NewsMEO Rip Curl Pro PortugalVasco Ribeiro

Beware of the Wildcards

Just a little less than two and a half days remain before Championship Tour stop No. 10 hits the water at Peniche, Portugal's premier spot -- Supertubos. A promising surf forecast means the event could kick off very early into the waiting period window and there's not much time to get to know the two MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal wildcards. Here's a quick breakdown of each surfer:

Mason Ho

Mason Ho placed third in Heat 7 Round One of the Men's Pipe Invitational at Pipeine, Hawaii. With both tubes and ramps on offer at Supertubos, Mason Ho will have plenty of opportunity to show off his eclectic bag of tricks. WSL / Tony Heff

The man dubbed by his ...Lost Surfboard's cohorts, only half jokingly, as the world's most entertaining surfer, needs little introduction here. Mason Ho, now a spry 29-year-old, is one of the most popular surfers on the planet at the moment. A surfing royalty blue blood (son of Michael, nephew of Derek, brother to Coco), his digital video exploits -- broadcast out to the world via web edits -- have become legendary. He's no slouch in a contest singlet, either, having had success on both the Qualifying Series and at the Championship Tour level. After receiving a sponsor's wildcard for the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, he finished a more than respectable 9th place, and later that year went on to win the HIC Pro Sunset Beach at his home break. Not to mention, he surfed his way into the Semifinals of the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters, where he lost out to eventual winner Adriano de Souza.

Vasco Ribeiro

Vasco Ribeiro of Portugal finished equal 5th in The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong after placing second in Quarterfinal Heat 4 at Willard Beach, Ballito, South Africa. Ribeiro will relish the chance to surf on the elite Tour in front of his Portuguese countrymen, and potentially use the experience to launch a late CT qualification push in Hawaii. WSL / Kelly Cestari

Vasco Ribeiro may not be a household name outside of Europe, but the 23-year-old from Cascais, Portugal, is no stranger to the highest levels of surfing competition. The lightning-quick natural footer is a former Junior World Champion, European Champion and 4x Portuguese National Champion. Currently ranked No. 33 on the Qualifying Series leaderboard, his best result of 2017 was a 5th at the QS 10,000 Ballito Pro outside Durban, South Africa. Ribeiro's ticket to the Meo Rip Curl Pro came via his recent victory at the Peniche Pro, an event that essentially serves at the local Trials to Portugal's only men's Championship Tour event.

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