It’s that time of year when we reach the penultimate stop on the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour with the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal kicking off today running through to October 28.
The competition is on hold for today but the action is sure to be on fire when it kicks off, with the competition set to make or break world title dreams and requalification hopes for 2020 or someone’s Olympic dreams for the Tokyo 2020 games.
Carissa Moore, three-time world champion, and Gabriel Medina two time champion, are currently ranked world number one on the Jeep Leaderboard. Moore and Medina are the only surfers who can clinch the World Title early at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Moore is no stranger to the SuperTubos as the 2010 winner of the event, In the women’s return to Peniche since her win, Moore is excited to compete here again but this time with her fourth World Title on the line. Moore is first on the world rankings with Lakey Peterson in second, Sally Fitzgibbons in third, and Caroline Marks in fourth.
“I am so excited to be back,” said Moore. “When we were in France, I actually looked up on Youtube that last event that we had here to reminisce and get excited about this event. I’m really happy to be back, and I think all the girls are. I’m trying not to overthink the Title race, and I’m just super thankful to be in this position, and I know there’s still work to be done, so I’m just going to try my best.”
Medina is known to be unstoppable in the back-half of the year. He has proven his ability so far with wins in Tahiti and the Surf Ranch that vaulted him to World No. 1 ahead of Filipe Toledo and Jordy Smith. As the 2017 event winner, Medina is excited to take on Supertubos once competition commences. He will surf against Joan Duru and wildcard Miguel Blanco in Heat 6 of Seeding Round 1.
“I know I can clinch the title here, but I’m not focusing on that,” Medina said. “I just want to think about each heat individually and focus on winning this event. It’s always a pleasure to be here, and I’ve always been treated really well. My entire family is here, so I’m ready for an exciting event and I hope we get great waves.
“It’s been a very intense year. I started a bit slow, and then things really started to pick up after J-Bay. But my perspective has always been to start each event at zero without thinking about if I won the prior event or how I’m doing on the rankings. Everyone begins each event at the same starting point. But I’m stoked to be back here with my family, and I hope for a great event.”
The women’s World Title scenarios heading into the Rip Curl Pro Portugal are as follows:
1. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she advances to the Semi-Final (3rd) AND
a. Lakey Peterson loses in or before the R/16 (9th)
b. Sally Fitzgibbons loses in or before the FINAL (2nd) AND
c. Caroline Marks loses in or before the Semi-Final (3rd)
2. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she advances to the FINAL (2nd) AND
a. Lakey Peterson loses in or before the QF (5th)
b. Caroline Marks loses in or before the FINAL (2nd)
3. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she WINS (1st) the event AND
Lakey Peterson loses in or before the SF
The men’s World Title scenarios heading into Rip Curl Pro Portugal are as follows:
1. Gabriel Medina CANNOT clinch if he loses in or before the SEMIFINALS (3rd)
2. Gabriel Medina can clinch the Title if he makes it to the FINAL (2nd) AND
a. Filipe Toledo loses in or before the R/32 (17th) AND
b. Jordy Smith loses in or before the QF (5th) AND
c. Italo Ferreira loses in or before the R/16 (9th) AND
d. Kolohe Andino loses in or before the QF (5th)
3. Gabriel Medina can clinch the Title if he WINS (1st) the event AND
a. Filipe Toledo loses in or before the R/16 (9th) AND
b. Jordy Smith loses in or before the Final (2nd) AND
c. Italo Ferreira loses in or before the SF (3rd) AND
d. Kolohe Andino loses in or before the FINAL (2nd)
Source: World Surf League