In a competition dominated by rookies, rookie Filipe Toledo delivered a tremendous show of force for a perfect 10.00 wave and a win over Ítalo Ferreira, sending him up to #2 in the championship tour, with a real chance for a shot at the title. The most active day of the whole competition, seeing through the last heats of Round 5, the quarter and semi finals, and the final itself, was nothing short of memorable.
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal: the rookies' rule
It is true that 2015 edition of the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal saw a lot of superb surfing performances, but perhaps none will compare with what we saw in the last heats, particularly in the final between Toledo and Ferreira. We saw Mick Fanning defeated by the surprising local wildcard Frederico Morais, and the rise of a new hero, Vasco Ribeiro, who went on to the semi finals. Great news for Portuguese surfers who have here the kind of people that can pull the sport up.
But ultimately, it was Toledo who would take the trophy home, and quite justly so. In a day dominated by very tight waves, Toledo took to the air several times, and achieved what was probably the best wave of the event, with very lively climbs and two air reverses with perfect full rotations. Coming out of this wave, only his second, Toledo simply knew he had aced it and the crowd was in uproar: a perfect ten.
The pressure was up for Ferreira, who replied in kind near the end in a wave full of speed where the Brazilian pulled up a tremendous tail high, some 6 feet high up in the air and a reverse landing, pulling it off for very solid 9.93. Fantastic indeed, one of the highest - if not the highest - jump of the event. Very close, but not enough, and Toledo would win for 17.83 vs 17.13.
Toledo was justly chaired up the beach to the podium, the sea this time one of triumph and joy to which his own father was not absent. One should note that Toledo is only 20 years old, and if all goes well, this kid can turn out to be one of the great surfers of years to come. On the way to Banzai Pipeline, Toledo is now number 2 in the WSL and with 49,700 points, he is only 200 points behind Mick Fanning, and with this has really good chances of grabbing the championship. Probably nobody would have guessed it, not after the poor performance at the Quicksilver Pro France, but what we saw here was certainly champion-class surf.
Things will be tough in Hawaii. Toledo's standing is a victory in itself, but Fanning is certainly feeling the pressure and Adriano de Souza is just behind, with 49,550 points. But Medina, with 45,350 is still within a mathematical possibility of renewing the title, while Owen Wright and Ítalo Ferreira are more likely out of the race, even if everything is possible, as Moche Rip Curl so clearly showed.
Surf Hostels in Portugal with no rooms to spare
2009 was the first time Peniche hosted a Rip Curl event and since then, the peninsula has become one of the legs of the WCT, not only bringing Peniche into the map, but creating synergies that have atributed added value to the world of Portuguese surf. This has meant more funds and sponsorships, more competitions and - most of all - more international events, including the Portuguese Wave Series and Qualifying Series. The organization believes as much as over 30,000 people are at the beach every day, with over 100,000 total visitors, while webpage hits are in the 5 million ballpark.
Perhaps more telling of the success of the event is you can't find a surf hostel in Portugal"s region of Peniche during this time, even if October is definitely off-season. We believe that with world-class surf like that which we have witnessed this year, things will only improve for Portugal"s standing in the surf world. So, if you"re looking to come by for some family surf holidays, you would better book your surf hostel in Portugal with some anticipation.
And if you"re a fan, maybe next October, during the 2016 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, it will be a great time to find yourself a surf hostel in Portugal to see indeed the best waves and the best surfers.