fellow Australian Dion Atkinson in Round 3 who, despite holding the lead for the first two-thirds of the heat, went down after Burrow posted a 7.43 for a deep barrel. Burrow matched up against Josh Kerr (AUS) and Michel Bourez (PFY) in challenging conditions in Round 4 and secured the win with a two-wave total of 9.00 at the end of the low-scoring affair.

“It was so difficult, it might have been the hardest heat I’ve ever surfed,” saidTaj Burrow after his Round 4 win. “I was stuck in a rip at the end and it was like river rapids. With the waves I got, I didn’t think I won.”

Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)

Billabong Rio Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 15.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.34, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.03
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 5.30
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.10
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83, Michel Bourez (3.20)

Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 12.03 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.33
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.97 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 7.63
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.53 def. David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.93
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.36
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.04
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.00 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.17
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43