SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro/Brasil (Sunday, June 23, 20199) - Today Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) won the Oi Rio Pro, Stop No. 5 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The beach came alive throughout the Oi Rio Pro with thousands of fans each day, including today’s Final at Barrinha in four-to-six foot (1.2 - 1.8 meter) waves. Fitzgibbons and Toledo surfed a full day from the Quarterfinals to the Final, resulting in their third CT victories in Brasil.
Toledo successfully repeated last year’s victory at Barrinha with dominant performances against Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Final, Frederico Morais (PRT) in the Semifinals, and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) in the Quarterfinals. This is Toledo’s third win in Brasil (2015, 2018, 2019) and the eighth of his career.
“Once I get into the Quarters and Semis, it’s like something clicks in my head, especially here in Brasil," said Toledo. "The crowd just gets me pumped and I just want to do my best. But it’s so hard, surfing can be anybody’s game. With Jordy (Smith) you never know. I had eighteen points, but he could’ve easily gotten two nines as well. I was tense until the last thirty seconds, but that first wave got me feeling pretty confident and I was stoked to get that one.”
Later on, at the awards podium, Toledo opened up and revealed that he was going through some personal issues throughout the year, but that the energetic Brasilian crowd provided the extra fuel he needed to push through.
“It can be really difficult if you don’t surround yourself with a good support crew and prepare yourself psychologically,” continued Toledo. “If you’re not prepared, the pressure can really get to you. What I really enjoy is the emotion and energy from the fans in Brasil. This gives me energy, focus, and motivation. I’ve been sick all week and feeling really weak and tired. But every time I ran down the corridor to the water, the energy from the crowd would give me a boost. A lot of people don’t know, but I’ve been going through a very difficult year personally. It’s been tough to concentrate on doing what I love most, but the crowd is what pulled me through and I’m eternally grateful. Now let’s head to another of my favorite waves at J-Bay.”
The Brasilian hero is back in the top five, moving up three spots to No. 3 on the world rankings. The next event on the CT is the Corona Open J-Bay, where Toledo is also the defending event winner. With his first win in 2019, Toledo will be fired up heading into an event where he can again defend his event Title.
Smith’s runner-up finish advances him one place up to No. 4 on the Jeep Leaderboard and that much closer to his maiden World Title. The 31-year-old has made the Final Series four times so far this year with only one early exit in Bali. Smith now returns to the Corona Open J-Bay as the obvious favorite in his home country of South Africa where he will now be welcomed home by his fans.
“I think Filipe (Toledo) had a massive support crew down here today,” said Smith. “I think the first wave was a momentum shifter. The wedge moved a little inside, and I missed it, and Filipe got barreled and did an air to a blow-tail and that was just kind of it. The wind picked up right after, but what can I say? He’s an incredible surfer, and I was just honored to be in a Final and was pleased to finally make one this year. It was a great event and there’s no other crowd like this in the world. I just hope that at J-Bay they can share a little bit of love my way.”
California’s Kolohe Andino (USA) lost to Smith in the second Semifinal but still holds his position as No. 2 on the world rankings behind John John Florence (HAW). Andino is gunning for his maiden World Title and his first CT event win in 2019 and shows no sign of slowing down. He came incredibly close in two Finals already this year (Gold Coast, Margaret River) and continued his form in Brasil.
