Conner Coffin of the United States surfs in Heat 7 of the Round of 32 at the MEO Pro Portugal on March 5, 2022 in Peniche, Portugal. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)
- Leaders Exit Early in Portugal, Yellow Jerseys Up For Grabs
- WSL Champions Dominate, Women’s Quarterfinalists Decided
- Past Winner Toledo Finds Form in Peniche
- Next Call: Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 7:20 a.m GMT
The MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, the third stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), continued in glassy three-to-five foot surf to complete the women’s Round of 16 and decide the event’s Quarterfinalists as well as nine heats of the men’s Round of 32 in the afternoon.
Surfers rocked up to clean peaks with little barrels on offer and beautiful waves this morning, and after a short interruption during the lowest part of the tide, competition continued with a new, slowly building swell on the incoming tide.
Ranking Leaders Exit Early in Portugal, Yellow Jerseys Up For Grabs
Courtney Conlogue (USA) put an end to Brisa Hennessy (CRI)’s excellent early run in 2022, and the Costa Rican will likely have to pass along the yellow jersey to another competitor when the dust settles in Peniche.
“It was nice while it lasted!” Hennessy commented. “It was definitely going to be a hard battle going up against Courtney. She’s such a powerhouse and she really thrives in these conditions. I really look up to her, as a woman also! I’m learning a lot, Portugal always tests you in so many different ways. I still feel really grateful and learning a lot. I’m not going to change anything, I’ll still work on my surfing and work on being a better competitor but for me, I really just want to simplify and find the little joys in between competing.”
The current men’s World No. 1 Barron Mamiya (HAW) suffered a similar fate against Jordy Smith (ZAF) in a low-scoring affair this afternoon.
“It was a little hard to surf, I tried a few airs and didn’t land them,” Mamiya said. “I was stoked to get the yellow jersey, obviously I wasn’t on the tour at the beginning of the year so just to be in these events was a super big plus. After sunset, it was crazy that it happened, I didn’t really know what to do and then they told me I’m into Portugal. Every surfer dreams to be here so it was sick to get this experience and carry it on to the next one.”
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) is the new virtual leader of the men’s rankings following Mamiya‘s elimination, while in the women’s, Hennessy will retain the yellow jersey for the moment, but five surfers could potentially claim it by the end of the Portuguese event.
WSL Champions Dominate, Women’s Quarterfinalists Decided
Seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) came out on top of a superheat, battling with Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) for a spot into the Quarterfinals. The two Australian powerhouses found a good score with big backside turns on the lefts, and Gilmore made the difference with a higher backup. She also found one of the rare barrels of the morning to put a smile on her face and advance.
“Sally is an amazing athlete and she’s always on the hunt,” Gilmore stated. “You have to stay on top of your game and you have to want it really bad, so I was doing my best out there.”
For International Women’s Day celebrations, Gilmore’s name is being worn by two surfers in the event, Ryan Callinan (AUS) and local wildcard Afonso Antunes (PRT). She has opted to represent her compatriot Phyllis O’Donnell, the 1964 surfing world champion.
“Phyllis is an idol of mine and I think for all of us women who are here today, it’s the women like Phyllis who paved the way,” Gilmore added. “I know there are a couple of guys like Ryan and Afonso that have my name on the back of their jerseys and that means the world to me. They are both incredible surfers and Ryan is such a sweetheart. I really admire how much he surfs and the way he represents himself all over the world.”
Five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) won the last heat before the event went on hold through low tide and managed to score a critical three-turn combo for a 7.50 (out of a possible 10), the highest score of the day at this point. The powerful Hawaiian surfer eliminated replacement surfer Bronte Macaulay (AUS).
“The waves and conditions are constantly changing, it’s tricky,” Moore explained. “Bronte is a replacement surfer so there’s no pressure on her and not making it out of the third round at Sunset gave me a little extra nerves so it felt good to make this one.”
Two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) opted to go mostly right and found a nice little barrel punctuated by a late, committed turn for a 7.50 of her own. She backed it up with a ferocious attack of a softer right to eliminate Gabriela Bryan(HAW) in equal 9th.
