Stab Magazine | 2016: Last Chance For The Rio Pro!

2016: Last Chance For The Rio Pro!

Surfers will ask for Rio to be dropped if there’s a repeat of last year.

news // Apr 21, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Rio Pro has one more chance to get it right before the world tour’s surfers ask for it to be dropped, says Surfer’s Representative, Ace Buchan.

“I think everyone knows if we have another year in Rio where the waves are average and everyone gets sick the event probably won’t go ahead there,” Ace told Stab.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out,” he says. “We don’t get great waves there so if we’re competing in average waves and everyone is getting sick, I think we’ll be looking at other venues.”

Ace Baz Rio Cestari

Mr Buchan, the fabulous Surfer’s Rep, and the kinda thing we hope for from Rio WSL/Cestari

Around a dozen competitors from last year’s event were left with mysterious stomach illnesses for up to two months afterwards. At least two were hospitalised, says Ace, who along with current world number one, Matt Wilkinson, also fell ill.

“A lot of people were getting pretty sick,” Ace says. “Before my round three heat I was super dizzy and couldn’t really get out of bed. I ended up surfing and I was nowhere near 100 percent. A lot of people had the same experience.”

Seabass Rio Smorigo

Margies winner, Seabass, in some potent-looking water at last year’s Rio event. WSL/Smorigo

Stab contacted Ace amid rumours there would be high profile withdrawals from this event in the coming days due to health concerns (we heard Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater, among others). He said he hadn’t heard of any. The WSL called surfers together at Margaret River to discuss the concerns and the threat of the Zika virus (and yes, despite what you might’ve heard, males do need to worry about it). Surfers were again assured the event would be moved half an hour south to a safe zone outside of Rio if they encountered water problems. Precautions exceeding the IOC’s protocol have been put in place to protect the tour from the Zika virus.

Ace Rio Smorigo

It ain’t all bad at Barra. Not by a long shot. WSL/Smorigo

“It’s obviously a lucrative event for the tour with the kind of media we get in Brazil and number of fans we get there,” says Ace. “Obviously a lot of people got sick last year but I think it was a little bit of a perfect storm with the way everything came together to create the dirty water.”

But Ace also points out that many cities around the world suffer this problem: “You could look at any city where you have a big event around the world, you’ll be looking at similar things… That can happen at Bondi, there’s sewage outlets between Avoca and Copacabana (in Australia) – Rio’s not the only place in the world it happens.”

Rio Empty Smorigo

Let’s hope, at least, there’s waves in Rio this year. WSL/Smorigo


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


“I’m A West Oz Bogan For Sure, I Just Don’t Have The Mullet”

The first SEOTY entry of 2023 is ‘Into Dust’ ft. Jacob Willcox.

Mar 20, 2023

Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace  

Now available in the Antipodes...

Mar 20, 2023


Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made

BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…

Mar 18, 2023

Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands

How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.

Mar 18, 2023


Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?

William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.

Mar 17, 2023

Watch: Luke + Eddie

A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…

Mar 17, 2023


A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard

This one ticks a lot of boxes

Mar 16, 2023

Brazil Has A Talent Problem

And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Mar 16, 2023


Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars

Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…

Mar 15, 2023

Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour

And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.

Mar 15, 2023


Can A Freesurfer Go The Other Way? A Dakoda Walters Case Study

The 57-kilo Aussie has taken a Stab High approach to trad contest surfing.

Mar 15, 2023

Caity Simmers And João Chianca Fulfill Respective Prophecies Under Gaze Of Portuguese President

A very good day of competitive surfing.

Mar 14, 2023

Kelly And Steph Are In Trouble

What's a GOAT gotta do to make the cut around here?

Mar 14, 2023


“I Used To Only Surf Here With One Guy…His Name’s Henry, And He’s A Seal”

A contemplation on the frigid desolation of Iceland.

Mar 14, 2023

World #1 Carissa Moore Vanquished By Front Pad Toting Wildcard, Lucky Few Get Supertubed

‘Go hard or go home, innit’ 

Mar 13, 2023

Hungover Hold-Downs, Patent Feuds, And One-In-A-Million Malfunctions Involving 11x World Champs: The Story Of Surfing’s Inflatable Vests

These things changed the game.

Mar 13, 2023


Parker Coffin Tells Ex: ‘Thank You For Everything’

Freesurfing’s best communicator leaves a classy farewell to Roark.

Mar 13, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Mar 13, 2023