Lay days in the greater Cascais area are a surfer's dream: With three in a row for the EDP Billabong Pro Cascais and the Cascais Women's Pro, those left in the events had plenty of time to explore the beaches, culture and nightlife of this seaside gem.
Two surfers, Leonardo Fioravanti and Griffin Colapinto, took some time Saturday for another type of outing. They joined a surf day with a local organization called Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), which supports individuals with disabilities. The group has a sporting arm, called Jogos Santa Casa, which hit the beach at Carcavelos for some fun in the sun.
"It was really cool to see them surfing," said Fioravanti, who's in his rookie year on the Championship Tour. "Well," he added, "not even surfing. When we first got there, they all jumped up in the water and wanted to do front-flips and swim. It was cool to see how stoked they were just to be in the ocean."
Jogos Santa Casa has deep roots in Portugal, and is supported by a state-run lottery that donates the proceeds for the public good. Surfing is just one of the sports in which members of the group participate; archery, swimming and cycling are also part of the programming.
Colapinto, who is working his way up the Qualifying Series and on the cusp of making the 2018 Tour, was also taken with the Saturday outing. Toward the end of the day, he was inspired enough to put on a little clinic on small-wave surfing. "I wanted to show [the group] what it looks like on a shortboard," he said. "And they're all fired up, they grabbed my board and kind of tried to run away with it.
"So we went out for a wave [on it], and we were somehow able to have enough float where we were able to ride the wave to the beach. But I think my [wave partner] was so pumped to be on a real board."
"It [felt like maybe] one of the happiest days of their lives," said Fioravanti. "And it was one of the best days for me too. Very humbling, and incredible to experience."