The Oi Rio Pro, Stop No. 5 of the Championship Tour, commences on June 20th in Saquarema, Brazil. The CT first made its debut in Rio in 1976 and has come and gone as a stop over the decades. While other CT events have been held in different regions of Brazil, the Tour event returned to the Rio zone in 2011 and has ran consecutively there ever since.
Saquarema is roughy 50 miles (100 km) east of Rio and has a population of 80,000. The zone has often been referred to as "The Capital of Brazilian Surfing." The event packs the beach with thousands of surf fans each year giving the contest an arena like feel.
There are two waves on offer at Saquarema for the Oi Rio Pro: Itaúna and Barrinha. Itaúna is the more consistent of the two and is anticipated to be the primary wave for the event. Both waves are beachbreaks flanked by rock features that refract swells into consistent and rippable wedges. When given enough swell, both waves barrel. Both venues provide a canvas for single-maneuver perfect scores.
Itaúna works best on a low to mid tide and picks up swells from the south, east-southeast, southeast and southwest. The spot can hold waves up to triple-overhead but is best at chest to double-overhead sizes. On larger swells, Itaúna transforms into a left pointbreak.
With a medium-sized swell forecasted to bring 5-7' faces on the first day of the waiting period, the Seeding Round is expected to run June 20th.
Barrinha has a slightly narrower swell window than Itaúna. A fickle and powerful righthanded bowl turns on when larger swells from the south-south southeast start to pulse the sandbank is good. Barrinha also works well on southwest swells.
Despite a heavy Brazilian presence on Tour, Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza are the only Brazilian surfers to win the Oi Rio Pro in the last 20 years. Toledo is the reigning champ and put on a dominating performance last year, he even earned a perfect 10. 2015 World Champion Adriano de Souza won the event in 2011 and 2017.
This event will mark De Souza's return to competition after sustaining a knee injury last year at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. De Souza has under gone several surgeries and physical training in the interim and will return to the Tour healthy and hungry for a solid result.
For two decades, goofyfooters have had a rough go at the Oi Rio Pro. Kalani Robb was the last one to win the event back in 2000. Italo Ferreira is currently the highest ranked goofy and sits in the number three spot on the Jeep Leaderboard, could he break the curse?
John Florence will enter the event with the Jeep Leader jersey. Florence is having the best start to a Title campaign in his career with his two event wins so far. Numbers also show that he's the most dominating surfer while ranked in the number one spot.
A CT win has eluded Tour veteran Kolohe Andino for eight years. His two runner-up finishes so far this season have shown he's hungry to end the dry spell. He'll enter the event in the number two ranked spot.
Let's talk women. While Tyler Wright has the most Rio wins, three to be exact, she's unfortunately still sidelined by illness. Sally Fitzgibbons' surfing has resonated most successfully in Rio. Fitzgibbons has two wins and two runner-up finishes since 2011. She'll start the event in the number four spot on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Stephanie Gilmore is carrying a lot of momentum going into the event. The 7x World Champion is the defending Oi Rio Pro champ, the reigning World Champion and currently sits at the top of Jeep Leaderboard. There's a narrow point margin separating her from the rest of the field, so she'll need a solid result to hold on to the Jeep Leader jersey.
Lakey Peterson is coming off her win at Margaret River and will be looking to back up her incredible performance. Peterson was the runner-up at the 2018 Oi Rio Pro after a hard-fought Final with Gilmore.
With swell on its way, the 2019 Oi Rio Pro is sure to be a high-performance affair. May he and she with the most speed, power and flow win.
Watch the Oi Rio Pro live daily June 20 - 28 on Worldsurfleague.com, App and Facebook.