WSL Champion and Olympic Gold Italo Ferreira of Brazil surfs in Heat 2 of the Quarterfinals at the Oi Rio Pro on June 27, 2022 at Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League)
- Filipe Toledo Clinches First Spot in Rip Curl WSL Finals
- Brazilians Continue to Dominate in Saquarema
- More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
The Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), saw a massive day of surfing with the men’s Round of 16 and men’s Quarterfinals completed in powerful four-to-six foot surf at Praia de Itaúna, Saquarema.
The Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona in Saquarema had already made history for building the largest event site at a Championship Tour event. On Monday, two more achievements were established with six Brazilians making it into the Quarterfinals and for the first time ever, an all-Brazilian men’s Semifinals determined at Praia de Itaúna.
Heat 1 will see Samuel Pupo (BRA) up against the 2019 WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA), while Heat 2 will see two high-flyers with Yago Dora (BRA) in a battle against Filipe Toledo (BRA), the first athlete to clinch a spot at the 2022 Rip Curl WSL Finals, at Lower Trestles, California.
Filipe Toledo Clinches First Spot in Rip Curl WSL Finals
Yago Dora (BRA) taking out Ethan Ewing (AUS) in the Round of 16 had massive implications on the rankings, as Filipe Toledo (BRA) officially clinched the first spot in the WSL Final 5 that will compete for the World Title in the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Trestles this September. The Rip Curl WSL Finals is a one-day surf-off between the top five men and women in the rankings to decide the World Champions.
“It’s crazy! After all the events and the results, the hard work, leaving my family behind, all the things I’ve had to sacrifice, I’m over the moon,” said Toledo, in front of a massive crowd at Praia de Itaúna. “This is what we want, this is our first goal, and getting the news here in Brazil is just incredible. It’s all just very emotional now. I rarely get the chance to be at an event with my wife and kids, so to have them here with me and clinch a spot in the Final 5 means a lot.”
Riding high on emotion and feeding off the energy from the avid surf fans on the beach, Toledo advanced to the Semifinals after defeating Connor O’Leary (AUS). Toledo’s power and variety in his maneuvers was the point of difference and O’Leary was in a combination situation, having to improve both his scoring rides to catch up to Toledo.
“It feels amazing to win a heat like this,” said Toledo. “It was a long day, and if you don’t contain yourself you can lose a lot of energy. There was a lot going on with the news of clinching a spot in the Final 5, and I had to calm down and get my head back into the competition, so I’m stoked I made the heat.”
Brazilians Continue To Dominate in Saquarema
This event marked the first men’s CT in history where six Brazilian surfers made it to the Quarterfinals. Samuel Pupo (BRA) was up against his good friend, the event wildcard Mateus Herdy (BRA) in the first Quarterfinal. Pupo stayed busy, improving his scores while Herdy struggled to find a decent wave and Pupo advanced to the Semifinals for a career-best result. Earlier in the day, Pupo defeated Caio Ibelli (BRA) with one of the highest heat totals of the event, an excellent 17.00 (out of a possible 20). Pupo is now in the running for the inaugural Mano Ziul Award, which is given to the men’s and women’s athletes that earn the highest heat total of the Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona.
“It feels so special to have a heat with one of my best friends,” said Pupo. “It was good to get another matchup with Mateus (Herdy), it’s been a while since we competed. I had so much fun, it didn’t even feel like a Quarterfinal.”
The second Quarterfinal saw an exciting tie-break between Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA), both with a 13.34 total (out of a possible 20). It was the single highest wave score from Ferreira, an 8.17 (out of a possible 10) that he scored in the dying minutes of the heat that secured Ferreira a spot in the Semifinals.
“That was a close heat,” said Ferreira. “We always have a great heat together, but that was a hard one. It’s hard out there, so I’m pretty stoked. All the heats have been super intense at this contest. I know I have to pull out some tricks to get bigger scores. But I feel like I got the job done today and now there are only two more heats ahead to reach my goal of reaching the winner’s podium.”
Top Five Shake-Up in Saquarema
The first heat of the day saw an incredibly close matchup between wildcard Mateus Herdy (BRA) and Jack Robinson (AUS). The crowd roared every time Herdy finished a wave, but Robinson grit his teeth and found the best ride of the heat as the siren sounded. It seemed like Robinson was going to have another buzzer-beater, but his ride came in 0.08 shy of the required score and Herdy moved into the Quarterfinals.
Ethan Ewing (AUS), who was sitting at No. .5 on the rankings, was eliminated from the competition by Dora in the Round of 16. Ewing started strong with an excellent 8.17 and quickly backed it up to take the lead, but Dora found two better waves to edge out Ewing with only 0.10 points.
“I really enjoy this wave, but I still feel like I haven’t surfed my best. I feel good, I feel like I’m building it up so I’m stoked to be in the Semifinals,” said Dora.
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.74 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.67
HEAT 2: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 17.00 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.50
HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 8.10
HEAT 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.00 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 9.94
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.56 DEF. Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.44
HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 15.94 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 12.44
HEAT 7: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.10 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.00
HEAT 8: Callum Robson (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 13.17
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 12.80 DEF. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 8.83
HEAT 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.34 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.34
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.10 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 8.94
HEAT 4: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 7.00
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
HEAT 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com
The Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona holds a competition window through June 30. Once called ON, the event 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.
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe.
The Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Oi, Corona, Secretaria de Estado de Esporte e Lazer do Rio de Janeiro, City of Saquarema, Pura Vida, Red Bull, Havaianas, Oakley, Hydro Flask, True Surf, Expedia, Apple, BF Goodrich, Localiza, Enel, Oakberry, Australian Gold, 51 Ice, Banco do Brasil, BB Asset, TikTok and SHISEIDO.
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.