The window for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl opens March 3, 2022.Credit: © WSL / Masurel

  • 2022 CT Season Continues in Portugal at Stop No. 3
  • Rip Curl Onboard as Presenting Partner of MEO Pro Portugal
  • Pressure Builds in Portugal at Halfway Mark Before Mid-Season Cut
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com

The World’s best surfers are making their way to Portugal for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, the third stop of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The waiting period opens on March 3 and runs through March 13, 2022.

The 2022 CT season is off to an epic start after completing the first two stops on Hawaii’s North Shore of Oahu. Surf fans witnessed the return-to-form of the 11-time World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), who claimed his career’s 56th victory in fantastic fashion at the Billabong Pro Pipeline. The women kicked off the season by making history with the first full CT competition at Pipeline, which was won by local wildcard Moana Jones Wong (HAW).

The second stop of the CT, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO, confirmed a changing of the guard with major upsets affecting the world’s best and a crop of fresh talent making their mark on the Championship Tour. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) and Barron Mamiya (HAW) won the competition and currently lead the WSL Rankings. 

Now all eyes turn to the Peniche Peninsula in Portugal for Stop No. 3 as surfers embark on a new adventure. The thumping barrels of Supertubos have welcomed the CT since 2009 but for the first time, the event will happen in winter. Cold water and the full power of the North Atlantic ocean are in store for a dramatic change of scenery after a month in Hawaii.

MEO Pro Portugal Wildcards and Replacement Surfers

Barron Mamiya (HAW) sits at World No. 1 after his win at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO and was selected as WSL Event Replacement for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl following the withdraw of three-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA). 

Yago Dora (BRA) continues his recovery from his injury ahead of the season and will be replaced by WSL Injury Replacement, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF).Liam O’Brien (AUS) and Carlos Munoz (CRI) sustained injuries at Pipeline and continue their recoveries. They will be replaced by World No. 4 Caio Ibelli (BRA) and the highest placed Portuguese surfer on the Challenger Series, Vasco Ribeiro, respectively. Afonso Antunes (PRT) and Justin Becret (FRA) will also join the men’s draw as the event wildcards. 

Bronte Macaulay (AUS) will continue surfing as the WSL Injury Replacement for Caroline Marks (USA), who has withdrawn from the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl due to medical reasons. Tia Blanco (USA) is joining the women’s draw as the event wildcard after winning The Ultimate Surfer competition last summer. 

Rip Curl Onboard as Presenting Partner of MEO Pro Portugal

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) and Rip Curl announced an extended partnership, with the iconic Australian surf brand coming on board as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal, the third stop on the 2022 CT. The news comes just weeks after the WSL announced that the Rip Curl WSL Finals would return to Lower Trestles in California this September for the 2022 CT season, serving as a reminder of the brand’s commitment to surfing at all levels. 

​​“Rip Curl is one of the most significant supporters of men’s and women’s professional surfing, and we’re very happy to expand our partnership with them beyond the iconic Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and Rip Curl WSL Finals,” said Cherie Cohen, Chief Revenue Officer. “By coming in as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal in Europe, as well as two of the most prestigious Challenger Series events in Australia, Rip Curl joins the WSL in solidifying its commitment to the future of the sport throughout all levels of competition worldwide. We look forward to collaborating for years to come.”

By signing on as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal, Rip Curl will continue their strong connection with the waves of Supertubos in Peniche, a place where the brand took its iconic ‘Search’ Event back in 2009. 

The reigning event winner Italo Ferreira will be a favorite under and above the lip in Peniche. Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

Pressure Builds in Portugal at Halfway Mark Before Mid-Season Cut

The 2022 Championship Tour season introduces a mid-season cut after the first five events, reducing the men and women fields down to 24 and 12, respectively. With two events down and three remaining before the cut takes place, pressure is starting to build for surfers who had a rough start in Hawaii.

The current rankings show multiple athletes in trouble early on, like last year’s World No. 4 Morgan Cibilic (AUS) and his compatriot Owen Wright (AUS), or seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and former runner-up in the World Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), all currently sitting outside the cut line.

With events like G-Land, El Salvador, Brazil, J-Bay and Tahiti in the second half of the season, the battles in Portugal will be fierce to climb up the leaderboard and hopefully secure an all-important spot above the cut line.

Rip Curl GromSearch Brings Young Stars to Portugal

Prior to the main show, Peniche will also host the European Final of the Rip Curl GromSearch. 27 surfers from all over Europe will battle in Under-16, Under-14, and Under-12 categories, both boys and girls for the titles. The Rip Curl GromSearch is a real hotbed of young talent, having uncovered future World Champions such as Gilmore, Medina, and many more. 

The event will happen on February 28 and March 1, on a location to be decided on the day depending on conditions.

Watch LIVE
The holding period for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl runs from March 3 to March 13, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and WSL’s YouTube channel, as well as the free WSL app. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on worldsurfleague.com and SporTV. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

The MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl is proudly supported by our partners MEO, Rip Curl, Corona, Portugal Tourism,  Red Bull, SHISEIDO, Hydro Flask, Oakley, Havaianas, Expedia, Pura Vida, EDP, Millennium, Hertz, and Sambazon.

COVID-19 Updates
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and we have been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe. This includes pre-event screening and compliance with all state and local COVID guidelines. On-site mask guidelines are recommended.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.

The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  

Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com

WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.

The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About Rip Curl
The Ultimate Surfing Company founded in 1969 by Bryan Singer and Doug “CLAW” Warbrick, Rip Curl is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands. It has been at the forefront of the surf and snow scene since its creation. 

Rip Curl is a company for, and about, the crew on The Search. The Search is the driving force that led to the creation of Rip Curl, and it lives in the spirit of everything the Rip Curl crew do. It’s what makes Rip Curl unique. It defines who we are. The products we make, the events we run, the riders we support and the people we reach globally, are all a part of that Search that Rip Curl is on.

Rip Curl remains a company built by surfers for surfers, and we’ve been market leaders in surfing for over 50 years. We endeavour to make the best products, run the best events, support the best athletes, deliver the best customer service, communicate the best brand message and have the best crew of people. This helps Rip Curl hold a vision of being regarded as The Ultimate Surfing Company.

As a part of that vision, Rip Curl has forever prided itself on having the world’s best surf team. That statement is none truer than today. Rip Curl athletes are World Champions. They are innovators, dreamers, role models and Searchers. From global elite athletes to regional rising talents, no matter where you are in the world the best surfers will be riding with a Rip Curl sticker on the nose of their board.

Rip Curl also has an extraordinary events platform, headlined by WSL World Championship Tour surfing contests, the global GromSearch Series and an array of international events across surf and snow. We were the first company to sponsor a professional surfing event, the 1973 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, and we’re committed to continue the tradition of supporting and showcasing the best surfing to fans across the globe.

Rip Curl will continue to stick by the grass roots that helped make us the market leader in surfing, but we’ll also charge on into the future and push riding to a new level. We know what we are doing and we will be around for a long time.