Backwash, Barrels, And Bruce Airs - Stab Mag
Sadly, the WSL didn't supply photos of either of Jack's 'good' airs. We'll settle for the B-grade Brucey punt. Photo: WSL

Backwash, Barrels, And Bruce Airs

Brazil day one was…interesting.

news // Jun 23, 2022
Words by Craig Jarvis
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Opening rounds and wobbly surf are not the best combo to start a Championship Tour event.

At least there were waves (Sol Aguirre bailing out and swimming deep under a massive set in Women’s Heat 2 was a good example). The official call was ‘4-to-6-foot surf at Praia de Itaúna, Saquarema’, and it was about as spot-on as it gets. Solid surf always invites upsets, and today there were a few of them. Here’s how it went down. 


  • Today saw the biggest event site ever built for a Championship Tour event. Five blocks of buildings make a veritable city on the beach. 
  • Jack Robinson does the two biggest airs of the year, lands one of them.
  • Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore can’t get going, along with Lakey Peterson and Courtney Conlogue. They all missed their golden tickets and are in the elimination round.
  • Strider goes over the falls (video below).
  • Filipe Toledo still exudes hunger and maybe a bit of anger after El Salvador.
  • Gabriel Medina is best in clutch situations, which is to say he lost today’s non-elimination heat.  
Photos may be worth 1,000 words, but a good portion of those words are misleading. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)


Peak performance: While Miguel Pupo had the day’s highest heat total, Fil had the best heat of Round 1, and probably at about 55% on the Toledo scale.
Hit replay: R1 H3 with Robinson, Pupo, and Herdy. Jack’s straight air was reminiscent of Bruce Irons in his heyday. R1 H8, with Pupo, Ibelli, and Andre, was also good entertainment. 
Monster Maneuver: Jack Robinson’s alleyoop was almost the maneuver of the year. He’ll have to settle for the maneuver of the day with his frontside straighty.  
One-liner: “Hopefully I made a few friends today.” – Connor O’Leary, after dusting Gabriel Medina in front of a baying local crowd. 

The women got the junk surf, and as the day glassed off, it just got better and better.

The Brazilian surfers took their homecourt advantage and ran with it. Ferreira, M-Rod, Toledo, Dora, Miggy, and Michael Rodrigues all got big wins, the last of which was incredibly narrow. Two judges actually saw Grif ahead, but M-Rod’s full rotation got the nod and justified his spot at the expense of JJF. He will be the sole wildcard to skip round 2.

Speaking of wildcards, Mateus Herdy pulled off one of the biggest airs of the day in Round 1, receiving a standing-O from the local crowd. If Jack Robbo hadn’t tickled the stratosphere just a few moments prior, it might have been enough to secure Mateus a win.  

Stgaunch traditionalist Yago Dora wins his R1 heat strictly on the face. (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League)

While Igarashi and Andino were busy getting slotted on the right, Yago Dora kept finding these beautiful open-faced lefts and rode his rail to victory. Who knew?

New kids on the block, Jackson Baker [choo choo!] and Callum Robson, were pushing it as hard as possible. However, Baker took the win over Robson, with Jordy a solid third place.  


Caught behind: Carissa Moore had nothing to give, with a heat total of 1.8. Her two highest scores were 1.0 and 0.8. Medina struggled to get going and failed one big backhand air attempt to come last.
Blind mice: Jordy Smith for two massive power hooks and an inside bonus for 5.33. I might be overly patriotic, but I might just be overly patriotic. 
Say what?: “Where’s the wave? Let’s do this.” – Strider Wasilewski, seconds before being thrust from his giant sandal surfboard by an artificial ball wave. 

Posting this so it never, ever dies. Video: WSL

The judges were cheap today, only giving excellent scores to surfers throwing fins in the air and caution to the wind. Filly T, M-Rod, and Mateus Herdy all went excellent or near-excellent for spins above the lip. Jack Robinson nearly nabbed a 10 for a giant alleyoop.