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Final Results:
1 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.64
2 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.57
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.63 DEF. Keely Andrew (AUS) 4.40
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.30 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.83
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.17 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 1.20
QF 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.24 DEF. Silvana Lima (BRA) 6.46
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.33 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.04
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.90 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.66
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Final Results:
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.04
2 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.43
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.00 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.30
SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.06 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.40
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.00 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 7.57
QF 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.17 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.83
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) DEF. John John Florence (HAW) INJ
QF 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.10 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.00
2019 Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (following Oi Rio Pro):
1 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 32,580 pts
2 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 31,175 pts
3 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 30,320 pts
4 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 26,845 pts
5 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 26,050 pts
5 - Caroline Marks (USA) 26,050 pts
2019 Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (following Oi Rio Pro):
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 32,160 pts
2 - Kolohe Andino (USA) 27,760 pts
3 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 27,195 pts
4 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,045 pts
5 - Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 24,705 pts
Chelsea Tuach and Adin Masencamp Take Titles at Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
PIPE, POLLOCK BEACH, PORT ELIZABETH – The cream rose to the top at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley when Barbados surfer Chelsea Tuach won the Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 and South African Adin Masencamp (Strand) won the Men’s QS 1000. The 6th stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Africa QS and the 4th of five events in the City Surf Series (CSS) offered five days of great surfing for competitors and spectators alike.
It was a challenging final for Tuach and Vahine Fierro (FRA), with surfers having to wait a long time before finding waves with decent scoring potential. Tuach scored the best wave of the heat for a 5.50 and backed it up with a 3.93 for a total of 9.43. Fierro searched the line-up for better scores but could only get two waves in the 4-point range. Tuach, who came into the event ranked in the top 30, will leapfrog up the WSL Women’s QS leaderboard after posting her best result of the 2019 season.
“It’s been a crazy day trying to make heats and also trying to make my flight!” said an elated and out-of-breath Tuach. “It got really hard in the final and I knew I just had to get two waves that would hopefully be the best scores. I knew Vahine wasn’t going to be easy to beat, so my heart was in my throat up until the last second. I feel like I’m surfing well and I’m in a good rhythm.”
Tuach heads home for a short break before starting to train for the Pan-American Games in the hope of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the Women’s Semifinals, current World Junior Champion and event standout Kirra Pinkerton (USA) was disappointed after being eliminated by Fierro, herself a former World Junior Champ.
“It just didn’t seem to work out for me in that heat and I’m really disappointed,” said Pinkerton, who walks away with an equal 3rd place result.
Reigning WSL Africa champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) breathed a sigh of relief when he won the Men’s QS 1000 against Australian Sheldon Simkus.
“I’m so stoked to get the win. It’s been biting me, every time I come to PE I reach the finals but can’t seem to get a win. I think it’s just a mindset,” said Masencamp. “I’ve had a good year so far and I feel like I’m picking up momentum now heading into Ballito.”
Blake Elkington (Kommetjie) opted to play the waiting game in his Semifinal match-up with Simkus while the Australian kept moving and whipped out high performance maneuvers on every wave to build on his score and advance to the final. Disappointed with a strategy that didn’t pan out, Elkington was eliminated in equal 3rd place.
The fifth and final CSS event, the Vic Bay Classic, takes place from 20-22 June and offers Men’s, Women’s and Junior Men’s and Women’s QS 1000 rated events.
Alongside the world-class surfing action, the City Surf Series events also embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa (SSA) Learn To Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex EC, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Ocean Pledge.
Ocean Pledge will assist in creating ‘Blue Events,' while the NSRI will be educating members of the public, competitors, local schools and surf outreach programs about ocean safety and ocean awareness.
More information, results and images will be available on www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.
2019 WSL Africa Tour Schedule
March 27-30 Senegal Pro Dakar, Senegal M&W QS1,500
April 18-20 Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Port Elizabeth M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000
April 22-24 Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000
May 10-12 Zigzag Durban Surf Pro Durban M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000
May 31-1 Jun Vans Surf Pro Classic Lamberts Bay M QS1,500; W QS1,000; M JQS1,000
Jun 13-17 VWSA Open of Surfing Port Elizabeth WQS3,000; MQS1,000; M&W JQS1,000
Jun 20-22 Vic Bay Classic Victoria Bay M&W QS1,000; M&W JQS1,000
Jun 27-7 Jul Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill Ballito MQS10,000; WQS1,000; M&WJQS1,000