The last time we went to Rio, it was seen as a preview of how things could run for the 2016 Olympics. And if you watched last year's Oi Rio Pro--or the Olympics for that matter--you saw it was a disaster. The horrendous water quality in the area nearly upstaged the Oi Rio Pro and (no surprise) the Olympics, as well. Poor planning, potential sickness, and lack of a backup venue have been big complaints from the surfers over the last few years. Granted, the surfers winning the event rarely have a negative thing to say in their homogenized, canned answers. But look at the surfers' attitudes heading into the event. Even positivity warriors Conner Coffin and Carissa Moore were in shock after witnessing a man being shot right in front of them on the streets of Rio.
After last year, there's not much you can do to save the Olympics--after all, they won't have to return to Rio again this year. But the Oi Rio Pro and its competitors will. That's why the event has been relocated to the break of Saquarema. While we're optimistic that this will bring a bump in the surf quality, it has yet to be seen if the relocation will bring a change in the water quality the surfers are forced to deal with
Here’s what you’ll need to know for the upcoming 2017 Oi Rio Pro:
WHO: The Men's WSL Top 34 + 2 wildcards, and the Women's WSL Top 17 + 1 wildcard.
WHAT: Event No.4 of the Men's & Women's 2017 WSL Championship Tour
WHEN: May 9-20, 2017
WHERE: Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
TIME ZONE: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is 1 hour ahead of the US East Coast and 4 hours ahead of the US West Coast. This means that 7:00am, Tuesday, May 9th in Rio is 6:00am, Tuesday, May 9th in New York, and 3:00am, Tuesday, May 9th in Los Angeles. If you're not in any of those time zones and want to know the difference in time from Rio to your area, we recommend visiting TimeAndDate.com.
INJURIES / REPLACEMENTS / WILDCARDS: As of today (May 8th USA, May 5th AUS), Italo Ferreira and Kelly Slater are the only surfers on the men’s side to withdraw due to injury. They have been replaced by Nat Young and Bino Lopes. Jesse Mendes has been named as a wildcard for this event as the WQS ratings leader. The final men’s wildcard is Yago Dora.
On the women’s side, Malia Manuel has withdrawn do to her ongoing knee injury. She has been replaced in the draw by former ‘CT surfer Bianca Buitendag. The wildcard for the women’s event is Taina Hinckel.
2017 Men's Oi Rio Pro Heat Draw:
Upcoming Round 1 Heats:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jack Freestone (AUS), Bino Lopes (BRA)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Connor O'Leary (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Mick Fanning (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Conner Coffin (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
2017 Women's Oi Rio Pro Heat Draw:
Upcoming Round 1 Heats
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Taina Hinckel (BRA)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA)
Looking for advanced metrics to pick your Fantasy Surfer team? We highly suggest Surf-Stats.com
Log in and trade your teams NOW for the 2017 Oi Rio Pro on FantasySurfer.com. Fantasy Surfer is free to play and always will be.