Still, on the whole, there was nothing that totally blew minds. A few good moves here and there, but no A-Grade performances from start to finish. It might have been the constant side-wobble that was putting the men and women off their games.

Medina and Smith couldn’t get out of first gear. They both seemed to be having fun on the beach and looked comfortable and in the water. Still, they couldn’t find any amenable ramps, and although Jordy found some tubes, they didn’t get the high scores. Medina was in the dust, and Jordy’s heat was incredibly close against Robson and Baker, but a third is a third. Baker’s moustache is quite magnificent, and his pink boards in honour of his mom are cool simply because he claims them so valiantly. 

Who said thicc boys can’t jump? Choo choo! (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)


There was a wonderful tribute to Mano Zuil on the webcast today, a man who helped revolutionise modern competitive surfing. I had the pleasure of meeting Mano many times in South Africa. He was the nicest guy, always talking about ‘the computer system’ and helping and assisting anyone working at any event. He was the architect of the first online broadcasts in surf history, responsible for the digital and live scoring system. He’ll be sorely missed.

Jesse Miley-Dyer was very fair in her day’s appraisal. She stated that the elimination rounds are crucial at this stage of the game, and there is loads of good surf en route to Saquarema. So the rest of the proposed elimination rounds were called off, and everyone trotted over to Happy Hour. 

I am Gabriel Medina. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C must love backwash. He went 6-7 on the W/L sheet with all underdogs, netting a healthy profit for his efforts on As usual, that’s thanks in large part to the (Jacko) Baker Train, which just keeps on chugging along. 

Event winner picks

– $20 on Kanoa Igarashi at +1400 to win $280 R2
– $30 on Italo Ferreira at +700 to win $210 R3
– $10 on Yago Dora at +4000 to win $400 R3
– $15 on Sally Fitz at +1600 to win $240 QF
– $15 on Johanne Defay at +1400 to win $210 R2
– $20 on Caroline Marks at +900 to win $180 QF

R1 picks

– $10 on Sally Fitz at +155 to win $16 WON
– $10 on Johanne Defay at +185 to win $19 LOST
– $10 on Tati WW at +175 to win $18 WON
– $10 on Gabriela Bryan at +250 to win $25 WON
– $10 on Caio Ibelli at +165 to win $17 LOST
– $10 on Jacko Baker (choo choo!) at +300 to win $30 WON
– $10 on Ethan Ewing at +255 to win $26 LOST
– $10 on Yago Dora at +185 to win $19 WON
– $10 on Mateus Herdy at +375 to win $38 LOST
– $5 on Jake Marshall at +525 to win $26 LOST
– $5 on Joao Chianca at +300 to win $15 LOST
– $5 on Connor O’Leary at +500 to win $25 WON
– $5 on Nat Young at +500 to win $25 LOST

Day 1 earnings: $79
Event earnings: $79

Day 2 picks

– $10 on Sol Aguirre at +350 to win $35
– $10 Isabella Nichols at +155 to win $16
– $10 on Brisa Hennessy at -105 to win $10

Men’s picks coming soon. 

Is this guy due for a win or is this guy due for a win? (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League)


Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Opening Round 1 Results: 
HEAT 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 11.07 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 5.97, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 5.74
HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.77 DEF. Sol Aguirre (PER) 9.90, Carissa Moore (HAW) 1.80
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 10.67 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.77, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 3.33
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.24 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.67, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6.70
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Elimination Round Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Sol Aguirre (PER)
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 3: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Opening Round 1 Results: 
HEAT 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.60 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 9.00, Joao Chianca (BRA) 6.30
HEAT 2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.33 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.27, Jake Marshall (USA) 7.24
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.67 DEF. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 8.50, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 7.50
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.77 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 11.00, Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.23
HEAT 5: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.90 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.50, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.83
HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.56 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 7.47, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.40
HEAT 7: Jackson Baker (AUS) 9.87 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 9.37, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.16
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.50
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Miguel Tudela (PER)
HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA)
HEAT 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 8: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)


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