Yago, Filipe, and Adriano Rain Cash Over Their Unsponsored Countrymen
Prepare to be shattered by the ability of Brazil’s unknown boardsmiths.
The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. Unless, of course, you’re Eric Yuan—founder of the video conference app, Zoom—who made USD 4 billion since the entire planet has been locked indoors.
If you’re an unsponsored professional surfer, you’re pretty much fucked. Stripped of any source of income and with no projections as to when surf comps will resume, pros with stickerless boards are in dire straits.
With that in mind, and nothing to do as beaches have been locked down throughout Brazil, 2015 World Champ Adriano de Souza, fellow CTer Yago Dora, and their coach (and Yago’s dad), Leandro Dora, came up with the idea of an online surf comp for unsponsored pro surfers, aptly named “Bico Branco” (“White Nose”, in English, alluding to a surfcraft’s logoless beak).
“We contacted all the Brazilians who are on the CT and told them about the idea,” explains Yago. “Most of the sponsored guys have had their salaries reduced or postponed, but still all of those who were able to help, did so. ADS, Filipe Toledo, Jadson Andre, Miguel Pupo, Peterson Crisanto, me and my dad put up the prize money.” (Note: Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina are currently involved in other social causes and could not assist with Bico Branco.)
They created an Instagram account, @bicobranco, and quickly received over a hundred submissions. They limited the comp to 32 surfers (20 from the QS, four from Pro Junior Series and 8 from Brazil’s Pro Circuit Rankings), who will “battle” in four-man heats. Each surfer submits video footage of one wave, that is judged by the public and four CT surfers. The top two advance, where they elect footage of a different wave to be judged in the next round.
Prizes are $5k for the winner, $3k for runner-up, $1.5k for 3rd, and $1k for 5th place. “We know it’s not a lot of money,” says Yago. “But it’s definitely something that will help unsponsored surfers who right now aren’t able to compete.”
“That was a wonderful idea from Adriano, Yago, and Leandro,“ says Filipe Toledo. “Times are tough right now, a lot of people are struggling – unsponsored surfers from Brazil have been super affected by this pandemic. So when Adriano contacted me, I was like ‘I’m down, count me in’. The main goal is to help all the amazing talent who right now are without any support.”
Yago goes a little farther. “Of course the idea is to help guys who are struggling and also lift spirits up a little bit. But, more specifically, this contest sheds light on a sad reality: there are way too many talented surfers without support. Bico Branco is a slap in the face of surf companies here in Brazil—because, with rare exceptions, they haven’t supported surfing nor given anything back to the sport.”
The response to @bicobranco has been pretty significant—in less than a week, the account had more than 7k followers.
“The feedback has been super positive,” Yago continues. “A lot of people want to get involved in future editions, which we’re already planning. We want to do a girls’ online contest soon. We just wanted to do something and keep the stoke alive during these proving times.”
The winners will be chosen this weekend. Follow @bicobranco for updates.
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