Stab Magazine | Here's who could win the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal:
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Here’s who could win the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal:

Words by Damien Fahrenfort | All photos courtesy WSL Ah, France, you were just what I needed; everything Lowers wasn’t. You even tossed one unlikely candidate into the final to keep your reputation up as ‘unpredictable’. Now moving onto Portugal, the least exciting event on tour. To top it off the forecast looks shit. Which means […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Words by Damien Fahrenfort | All photos courtesy WSL

Ah, France, you were just what I needed; everything Lowers wasn’t. You even tossed one unlikely candidate into the final to keep your reputation up as ‘unpredictable’. Now moving onto Portugal, the least exciting event on tour. To top it off the forecast looks shit. Which means no Kelly, and it’s going to be a case of you-should-have-been-here-last week. Here are some predictions that I presume will be slightly wrong, you know, since Kai Otton has won this event before. But there is a little bit of good news, Mason Ho has been selected the wildcard.

Gabs Portugal

Gabs Medina 
Gabs in France was hands-down some of the best backhand surfing I’ve ever seen. Disregard the airs even. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone hit the lip that hard so many times in such a short space of wave. With each turn he did in France, he built momentum. Gabs looks to be in the sort of form where waves just come to him. He’s making things happen again instead of waiting for things to happen, like I think he was doing earlier this year. Gabs will get three world titles. Trust me.

***

Italo Portugal

Italo Ferreira
Is there anywhere this guy can’t surf? Huge Fiji, dumping France and, of course, beachbreaks. Italo’s not only going to be rookie of the year, he’s also going to have one of the best rookie seasons in recent years. He’s gaining momentum and it’s only a matter of time before he goes one round further each event and starts placing in the semis and finals. Could he be the unlikely candidate for a final? It’s possible.

***

FIliper portugal

Filipe Toledo
Human nature makes us forgive easily. We let our sports stars get away with murder as long as they perform. Michael Vick murdered innocent dogs… but no worries, all was forgiven when he came back and had a stellar season. Now getting 0.0 points and then wussing out again in France might not be as much as a heinous crime as Mr Vick’s, but Filipe will come back in Portugal. He will drop a few full rotes and alleyoops and all will be forgiven. Expect redemption by our fav jumping spider.

***

Miggy portugal

Miguel Pupo
He’s had a tough year since Snapper and it isn’t easy watching your fellow countrymen dominate heat after heat. Yet Mr Pupo does it with a smile on his face. His surfing’s been a lot better in each comp than his results and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Miggy might sneak through a few heats and make the semis. His air game is tight and the waves won’t be great. It’ll be wobbly and dumpy, similar to his home break.

***

Jules Portugal

Julian Wilson
Is anyone more due for a win than this guy? His surfing looks better than ever. He’s also fast becoming one of the smoothest surfers on the planet. His ability to surf sharp, tight and above the lip in crossed up beachbreaks and drawn out and smooth on the open face is incredible. Last event I picked Julian to win and mentioned he needs to stay busy in the slower heats. Jules did just that and ended on the right side of the heats in harsh conditions. He’s won here before; in fact, Portugal was his first win ever. He got payback on Gabs. That stinky fishing town holds a special place in his heart. Expect a big result for Jules.

***

Nat portugal

Nat Young
Second in 2013 to Ottz in waves that might be similar to what we’ve got coming. I think Nat will do well in this event. His surfing’s looking sharp and as I previously mentioned he’s removed the double pump out of his bottom turn which has made his surfing smoother and he misses less sections. Nat is the modern day Ace. He’s comfortable on tour and good in all types of conditions. He doesn’t rattle easy and I think you need that edge to do well in Portugal.

***

A few other predictions:
Mick will lose to a wildcard in round three but will still sit in number one position after the event.
Gabs will get slightly closer to be in contention but not quite close enough.
Adriano will lose to Brother in round one and possibly lose again in round two to a wildcard.
The judges will do whatever they can to keep the title race close.
Tiago Pires will get his best Portugal result ever; a round three finish.
The wildcard to bet on this time around is Caio Ibelli.

Round one match-ups:
Heat 1: F. Toledo, J. Andre, T. Hermes
Heat 2: G. Medina, M. Pupo, M. Ho
Heat 3: J. Wilson, K. Asing, C. Ibelli
Heat 4: O. Wright, M. Bourez, V. Ribeiro
Heat 5: A. de Souza, K. Andino, F. Morais
Heat 6: M. Fanning, S. Zietz, T. Pires
Heat 7: K. Slater, A. Buchan, A. Aranburu
Heat 8: I. Ferreira, J. Parkinson, B. Simpson
Heat 9: J. Flores, M. Wilkinson, R. Christie
Heat 10: N. Young, K. Otton, G. Hall
Heat 11: B. Durbidge, J. Florence, C. Hobgood
Heat 12: J. Kerr, W. Dantas, A. Melling

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