Fanning leads the pack (barely) as tour moves into Portugal

Mick Fanning © WSL

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal

World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour Event
Supertubos, Peniche Portugal
20 – 31 October 2015

Mason Ho gets wildcard into Championship Tour event

Surf News Network, 16 October, 2015 . Supertubos – The world’s best surfers have begun their collective migration from the Southwest of France to the Portuguese township of Peniche for the final European stop of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Held at the world-class beachbreak of Supertubos, the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal has delivered the unparalleled athleticism, competitive drama and adventure of the world’s best surfers since 2009 and this season promises more of the same with a red-hot race for the world surfing crown as well as the battle for requalification.

Mick Fanning (AUS), 34, three-time WSL Champion, further became a global sensation this past July when he survived a Great White Shark attack on live television during the Finals of the J-Bay Open in South Africa. Despite the traumatic experience, Fanning has delivered an impressive run of surfing since, winning the Hurley Pro at Trestles and reclaiming the 2015 WSL Jeep Leader Jersey. Although suffering a Quarterfinals ousting in France, Fanning retains the frontrunner spot heading into Portugal.

“Wasn’t the result I wanted in France but Bede (Durbidge) has been in form all event so he was always going to be dangerous,” Fanning said. “The priority now is to reset and focus for Portugal. It’s similar to France in that the conditions and waves can change a lot. I’ve had strong results there in the past and it has some incredible waves. Looking forward to the upcoming event.”

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 28, current WSL No. 2, edged even closer to the frontrunner position with a Semifinals berth in France and will target Fanning as we the world’s best head to Portugal. A former event winner (2011), De Souza is exceedingly dangerous in the dynamic beachbreaks of Portugal.

“I love Portugal and feel very comfortable there,” De Souza said. “It’s an exciting race this season and it is coming down to the last few events. I’m hopeful that I can have a good showing in the upcoming weeks.”

Mason Ho (HAW), 27, a world-renowned freesurfer from Oahu’s North Shore, has been allocated a wildcard to compete in the upcoming Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Peniche will serve as Ho’s second elite CT event of the season, having previously competed at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in April where the young Hawaiian bested three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 34, in the non-elimination Round 1 before ultimately falling to the reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), 21, in Round 3.

“I just got news about the Portugal event and I’m amping,” Ho said. “Already preparing, I can’t wait! Dad (Michael Ho – Hawaiian Legend and former WSL Professional) is super stoked as well. Hope we get some bombing swell and all that other good stuff down there.”

The Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal will run from October 20 – 31, 2015 and be LIVE via webcast and on the WSL mobile app.

Fans around the world can also follow the broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.

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