Stop 3 on the ASP World tour is only days away – Postinho/Arporador, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The party vibe always makes for a great event, with the crowds passionately getting behind their local surfers, which often makes it daunting for the foreign competitors.
Postinho (aka Barra) is a shifty beach break that has been known to closeout on low tide. Predominately a left, the rock wall backdrop enables sand build up with the break said to work in most swell directions, but locals agree a mid-large S/SW swell is best. If Barra is lucky enough to cop some large swells leading into the event bringing extra sand with them, it has the potential to reel like a left-hand point break.
Lead by Bells Beach Winner Adriano de Souza, the Brazilian contingent of Filipe Toledo, Miguel Pupo, Gabriel Medina, Alejo Muniz & Raoni Monteiro will be hard to stop. Unfortunately (for everyone) John John Florence has not recovered from the ankle injury he sustained on the Gold Coast and will miss the event.
De Souza is one of the favourites for the Rio Pro, carrying a massive amount of confidence from his win in Australia; “Winning Bells was really emotional, and it’s really inspirational to be back here an see my friends.” De Souza will be expected to make the final four of the contest.
Bells semi finalists Jordy Smith looks to have found his feet again after a quiet 18 months, he will be suited to the powerful beach break conditions. Surfers Gabriel Medina, Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Filipe Toledo, Owen Wright will thrive in the conditions as most of them grew up surfing similar local beach breaks.
The latter, Owen Wright, finds himself in the unfamiliar position of 31st in the tour rankings via two consecutive 25ths in the opening events of the year. Surfers are allowed two throw away results per season and Wright will do all in his power to ensure he has a strong event in Rio. A good result in Rio will kick-start his campaign leading into his most suited events of the year – Fiji, Bali & Tahiti. A powerhouse in large reef breaks (especially lefts), there is no reason why Wright still cannot challenge for the World Title this year, but he must improve in Rio.
Traditional tour heavyweights Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning will be out to improve on self-proclaimed disappointing results at Bells Beach. These guys are a force in every event they enter, and it is frightening they are looking to improve on their last finishes even though they are all still in the top five.
Commentary Box Quinella – Adriano De Souza, Jordy Smith, Gabriel Medina, Julian Wilson.
Dark Horses – Owen Wright, Bede Durbidge, Josh Kerr