São Paulo, Brazil - September 2, 2020 - Fifteen of the region's best surfers and ten Brazilian celebrities will unite on Friday, September 18th from 3pm to 8pm ET / 12pm to 5pm PT for the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) Oi presents Onda do Bem Charity Event as part of The WSL Countdown. The event will reignite the excitement of competitive surfing with a focus on social responsibility while entertaining core fans and a wider audience alike.
The entire Onda do Bem contest will be broadcast LIVE on all WSL platforms including worldsurfleague.com, the WSL YouTube and Facebook channels as well as support from Rede Globo with a live broadcast beginning at 6pm ET / 3pm PT on SporTV. The location of the beach will remain unannounced to reinforce COVID-19 safety measures and prevent public attendance. The municipal government has provided their full support in maintaining the event area secure as a non-attendee competition.
By combining a unique format and neon-color themed teams, night surfing will become an eye-catching spectacle with the line-up filled with a colorful spectrum, including incredible images of boards lit with LED equipment and graphics by Brazilian artist Tom Veiga. The term Onda do Bem is translated as the Wave of Positivity and was chosen to unite in solidarity as we move forward during these challenging times.
By using a QR Code embedded on the broadcast, viewers will be able to make donations to the surf-related NGO, Projeto Ondas, which was chosen by the athletes and represent their commitment to social responsibility. Projeto Ondas was founded in 2007 by former WCT athlete and two-time Brazilian surfing champion Jojó de Olivença. Their mission is to contribute to the integral development of children and adolescents in situations of socio-economic vulnerability, using surfing as an instrument for learning and social inclusion.
The event will bring together ten Men's athletes including standouts from the Championship Tour (CT) and will include five Women's athletes as well. The ten guest celebrities will give the event its unique flavor, providing entertainment and maybe some hidden talent in the water as well. Onda do Bem will include: musician Gabriel O Pensador, Olympic Judo Medalist Flavio Canto, actor/model Paulo Zulu, actress Larissa Murai, surfer/TV Host Érica Prado, actress Danni Suzuki, and actors Klebber Toledo, Paulo Vilhena and ex-Big Brother Brasil participant and Big Wave charger, Lucas Chianca.
The event will be hosted by Glenda Kozlowski, a former Brazilian bodyboarder, turned sports presenter, and commentary by big wave surfer Carlos Burle (BRA). The Onda do Bem Charity Event will also include a constant soundtrack provided by acclaimed DJ Camilla Brunetta. To maintain safety measures, the Oi Fibra studio will be held off-site in Rio de Janeiro.
Onda do Bem Competition Format
By implementing an innovative format, Onda do Bem will feature a variety of fun mini-competitions. The 25 participants, made up of athletes and celebrities, will be divided into five color-themed teams named after stops on the Championship Tour: Rio, Gold Coast, J-Bay, Teahupo'o and Pipe where they will compete in a variety of challenges throughout the night. The teams will have five competitors each, consisting of three professional surfers (two male and one female) and two celebrities (one male and one female).
"It's moments like these where the internet is no longer invisible and has become a necessary asset to our daily lives. Through technology we can work and communicate better and also enjoy what we like the most. We believe that sports, even in this online environment, continues to promote unity and bring cultures together. With Onda do Bem we further demonstrate surfing as a democratic sport with mass appeal, creating engagement with fans that can watch the events through their screens," said Lívia Marquez, Head of Media and Communications for Oi.
The competitions will be divided into:
Big Air - Ten participants from the Championship Tour will be split into two groups of five athletes. They will be towed by jet skis at incredible speeds resulting in high flying and exciting airs.
Top Heats - One of the most anticipated moments of the night, where athletes will match up against athletes and celebrities will face other celebrities in different division heats. There will be eleven 20-minute heats with four participants in each.
Paddle Battle - Celebrities will show off their competitive skills as they paddle out to the line-up, around a buoy and race back to the shore for points.
Oi Fibra Tag Team Challenge - All five-member teams will compete collectively in a 50-minute tag team relay where each surfer has up to 10 minutes to catch two waves before passing on to the next participant. The judging panel will consist of Brazilian surfing legends and will decide the scores for each competitor.
The event will have strict access control, without no audience-attendees, but can be watched through SporTV broadcasts or the WSL online platforms.
A hotel was chosen for its biosafety standards and best practices established by the Ministry of Health. It will only be available for the event staff and participants. Guidelines will be placed in all rooms with information and protocols to be followed. Tests will be carried out on all participants - organizers, directors, producers, athletes, physical trainers, coaches and celebrities who will arrive at the bubble 36 hours in advance, which will provide sufficient time to carry out the exams. Results will be released by a certified laboratory within 12 hours. During this period, all participants must remain quarantined within their rooms.
"The World Surf League worked with public health officials, medical experts, local and state officials to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of participants, employees and the surrounding community," explains Ivan Martinho, General Manager for WSL Latin America. "The Onda do Bem event will be carried out with a strict safety protocol and regulations determined by the World Health Organization - WHO, which were developed based on the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the best practices established by other sports leagues."
Added measures include pre-event COVID-19 tests for surfers and essential staff, strict measures regarding social distancing, reserved areas for teams, athletes, celebrities, hosts, DJ and minimum required onsite staff. Temperature screenings will occur at each event access site and a hygiene tunnel will be installed at the main event entrance (upon entry, a device sprays a product that guarantees the disinfection of all people, equipment, etc.).
The Onda do Bem Charity Event aims to entertain fans, the surfing community and generate donations focused on surf-related NGOs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are all going through a sensitive moment and bringing a bit of relaxation and more colorful days to people through the surfing community is a lighthearted way to return to talking about sports and entertainment, two areas that have been very affected in recent months. Havaianas and surfing have a long history together and we could not be left out of this special moment for WSL and Onda do Bem. In addition to bringing together such an amazing group, it also helps a social cause linked to the event that is a fundamental aspect nowadays," said Mafê Alburquerque, Global Communications Director for Havaianas.
"The Onda do Bem event will quench our audience's thirst for surfing prior to the return of WSL Championship Tour scheduled for November. It was an immense team effort to carry out this accomplishment and I'd like to give a huge thanks to our sponsors for their collaboration in getting this project off the drawing board," added Ivan Martinho.
"This is all to celebrate the sport of surfing and offer fans a never before seen experience, combining some of the best athletes in the world and unique entertainment, in addition to promoting a social cause, especially in the throes of this pandemic," continued Martinho. "We've taken the utmost care, from the confidentiality of the location to following the various safety measures to guarantee the health of our participants, staff and the local community."
The Onda do Bem Charity Event is presented by Oi and sponsored by Jeep, Havaianas and Red Bull. Their brands will be displayed on LED panels and balloons illuminated on the beach and shoreline.
'Onda do Bem' is part of The WSL Countdown, a series of regional pre-season events in the USA, Australia, France, Portugal and Brazil, which brings all the action of competitive surfing to fans during the current restricted period of international travel. The prior event was the Michelob Ultra Pure Gold Rumble at the Ranch, held on August 9 in the United States, which gathered some of the best surfers residing in the USA at a competition at Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, California. Among them were Brazilians Adriano de Souza, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Filipe Toledo, the latter being crowned champion of the event alongside Coco Ho (HAW) in perfect waves.
All events and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including regional travel restrictions.