The World’s Best Readies to Take On Portugal’s Epic Break this Week.Credit: © WSL / Diz

  • Slater, Hennessy Speak Up About Challenges Ahead in Peniche
  • Morais, Ribeiro and Antunes Hopeful for Big Performance on Home Turf
  • International Women’s Day Celebrated by World’s Best Surfers This Week
  • First Call Thursday, March 3 at 7:50 a.m GMT

The 2022 Championship Tour will continue at Stop No.3, the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, which runs from March 3-13, 2022. The world’s best athletes have made their way to Portugal and conditions are looking prime for an early start of the event in the next few days.

11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) comes in ranked fifth in the world after a spectacular and historic win at Pipeline and looks excited to take on the thumping beach breaks of Supertubos this week.

“You don’t win a title without winning events along the way so it’s just about being present and doing the right things,” Slater said. “It’s a special start to the year for me, I hadn’t won an event in five years so it felt like it might not happen again on some level but at Pipeline everything felt like it was lining up perfectly. Each week and each event and each heat is a challenge for all of us on tour but I’m looking forward to this. I’ve won this event twelve years ago and that was very crucial to me in the world title hunt, and I’ve made the final another year with Adriano (De Souza) so I definitely have some experience and good memories here in Peniche.”

Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy will lead the women’s field as World No.1 in Portugal, after a breakthrough win at Sunset last month. The graceful regular foot who has a wealth of experience in heavy, tubular waves relishes the challenge that the Portuguese break will provide this week.

“I’m really grateful for all the experiences, all the different types of waves that I’ve been able to surf and the connections that I’ve made all across the world including here in Portugal,” Hennessy said. “Supertubos definitely lives up to its name, it’s a beautiful, challenging and raw wave and with all the history I feel honored to be here.”

Local superstar Frederico Morais (PRT) will lead a few of his countrymen on home soil with event wildcard and junior talent Afonso Antunes (PRT) as well as former World Junior Champion Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) completing the Portuguese hopes for a victory at Supertubos. Morais has had a rough start in 2022 and will need a strong result in Peniche to kickstart in campaign and make the all-important Top 22 after the first five events to be guaranteed a spot on the Championship Tour in 2023.

The first call will be made at 7:50 a.m GMT on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at Supertubos for a potential early start of the event on Day 1.

WSL to Mark International Women’s Day 2022 by Celebrating Inspirational Women in Sport History

The World Surf League (WSL) announced today an athlete-led initiative to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, showcasing the WSL’s commitment to inspire future generations and drive equality in sport. To celebrate International Women’s Day at the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, all WSL Championship Tour surfers will compete wearing jerseys that include the name of a woman in sport who has inspired them. The sleeve of each jersey will also include IWD branding.

Every Championship Tour (CT) competitor has personally selected a woman to celebrate, ranging from athletes who have inspired them personally to icons who have paved the way globally. Representing countries from all over the world and sports as diverse as basketball and snowboarding to track and field and tennis, from Billie Jean King, Cathy Freeman, Ronda Rousey, and Naomi Osaka to current CT athletes Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore. Each of the women showcased on the WSL jerseys in Portugal will also receive a replica jersey and a message from the CT surfer who selected them. 

“Equality and inclusion are at the core of everything we do at the WSL,” said WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “It’s really important to our athletes and the WSL to use our voices to celebrate the values that make our league unique in the world of sport. Taking this moment to celebrate the leaders in sport who paved the way is important, and I’m thrilled that our athletes have embraced the opportunity.”

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. 

Credit: © WSL / Salyak

ReGeneration Surf and WSL PURE Help Restore Kelp Forests in Peniche

As part of World Surf League’s ongoing efforts to protect and conserve the ocean to preserve the future of our sport, WSL teamed up with Shiseido and ReGeneration Surf, a community partner and #WeAreOneOcean coalition member, to restore the ocean by replanting Golden kelp forests in Peniche.

Today, WSL commentators Joe Turpel, Peter Mel, and Strider Wasilewski accompanied ReGeneration Surf coalition partners, SeaForester and Mossy Earth to visit a lab in Peniche and discovered innovative kelp restoration techniques. Kelp helps refine ocean surface texture, absorbs carbon dioxide, prevents coastal erosion and supports coastal economies among many other great benefits. This project is an official United Nations Decade of Ocean Science activity.

Read more on WSL’s efforts at WorldSurfLeague.com/pure.

MEO Pro Portugal pres. by Rip Curl Surfline Forecast

The North Atlantic has been very active of late and that pattern is expected to continue for the next 7-10 days. There is a strong likelihood of elevated surf throughout the event window. We’ll likely just need to pick the eyes out of the best windows of wind as several of the storms may be close enough to impact local conditions as well. 

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jake Marshall (USA), Jackson Baker (AUS) 
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Imaikalani Devault (HAW) 
Heat 3: Seth Moniz (HAW), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Owen Wright (AUS) 
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Justin Becret (FRA) 
Heat 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Callum Robson (AUS), Afonso Antunes (PRT) 
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Caio Ibelli (BRA) 
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 
Heat 9: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Deivid Silva (BRA), Barron Mamiya (HAW) 
Heat 10: Jack Robinson (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Joao Chianca (BRA) 
Heat 11: Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS) 
Heat 12:  Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Nat Young (USA) 

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Opening Round Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA) 
Heat 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 
Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tia Blanco (USA) 
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Molly Picklum (AUS) 
Heat 5: Malia Manuel (HAW), Tyler Wright (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW) 
Heat 6: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), India Robinson (AUS) 

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. In accordance with local and national guidelines, on-site masks and physical distance are required. 

Watch LIVE

The holding period for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, the third stop of the 2022 Championship Tour, 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. 

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.