The Oi Rio Pro Gets A New Contest Site!
Postinho structure destabilised by big swell; Back-up venue Grumari becomes main site.
Pre-game noise around the Oi Rio Pro continues! Two weeks ago, Stab learned that competitors would ask for Barra Da Tijuca to be dropped from the World Tour schedule if water conditions hadn’t improved from last year. Then, we heard about the kinda genius footbridge that would carry competitors over hysterical fans safely to water’s edge. Now, the event is looking at a change of venue.
As the first two big swells of the year hit Barra Da Tijuca over the last fortnight, water rushed the contest site at Postinho and softened the sand beneath the megastructure. Reinforcements were made, but they weren’t enough; Technicians condemned the structure, and it’ll now be dismantled. The aim is to erect a new, smaller structure.
This now means that alternative venue, Grumari, will be given a much larger structure, and will likely be where the contest kicks off (and stays, if the forecast is anything to go by). Grumari was chosen as back up location in response to growing concerns from competitors over the water quality at Postinho. See, in an east swell, Quebra-Mar channel flows into Postinho, creating that awful water colour. A barrier was positioned in Barra Da Tijuca lagoon to stem the flow, but it broke. Grumari, by contrast, sounds heavenly:
“Grumari (which pumps in an east swell) is 25km south of Barra and besides being a beautiful and protected beach, part of a municipal park, the banks have been phenomenal,” contest director Xandi Fontes told Stab. “The park has amazing natural beauty and will showcase a side of Rio most visitors don’t know. We have a plan in place to make sure the environment is protected.”
While Grumari is a logistical nightmare when it comes to hosting large crowds, it does sound amazing: Good waves, no houses, jungle vibes, clean water… paradise. The only downfall is that competitors will all have accommodation booked in front of Postinho – meaning they’ll be driving 25km in Rio traffic to get to the Grumari. No doubt they’ll be hoping for south swells, which sends the brown water away from Barra Da Tijuca and is the ideal direction for Postinho to pump.
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