Held at the world-class beach break of Supertubos, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal has hosted the world’s best surfers since 2009. And with just two events remaining this season, the event will once again be a crucial stop in the hunt for this year’s World Title, as well as the battle for requalification.
The Title race is wide open, with eight surfers going in to Portugal with a chance: John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Adriano de Souza (BRA).
“It’s like my second home here, so I’m happy to be back. The forecast is really good so I’m looking forward to the event.” - Gabriel Medina
If John Florence finishes 3rd or below, the World Title decision will go to Hawaii, and Gabriel, Owen and Matt will battle it out at Pipeline. If John finishes second, one of the three Rip Curl riders must win the event to keep the race alive.
A crowd favourite to win the event is Gabriel Medina, who is fresh from victory at Stop Number 9 on the CT in France. Sitting at third on the Jeep Leaderboard, Portugal is a pivotal moment for the Brazilian World Champ.
“It was very nice to win in France and I’m feeling really good and it’s given me lots of confidence,” Gabriel said. “It’s like my second home here, so I’m happy to be back. The forecast is really good so I’m looking forward to the event.”
Another exciting factor to consider in the Title race is the wildcard selection at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Mason Ho, who’s been known to knock Champs, has confirmed as one of the wildcards – and is ready to battle it out in one of his favourite waves.
Lucky for him (and everyone else proficient in larger surf), the forecast is looking solid. Surfline, the official forecaster, are calling for:
Solid swell to kick off the opening days of the contest with the weekend offering the best combination of size and conditions at Supertubos. Smaller surf is due Monday ahead of long period WNW/NW swell that fills in on Tuesday (24th) and peaks Wednesday (25th) before easing over the second half of next week. More swell possible towards the back portion of the contest waiting period.
Event organizers will convene on Friday Oct 20, the first day of the waiting period, at 7:45 a.m. (local time) to assess conditions and make the first call.
The events will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal,Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.