“The conditions are getting better, the tide is filling in so there are more opportunities,” Wright said. “The barrel was a bonus. I worked really hard to be here and to feel like I’m back to being competitive again, I’m really enjoying the experience. I think everyone is lifting and it’s really notable so it’s exciting to be a part of it. You’ve got to fight to be here now and it’s pretty cool.”
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) was against the ropes in her Round of 16 bout with rookie Luana Silva (HAW), but the Brazilian stayed in the hunt and came back with two big scores, attacking the lip vertically on the lefts to take out the round’s biggest performance.
“It’s been really hard for me to click into rhythm this year and that heat just showed me that my surfing is still there and I can still compete,” she said.
Weston-Webb also explained her choice to honor retired figure-skater Michelle Kwan for International Women’s Day with childhood memories of greatness.
“When I was really little, the first memory I have of a competition was when I was watching Michelle Kwan at the Olympics winning her gold. It was just so beautiful, it was something that gave me so much inspiration to hopefully one day be at the Olympics and be an athlete. For me I remember that, watching it with my mom. I also wanted to say thanks to my mom, she’s always been the one that inspired me and pushed me.”
Courtney Conlogue (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Lakey Peterson (USA) and India Robinson (AUS) complete the women’s Quarterfinals draw.
Past Winner Toledo Finds Form in Peniche
Brazil’s Filipe Toledo outsurfed the field in the men’s Round of 32, combining his lightning-fast transitions with radical turns to post a statement win over Owen Wright (AUS). The 2015 winner at Supertubos who had a rocky start to his 2022 Championship Tour campaign looks poised to break out a first big result at a wave he’s comfortable with.
“It’s super rippable out there and it’s good to put on a high performance,” Toledo said. “It was a fun heat against Owen, I can’t even remember when we last surfed against each other, but it’s always an honor. He’s one of my favorite surfers so it was a pleasure to surf against him and I’m glad it ended up going my way. I was definitely looking for a ramp out there today, but I had a strategy to put two solid scores on the board and make sure there was no door open for Owen to steal the show, and I got the job done.”
Another interesting matchup featured Brazilian brothers Miguel and Samuel Pupoin Heat 2, both finding similar scores to keep the crowds entertained until the final horn, with the veteran Miguel Pupo (BRA) taking the nod in the friendly battle.
“My heart is broken, we were trying to put on a good show and it was a tense heat,” Miguel Pupo said. “I was lucky enough to find that first good wave that gave me some confidence. I was trying to do airs because I knew he was going to do airs. He’s the new generation guy that does all the airs and I just try to keep up! This is a dream for our family to have brothers on tour and we were dreaming of having a Final together, but this was the third round, we’ll take it, we’re happy and I’m very stoked to be in the next round.”
Their compatriot Italo Ferreira (BRA) flew slightly under the radar with a discrete performance but a win nonetheless while the nightmare continues for last year’s rookie of the year and World No. 4 Morgan Cibilic (AUS) who is yet to break out of the Round of 32 this season.
The next Call will be at 7:20 a.m GMT on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Supertubos.
MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.10 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 9.04
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.00 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.27
HEAT 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.26 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 7.50
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.54 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 9.06
HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.17 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 8.07
HEAT 6: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.17 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 6.20
HEAT 7: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.83 DEF. Luana Silva (HAW) 10.83
HEAT 8: India Robinson (AUS) 10.34 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.73
MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Round of 32 Results:
HEAT 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.83 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 8.03
HEAT 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.87 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.90
HEAT 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.20 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 9.36
HEAT 4: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.57 DEF. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 12.50
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.44 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 9.40
HEAT 6: Jake Marshall (USA) 12.93 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.00
HEAT 7: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.17 DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.50
HEAT 8: Callum Robson (AUS) 11.93 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.34
HEAT 9: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.17 DEF. Justin Becret (FRA) 9.53
Remaining MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Round of 32 Matchups:
HEAT 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 11: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 13: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 14: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Lucca Mesinas (PER)
HEAT 15: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 16: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Upcoming MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. India Robinson (AUS)
The MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.
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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.
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