Premonition: The Oi Rio Pro Is Going To A Brazilian - Stab Mag
As if we didn't already know it, this guy is officially in the WSL Finals. Photo: WSL

Premonition: The Oi Rio Pro Is Going To A Brazilian

And there will be no riot in Rio.

news // Jun 27, 2022
Words by Craig Jarvis
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Day 3 of the Oi Rio Pro offered much excitement, some controversy, and the Brazilians absolutely surging at home. Bigger surf and bumps would make most surfers feel a bit daunted and trepidatious. But, for the best surfers in the world, the unruly surf offered more opportunities. More ramps, more potential for excellent rides, and more chances for the underdogs and wildcard surfers to jump ahead. Here’s how it went down:


– 12 heats ran today, all men. 
– World #2 Jack Robinson was eliminated by wildcard Mateus Herdy in a controversial R16 heat. 
– 6/8 male quarterfinalists and 4/4 semifinalists are Brazilian
– Filipe Toledo qualifies for the top 5 and the WSL Finals by advancing to semis.
– Joe Turpel has soaked up so much knowledge over the years that Pete Mel manages to call him ‘Turpelmedia’ and ‘Turpelpedia’ in one sentence. 

Wildcard Miguel Tudela went down to world #1 today. But not without a fight (7.17 for this lip-liner!). (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)


Peak performance: Italo Ferreira was on the ropes until a backhand rotation and two good turns saw him beat Miggy Pupo in the dying minutes of their quarterfinal. BRABO.
Hit replay: Samuel Pupo went full-tilt in his heat against Caio Ibelli for the highest-scoring heat of the day, 17.0, and it was arrivederci to Caio. 
Monster Maneuver: Italo’s backhand rotation for 8.67 against M-Rod was tweaked and greased. 
One Liner: ‘We’ve been keeping the good vibes high; it’s been fun,” Connor O’Leary said of the already-notorious house he is staying at, which has been having a few “quiet” parties in the evening.

Mateus Herdy started the Brazilian onslaught this morning, but there was so much more to come. Sammy Pupo smashed Caio, Italo advanced ahead of M-Rod, Miggy took out Nat Young, Toledo beat The Peruvian wildcard Miguel Tudela, and Yago pipped Ethan Ewing. 

Yago was another Brazilian surfer to squeak by with a very comparable heat total to his Aussie opponent today. (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League)

Being a wildcard, Tudela looked good and relaxed on his 5’8 ½ Proton. Still, even those Fanning fins weren’t going to give him enough advantage over the yellow jersey.

In his post-heat interview, Tudela appeared mature and impressively gracious with a powerful beard, making him instantly likable. 

So it was 5-0 to the Brazilians (not counting the Brazilians who lost to Brazilians). The first heat without a Brazilian was heat 6, starring Matt McGillivray and Connor O’Leary. Matt went straight for the air, but his attempts were sloppy, keeping the top scores away. Still, he was throwing caution to the wind, and it was great to see. 

Without a Brazilian surfer to cheer for, this was the first time the crowd had quietened down the whole day. O’Leary got the win with little fanfare, and Matt is heading for JBay with mixed feelings — bummed with his 9th place but stoked to be going home. 

For some reason, maybe just for solidarity with the locals, the WSL commentators started pronouncing some of the Brazilian surfer’s names differently. Following on from Kaipo calling the 3x champ “Gabriel Majeena” a few days ago, they all started rolling their R’s when pronouncing ‘Ferreira.’ 

The Italian Ferrari. Or whatever. (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League)

Kaipo, despite still getting McGillivray wrong after all this time (Pronounce: Mc- Gilli – Vray), got the pronunciation of ‘Ferriera’ correct in their round of 16 commentaries. On the other hand, Chris Cote fluffed it completely and mumbled either ‘Fellah‘ or  ‘Fe-ra-ra’. Strider called everyone’s bluff and called him Italo every time, while Laura Enever evaded the thing altogether and never spoke his name.

Onto the quarters, and it was the Brazilians showing form again. This makes sense, considering they held six of the eight available spots.

Sammy Pupo’s win against wildcard Herdy was entertaining but not worth re-watching, with a top wave score of 6.67.

