Friday, May 12, 2017 (Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro/BRAZIL) – The fourth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona, will recommence today with the remaining heats of men’s Round 2 called ON for a 7:05 a.m. start, followed by women’s Round 2. Men’s and women’s Round 3 has been put on standby for a possible start today. The competitors will battle in three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) conditions at Praia de Itaúna in Saquarema.
“As expected, we are seeing an increase in the swell today,” said Travis Logie, WSL Deputy Commissioner. “We are going to try to take advantage of these conditions and run through a full day of competition. We will be on at 7:05 a.m. starting with the remaining heats of men’s Round 2, followed by women’s Round 2. We are putting Round 3 on standby for a potential start today, as well.”
Jadson Andre (BRA) will be up against Michel Bourez (PYF) in the first heat of the day, Heat 5 of Round 2.
The 2017 CT Rookie class will need to bring their A-game in order to make their way out of elimination Round 2. Ethan Ewing (AUS) has been matched against Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in Heat 6, while Ezekiel Lau (HAW) will come up against Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) in Heat 12.
2016 WSL Rookie of the Year Caio Ibelli (BRA) will face rookie Joan Duru (FRA) in Round 2 Heat 7. Ibelli had an incredible run at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, resulting in a runner-up finish. He will try to bring that momentum into this early elimination round to avoid an early exit.
On the women’s side, Silvana Lima (BRA) will face 2016 WSL Rookie of the Year Keely Andrew (AUS) in Round 2 Heat 6.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) was relegated to Round 2 and will need to win her heat against injury replacement Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) to avoid an early elimination in Rio.
All eyes will be on reigning WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) as she goes up against 14-year-old event wildcard Taina Hinckel (BRA) in Heat 3.
Look for an increase in S swell on Friday. Lingering swell mix expected for the weekend with conditions looking most favorable in the mornings both Saturday and Sunday. Larger SSW/S swell is due for Monday PM and Tuesday but W-SW winds look to be an issue at times. Solid S/SSE swell for mid to late next week with potential windows of lighter winds and favorable conditions. Surfline.
Friday, May 12, 2017 (Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro/BRAZIL):
The Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona, the fourth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), completed Men’s and Women’s Round 2 heats today in good 4 feet (1.5 meter) surf today. Opening heats of Men’s Round 3 were also run during the mid to late afternoon in a big day of surfing.
Standout surfers today included:
1. Caio Ibelli (Brazil): Ibelli fought hard to take a strong heat win over French surfer Joan Duru. For most of the heat Ibelli trailed Duru until he forund an excellent ride mid way through the heat, scoring an 8.70 to swing the heat in his favour. Interview in Portuguese.
2. Connor O’Leary (AUS): The best performance of the day was from 2017 CT Rookie Connor O’Leary (AUS/Cronulla NSW) who showcased a new level of his surfing with his authoritative Round 2 win against Stuart Kennedy (AUS). O’Leary dominated with two near-perfect 9-point rides for an outstanding 18.20 combined score.
3. Jadson Andre (BRA): Andre (BRA) opened the morning with a big win against Michel Bourez (PYF) in Round 2 Heat 5. The Brazilian struggled to escape the early elimination rounds on the Australian leg and will look to improve his world ranking with a favorable result in Saquarema. Andre advances to Round 3.Interview in Portuguese.
4. Frederico Morais (PRT) was able to rebound out of his matchup against 2016 event runner-up Jack Freestone (AUS) today in Round 2. Morais flew down open faces to exhibit his clean rail-work and earn a 14.40 two-wave combined score. In the dying seconds of the heat, Freestone had one last opportunity to post the requirement, but fell just 0.87 points short to be eliminated from the event. Morais advances to Round 3. Interview in Portuguese.
Women’s Round 2 heats followed :
5. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS): Van Dijk is having her best ever season on the elite Championship Tour and she continued her good form today easily accounting for fellow Australian Bronte Macaulay in her Round 2 heat. Van Dijk posted two 7.77 rides to take a comfortable win and advance to Round 3.
6. Tyler Wright (AUS): Tyler Wright (AUS), reigning WSL Champion and defending event winner, found her best form today posting a series of excellent 8 and high 9 point rides to eliminate 14-year-old Brazilian wild card surfer Taina Hinckle (BRA). Wright advances to Round 3.
7. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF): Injury replacement Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) played spoiler as she took down three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in elimination Round 2 of the Oi Rio Women’s Pro. The South African gained the edge over Moore with her aggressive backhand attack for a strong 7.17 and 5.67. Moore earned a 5.17 and 5.43, but could not score the 7.41 required to advance. The last time Moore finished in last place in a CT was in 2010.
8. Lakey Peterson (USA): Santa Barbara USA surfer Lakey Peterson posts an excellent 8.33 on her way to a strong Round 2 heat win in Brazil at the Oi Rio Pro where she defeated French surfer Pauline Ado. Peterson advances to Round 3 while Ado is eliminated in 13th place.
Oi Rio Women’s Pro Round 2 Match-Ups: