Breaking Down the Rio Beachbreak Breakdown
You wouldn't hold a contest at Off The Wall because Pipe is right next-door, and there's a reason we watch Lower Trestles in September, and not Uppers. Surfers want to surf good waves and we, the viewers, want the same. Then why is the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro being held at Barra Da Tijuca? In Michel Bourez's post-heat interview (having beat Raoni Monteiro in Round 2), the Spartan mentioned a left up the coast that was "epic" on Thursday. That wave is Sao Conrado, and SURFING's Corey Wilson went there with Michel and Co. and claims it is significantly better than Barra (look for the photos in our Rio flipbook when the contest wraps). Curious, I asked a local friend about why the contest isn’t at Conrado. "They were trying to have it there," he said, "but the pollution from the favela above it is really bad and they didn't want the surfers to get sick. But they are talking about if for next year." Anyone else OK with a few of our favorite surfers getting sinus infections in the name of entertainment?
Still, why run the contest today?
They won't say this on the webcast (they want you checking in daily), but Rio’s swell will run dry on Tuesday. So at sunrise this morning they were faced with four days to finish 26 hours of competition, and with the waves and wind due to improve Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, it was the right call to knock out eight hours of early rounds so they can cherry pick the best 18 hours over the next three days.
Blah, blah, blah. Just tell me what happened.
David Do as David does…and David did Mick Fanning. Wildcard David Do Carmo handedly beat the current world champ in the first heat of Round 2, and in the process unleashed the best backhand turn of the event thus far. Is this a new pattern? Win a comp, lose in the second round of the next event? After Michel Bourez fell to Glenn Hall at Bells following his win at Margarets, and now Mick, you can bet whomever wins this event won't be taking much swagger to Fiji.
Julian Wilson…robbed Brett Simpson of a win, stomping a couple of backside rotators on top of Brett's hopes and dreams (the heat ended 15.37 to 15.13). Simpo's yet to reach Round 3 this year.
Alejo Muniz…and Freddy P both finished their heat with a 13.83 total. But tie goes to the humanitarian. Not really. ALejo had the highest single wave score and that gave him the bump.
Local girls…are pretty, but those aren't the ones we're talking about. Did you realize there isn't a single Brazilian girl on the WCT? Silvana Lima was representing as a wildcard but she fell to Pauline Ado this morning. Hawaiian Tatiana Weston-Webb, also a wildcard, was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, so she kinda counted, but then she fell to Nikki Van Dijk.
Speaking of Nikki Van Dijk…don't stress if Alana falls off tour after this year. Nikki is more than qualified to take her place, even if she doesn't rep it as much.
They say that tomorrow…
It's on. They always say that, "It's on." Lucky for us when it's on tomorrow, the waves are going to be better than today.