Great and sad news at the same time at Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, as local sensation Vasco Ribeiro fell to Italo Ferreira after a very competitive heat. In the other heat of the semi finals, Filipe Toledo beat Brett Simpson, for what will be a fully Portuguese-speaking final.
It's an all-Brazilian Final
Brett Simpson had a very close call earlier today, beating Frederico Morais by a minimum margin of 0,08 points in what was a very contested judge decision. Coming up against him in Heat 1 of the semi final was Filipe Toledo, who had beat Joel Parkinson. Barely three minutes into the heat, after what was a brilliant air reverse, Filipe"s right foot slipped on the wax to turn what was a solid score into a poor 2,57. Filipe was indeed not performing too well in the initial part of the Heat, with Simpson leading, but Toledo managed 7,67 and 6,93 for a major win with 14,60 versus Simspon"s 12,94, showing he is a top performer and can put his game together even after mistakes that could cost lesser men the tittle.
In Heat 2 of the semi finals, another Brazilian, Italo Ferreira, beat Vasco Ribeiro in yet another very great performance in what were really tight waves. Italo, who had obtained a very clear victory over Medina with 18,27 vs 6,83, for one of the highest scores in the event, and a great air reverse after a bottom turn for 8,60 and a barrel for 9,67. Back to the semi final, Ferreira once again proved just how on top of his game he is for a solid 13,37 over Ribeiro's 9,10.
Vasco Ribeiro has every reason to be proud of his performance though, having come the farthest as any local surfer ever did in Portugal, in a competition that saw plenty of more experienced and "potential winners" eliminated. In declarations to the WSL after his quarter final win, Ribeiro confessed he had never expected to come this far, and little would expect the rookie in his first WSL championship to indeed perform as he did. The same can be said of Frederico Morais, the two Portuguese wildcards having surprised everybody, which some might say is what wildcards do best. We should keep an eye on both Portuguese surfers for the upcoming future, that much is for sure.
Now there"s only the final left, between Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo, marking a Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal where the rookies were certainly the highlights. This is indeed a new generation of surfers in the making.
About Peniche and Ericeira
Peniche and Ericeira are probably the main surf spots in Portugal, when it comes to championship surfing, as both locations have become a staple of the international tour, with Nazaré, further north, a favourite among free surfers.
The whole area south of Ericeira is deeply into surf, with local communities highly supportive of the sport and involved in it. It´s perhaps the ideal place for pros to come improve upon themselves or amateurs to look for family surf vacations or a family surf camp for the Summer. While Supertubos will offer you plenty of barrels, the coastline has very broad surfing conditions, allowing for all skill levels to practice and making up for a top spot for beginner surf lessons.
Make sure you stop by these waters now making history, the next time you are in Portugal.