The opening day of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Stop No. 10 of 11 on the Men’s World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), has been called ON in six-to-eight foot waves at Supertubos, Portugal’s world-renowned beach break.
Round 1 will start at 8:50 a.m. WEST and Round 2 will be on hold for a possible start following the opening round.
“We were on hold for an hour this morning waiting for the tide to drop and the winds to settle, and we like what we are seeing out there,” said Travis Logie, WSL Deputy Commissioner.
For the 10th edition of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Supertubos will once again be the battleground for the men’s World Title race.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), current Jeep Leader and defending event winner, is the only surfer who can clinch the title early in Portugal.
World No. 2 Filipe Toledo (BRA) and No. 3 Julian Wilson (AUS) closely trail Medina but need critical finishes to push the race to the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii.
The Men’s World Title scenarios are as follows:
– Only Medina can claim the title in Portugal by winning the event.
– If Medina wins the event, Toledo will need a 9th or better and Wilson a 3rd or better to take the World Title decision to Hawaii;
– If Medina finishes 2nd or worse in Portugal, the WSL Title will be decided in Hawaii.
Medina’s first heat will be against Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and wildcard Samuel Pupo (BRA) in Round 1.
Wilson is ready for a big opening day where he will face Connor O’Leary (AUS) and replacement Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) in Heat 4 of Round 1.
Toledo will meet 2018 CT rookie Tomas Hermes (BRA) and event wildcard Miguel Blanco (PRT) in Heat 5 of Round 1.
Local hero Frederico Morais (PRT) currently sits in 22nd place on the World Rankings and will need a big result to guarantee his place on the elite tour next season.
The event favorite will be up against No.4 Italo Ferreira (BRA) and injury replacement Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) in Heat 3.
Up first this morning will be event replacement Ryan Callinan (AUS) against Owen Wright (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in the first heat of Round 1.
Surfline, forecast partner of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, is calling for:
A solid WNW swell will kick off the event window on Tuesday with favorable wind conditions, although surf is likely to still be a little jumbled and mixed up.
Although not as big, plenty more surf is expected through the rest of the week (Wed-Sun), while strong northerly winds rise up (still manageable at Supertubos).
At this point, a slower storm pattern is looking to emerge for next week, which would result in minor surf for the back-half of the event window.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Yago Dora (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Tomas Hermes (BRA), Miguel Blanco (PRT)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Samuel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 10: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Michael February (ZAF)