Jeep Leaders Medina & Moore Lead the Way on Opening Day of MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal

  • Seeding Rounds were Called ON at MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal 835pm Wed. nite HI Time.

    • World Title Contenders Dominate Opening Rounds
    • Toledo Keeps Pace, Peterson Falls into Elimination Round
    Supertubos pumped very few barrels today, Kolohe Andino (USA) on a gem. 
    Credit: © WSL / Masurel

    PENICHE, Portugal (Thursday, October 17, 2019) – The MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the penultimate stop on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), launched today in wind-affected three-to-five foot surf at Supertubos to complete the Seeding Rounds 1 of both the men’s and women’s divisions. Today marked the first time the elite Top 17 returned to the Peniche lineup since the event’s inception in 2010.

    Events No. 9 and 10 on the Women’s and Men’s Championship Tour respectively, and the last stops before the big showdown in Hawaii, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal carry implications in both the World Title race and qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

    Medina Comes Out Swinging in the Seeding Round

    The current Jeep Frontrunner Gabriel Medina (BRA) dominated his Round 1 heat with a mix of high-performance surfing and technical tube ride. The two-time WSL Champion first launched into a huge air on a right and backed up his 8.17 (out of a possible 10) main score with a small but long barrel on his forehand this time to build a massive 14.67 total (out of a possible 20). Coming off one of his worst results ever in France, the Brasilian has a chance to redeem himself this week and even potentially seal the deal on a third World Title in Peniche.

    “I knew it was going to be tough with waves all over the place,” said Medina. “So I just tried to catch a lot of them and I landed that one really good air and then just basically fought to find a backup. It’s funny it feels like I’ve been in that position (competing in Portugal with a chance to claim the world title) for ten years. I feel good, I know I need a big result here and I’m not focused on winning it here, I’m ready for Hawaii. I’m just focusing on myself, I really want to make some heats and just make it harder for the other guys.”

    World No. 2 Filipe Toledo Keeps Title Hopes Alive

    World No. 2 Filipe Toledo (BRA) was the first surfer to lead the way under the lip at Supertubos today, as he found a long and frothy backhand barrel punctuated by a big re-entry for a 7.17. The Brasilian completed his scoreboard with a two-turn combo on a right and easily advanced in first position. Diminished by a back injury sustained earlier this year at the Freshwater Pro, Toledo looked in fine form on opening day in Peniche but did mention surfing through the pain in his heat.

    “It’s really tricky so if you get that one good wave right at the start it gives you so much confidence and helps build up through the heat,” said Toledo. “Then I focused on finding a few little waves to do one or two turns and it worked out. My back pain is still here and I haven’t surfed for the past four days or so, it comes and goes at the moment. It’s been lots of ups and downs, definitely not the European leg I was hoping for but I’m taking it easy and trying not to put too much pressure on myself.”

    Brasilian Goofyfoot Pair Lights Up Peniche Beach

    Pictured: Italo Ferreira (BRA) boosted many airs on his way to a Round 3 berth.
    Credit: © WSL / Masurel

    After a slow start to the morning, things heated up in Heat 3 with the Brasilian duo of Yago Dora (BRA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) who locked in a battle for first place and eclipsed local pro Frederico Morais (PRT), who’ll have to surf in the Elimination Round 2. The world No. 4 Ferreira went above the lip on his best two scores, including an impressive backhand full rotation for a 7.17, but Dora answered with more traditional, powerful turns in the lip and outmatched his compatriot with a 13.56 total heat win.

    “Sometimes you just have to improvise,” said Dora. “The waves were really hard out there, closing out fast and supper hollow and powerful so I tried to concentrate on one big move or two if I ever could. There are a lot of good waves around, the back up spot is super fun but hopefully Supertubos will turn on soon, the wind is supposed to switch around and go offshore.”

    Moore Makes Moves, Advances Straight to Round of 16

    Straight off a win at the Roxy Pro France, current Jeep Yellow Jersey Carissa Moore (HAW) kept her fire going into her first heat in Peniche. The Hawaiian, who won the event the last time it was held here in 2010, found a connection with the Supertubos lineup right away and scored one of the very few barrels of the day to back up her main score and advance in first out of Round 1.

    “It wasn’t bad for a start I was stoked to work my way into a rhythm even with the pre-comp nerves,” said Moore. “I’m happy to get rolling, win my heat and get on to the next round. I feel like there’s a lot of work to do (before claiming a potential world title), I’ve been watching this event for years and it’s so tricky anything can happen so I’m having realistic expectations that it will still end up in Maui. I’m just going to try my best and enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed all the previous events this year.”

    Silvana Lima (BRA) advanced in second behind Moore. Rip Curl wildcard and former CT athlete Alana Blanchard (HAW) had the second-best score of the heat with a 6.47 but couldn’t find a backup and failed to advance. She will be facing tough competition in the Elimination Round 2 when the event resumes.

    Rookie Macy Callaghan and Nikki Van Dijk Upset World No. 2 Peterson in Seeding Round
    Pictured: Macy Callaghan (AUS) posted the day’s upset with a big performance in Peniche.
    Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

    World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) came out on top of the women’s opening Seeding Round heat but the fireworks really started in the second matchup, with an amazing three-way battle between Macy Callaghan (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). While Peterson is locked in the World Title race in second position on the rankings, for Callaghan and Van Dijk a result in Peniche could turn their season around with potential requalification through the CT.