In the next heat, Ferreira threw a big, clean, backhand rote onto a soft shoulder to take the win against Miggy on a dead-tie (13.34 to 13.34). The highest single-wave score saw him get the nod on what Pete Mel called a ‘chop-hop’. Cote’s various cringy pronunciations of the word ‘Ferreira’ continued into new levels of muffledness.

We’ll be seeing plenty more of this kid. Especially here. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Let Downs

Caught behind: M-Rod had very little to give today (8.1 points to be exact), which was disappointing. He has more fans than he thinks. A high-three and a low-four were all he could muster, and it was a flat response to Ferreira’s backhand full-rotation.
Blind mice: Jack Robinson’s final ride. Comparing it to the previous ride by Mateus Herdy that the WSL kindly provided for the viewers, there was absolutely no doubt that Jack had the score. But, unfortunately, it was not to be. Can we all agree that we’re now even for G-Land?
Say What?: “Nat Young wasn’t just surfing against Pupo. He was surfing against this crowd as well.” – Pete Mel, on the screaming Brazilian crowd on the beach and Nat’s loss.

Another letdown was one of our favourites in Jackson Baker (choo choo in *sad*) being eliminated by fellow Australian Callum Robson. Luckily Robson is also one of our favourites and still has a legitimate shot at the top-5 this year — the new Morgs Cibilic? 

Robson definitely applied pressure on Baker, even though Jackson had priority, and it seemed to work. He overpowered his compatriot on the wave face and paddled Baker out of position for the final set of the heat. 

THE BAKER TRAIN HAS DE-RAILED. WE REPEAT. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)


It was a day of Brazilian claims, and every single claim was rewarded with cheers, shrieks and numerical praise from men in the high tower. 

Herdy claimed a lot.

Sammy Pupo claimed his 9-point air by pointing his two index fingers to his temples as if he didn’t understand what had just happened. 

Ferreira claimed his first rotation, coupled with a few punches of the Brazilian flag on his shoulder. It was justified for an 8.67 and helped build the day’s fervour. 

Miggy Pupo continued the claiming tendency with a powerful fist-pump in his heat. 

In the final heat, Jadson Baker followed suit and claimed fiercely against the non-stickered Callum Robson. 

However, Ferreira won the claiming award for his power-lifting muscle-man claims and inexplicably jumping on and off a jetski to celebrate his clutch win over Miguel Pupo in the quarters. Italo chose to surf without a suit, so the cold might just have made him go a bit wild. 

Callum Robson was the last Aussie hope in the final quarter of the day, but it was all about Yago Dora. Four Brazilians to the semis, and a guaranteed win for the home crowd tomorrow.

The scene. Not bad. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Gamble Ramble

Feeling the pain from a tepid approach on day 2, Mikey put what was left of his manhood on the table…and Callum Robson lopped it off with a tomahawk hack. Spray everywhere. 

Mikey will need a big day tomorrow on to recoup his losses and/or pay for reconstructive surgery.

Event winner picks
– $30 on Italo Ferreira at +700 to win $210 SF
– $10 on Yago Dora at +4000 to win $400 SF
– $15 on Johanne Defay at +1400 to win $210 SF

Day 3 picks
– $30 on Mateus Herdy at +215 to win $65 WON
– $15 on Matt McGillivray at +145 to win $22 LOST
– $10 on Michael Rodrigues at +275 to win $28 LOST
– $100 on Jacko Baker (choo choo!) at +185 to win $185 LOST

Day 3 earnings: -$60
Event earnings: +$5

Day 3 picks
– $40 on Tatiana Weston-Webb at +125 to win $50
– $20 on Gabriel Bryan at +160 to win $32
– men’s picks to come.

Place your bets here.

Will this guy go 3-in-a-row in Rio? (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)


Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Round of 16 Results: 
HEAT 1: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.74 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.67
HEAT 2: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 17.00 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.50
HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 8.10
HEAT 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.00 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 9.94
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.56 DEF. Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.44
HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 15.94 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 12.44
HEAT 7: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.10 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.00
HEAT 8: Callum Robson (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 13.17

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 12.80 DEF. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 8.83
HEAT 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.34 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.34
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.10 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 8.94
HEAT 4: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 7.00

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
HEAT 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)


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