Brazilian Italo Ferreira has won the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal over Joan Duru in a Final held in clean three-to-four foot surf at the iconic Supertubos beach break.
Tens of thousands of fans flocked the beach and dunes of Supertubos to support the athletes and enjoy high-performance surfing at one of Europe’s finest surfing spots.
The 10th edition of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal witnessed incredible performances by the world’s best surfers earlier this week as Supertubos pumped heavy surf, and culminated with Ferreira’s first-ever win on Portuguese soil.
World No. 4 Ferreira claimed his third event victory of the season after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and the Corona Bali Protected earlier this season.
Despite being inconsistent with six early losses, the 24-year-old is in his best-ever season on the Championship Tour and will be a strong contender for the World Title race in years to come.
In an incredible air show, Ferreira defeated compatriot Gabriel Medina in the Semifinals and effectively sent the World Title race to Hawaii by depriving Medina of a win in Portugal.
Pictured: Italo Ferreira of Brasil. Credit: © WSL / Masurel
With his equal 3rd result in Peniche, Medina further extended his pole position on the Jeep Leaderboard, finishing ahead of his two rivals in the World Title Race, Toledo and Wilson.
Coming off of four consecutive excellent results, Medina is undoubtedly the form surfer of the back half of the 2018 season and seems poised to claim a second World Title as the year winds up.
“It was a good heat against Italo as always,” Medina said. “He’s a good friend of mine and he deserved that one. I’m happy with my performance. I did my best and now my focus is on Pipe.
We didn’t hassle each other, we knew it was going to be an air show. I come from two wins and two thirds so I’m happy with my performance and Pipe is a wave that I like so now I’ll focus on that.”
The Men’s World Title Scenarios going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, are as follows:
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
The men will now head to the North Shore of Oahu for the final event on the Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters. The event window will open on December 8 and run through December 20, 2018.
The women’s World Title will also be decided in Hawaii at the Beachwaver Maui Pro, which holds a competitive window from November 25 – December 6, 2018.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.93
2 – Joan Duru (FRA) 10.77
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.47 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.73
SF 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.60 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.00
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.20
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.16 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.03
QF 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 5.10
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.17 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 4.60
2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,190 pts
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 51,450 pts
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 43,070 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,570 pts