It’s been almost a whole week since the Billabong Rio Pro was set to hit the water, and without a single day of worthy surf on offer, the pundits who called bullshit on scheduling big city venues over quality surf venues are starting to say i told you so.
Howling onshore winds halted competition in Rio today, despite hopes to get round 1 underway. Forecasters expect increased swell and favorable winds to prevail tomorrow, though thats exactly what they said yesterday.
The waves in Rio have showed signs of promise. The women’s event was run in gutless, but rideable beachbreak at the main venue of Barr da Tijuca over the weekend. Not exactly ‘world class’ by anyone’s standards.
While tour stops such as Tahiti and J-bay are truly worthy of the title “dream tour”, can the same be said for waves like Rockaway Beach in New York, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, or Rio in Brazil? All three of these locations are new this year, with the obvious push toward a broader audience for surfing, though seemingly sacrificing the ‘dream’ aspect a bit.
New York, for one, is a painfully fickle stretch of sandbars. There are windows of absolutely pumping hollow surf, but these windows don’t tend to last longer than a matter of hours, not the 3 full days required to complete an event.
On the other hand, the after parties are going to be wild. You can bet the boys are already making arrangements to avoid their girlfriends for this comp.
Ten years ago, the world tour went to remote lady-less destinations like Tavarua and Grajagan. Now we’re sending the worlds best surfers to Saks 5th Avenue and the Castro district.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow… event site here.
Billabong Rio Pro Round 1 Match Ups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), TBA
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW), TBA
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), TBA
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), TBA
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Chris Davidson (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Taylor Knox (USA)