    All three surfers decided to attack the lefts on their backhand and laid critical turns for good scores in the 6+ range, Callaghan leading the way with two good waves. Peterson seemed safe in the second advancing position until Van Dijk found a last-second opportunity and pulled a miracle comeback to force the world title contender into the Elimination Round 2.

    “I’m really happy with that heat it’s always a nice way to start an event,” said Callaghan. “I love beach breaks so I felt very good and comfortable out there. I’m pretty much last so I don’t really have any pressure, you can only go up from there. I’m just having fun and trying to surf my best to show that I’m capable to be here and that I want to be here for a while.”

    Kanoa Igarashi Joins Provisional Qualifiers for Tokyo 2020

    Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) has qualified through the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) to represent Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Following Igarashi’s results at the Quiksilver Pro France, he is guaranteed to finish ahead of his closest rivals for qualification, Ricardo Christie (NZL) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), on the WSL Rankings and has earned his provisional place to compete in Tokyo.

    “It is an honor to be able to represent Japan in the Olympics,” said Igarashi. “It has been a long year of worrying about qualifying and thinking about how everything will play out, but I am glad everything worked out. Now, I am looking forward to this new goal that I have next year. To win in Tokyo is a huge goal of mine. With this news today, I am one step closer to it. I am proud to be going to the Olympics and being able to be a part of a huge moment in our sport and for my country.”

    Igarashi, 22 from Huntington Beach, CA, has been surfing since the age of three after his parents immigrated to the USA from Japan to give their son the best chance at becoming a pro surfer. Igarashi became a top-ranked amateur and qualified for the CT in 2015. At the age of 18, he was the youngest rookie on Tour in 2016 and collected more Round One wins than any surfer. He went on to claim his first CT win in Bali this year. Igarashi, who holds dual citizenship, is proudly representing Japan on the global stage.

    Surfing will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020 and the 2019 WSL CT, the elite year-long tour that crowns the World Champions each season, will be an important qualification pathway for the world’s best surfers.

    The next call for the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal will be tomorrow morning, October 18, at 8:00 a.m. WEST (GMT+1) for a possible 8:35 a.m. start at Supertubos.

    The event will be broadcast LIVE on and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

    Surfline Forecast for the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal

    MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
    HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Miguel Blanco (PRT)
    HEAT 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA)
    HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
    HEAT 4: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)

    MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Women’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
    HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
    HEAT 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)

    MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Seeding Round 1 Results:
    HEAT 1: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 10.60 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 8.83, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 5.50
    HEAT 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.96 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.20, Soli Bailey (AUS) 7.74
    HEAT 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.56 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.37, Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.37
    HEAT 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.84 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.30, Crosby Colapinto (USA) 5.17
    HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.70 DEF. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 9.56, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.33
    HEAT 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.67 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 8.60, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 6.80
    HEAT 7: Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.30 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.53, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.73
    HEAT 8: Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.34 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.16, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 6.43
    HEAT 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.66 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.97, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.33
    HEAT 10: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.04 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.77, Seth Moniz (HAW) 5.47
    HEAT 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.50 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.13, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 6.76
    HEAT 12: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.27 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.00, Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.06

    MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Women’s Seeding Round 1 Results:
    HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.94 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 9.20, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.90
    HEAT 2: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 12.60 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.33, Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.26
    HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Silvana Lima (BRA) 9.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.37
    HEAT 4: Caroline Marks (USA) 11.64 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.27, Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.10
    HEAT 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.90 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.10, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 11.07
    HEAT 6: Coco Ho (HAW) 8.36 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 7.50, Malia Manuel (HAW) 7.03

  • PRIOR RELEASE: Men’s Seeding Round Starts at 9:35 a.m. Thursday (835pm Wed. nite)

  • Women’s Seeding Round to Follow
World No. 6 Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) will surf in the opening heat in Peniche. 
Credit: © WSL / Masurel

PENICHE, Portugal (Thursday, October 17, 2019) – The MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the penultimate stop on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), has been called ON with a 9:35 a.m. WEST (GMT+1) start for the men’s Seeding Round 1 at Supertubos, followed by women’s Seeding Round 1. Waves in the three-to-five foot range are breaking this morning with a moderate side-onshore wind.

“Today we’re going to do both seeding rounds,” Jessi Miley-Dyer, VP Tours and Competition said. “It definitely looks pretty tricky out there for sure, there are opportunities but with this wind and the rain it’s going to be a little bit tricky. Looking at the forecast ahead we have some pockets of really good conditions and we need to take advantage of those and I think it’s important that we run the elimination rounds in the good conditions so we’re hoping for a big day today.”

Every heat counts in Portugal as the season nears the end and World Titles can potentially be decided in both the men and women’s fields. World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW) will surf in Heats 6 and 3, respectively, of the men’s and women’s Seeding Rounds.

Up first when the event gets underway this morning will be Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) against Willian Cardoso (BRA) and Ricardo Christie (NZL). The defending event winner Italo Ferreira (BRA) will take on Yago Dora (BRA) and local hero Frederico Morais (PRT) in Heat 3.

The passionate Portuguese crowds will also keep a close look at Heats 5 and 6 when lethal wildcards Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and Miguel Blanco (PRT) take on the world’s best surfers on home turf.

The event will be broadcast LIVE on and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Willian Cardoso (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Yago Dora (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Crosby Colapinto (USA)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Miguel Blanco (PRT)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Jack Freestone (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Deivid Silva (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 10: Seth Moniz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 11: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA), Michel Bourez (FRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Women’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Silvana Lima (BRA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 6: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW)

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