Damien Hobgood: this is Portugal

Temperatures in Portugal are high with the mercury levels reaching 35ºC. Sunny skies, no wind and glassy waves will be on offer to the world's best surfers at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2011, in Supertubos, Peniche.

The stars of the surfing circuit are now traveling from France in the inaugural Medina Airlines, a company showing good signs of prosperity in the future.

Rookie phenom Gabriel Medina secured his first elite tour win in his second event as an ASP Top 34 member and he will try repeat the stunt in the beachbreaks of Supertubos, Peniche.

The iconic Portuguese barrels will greet everyone in the south of the country and everybody is stoked. “It’s been a very exciting few days,” Medina said. “I’m very excited about going to Portugal and hopefully we get some big barrels.”

Kelly Slater, defending Rip Curl Pro Portugal Champion and current ASP World No. 1, will be out for a repeat performance from last year and another banner result in Portugal could see the iconic Floridian further his lead over the field.

“We’re probably expecting good barrels,” Slater said. “I think the forecast is looking good for a start in the first few days and it will be fun to get some solid waves.”

The Rip Curl Pro Portugal will host the world's best surfers from October 15th–24th and will be webcast live.

ASP World Title Top 5 (Heading into Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Owen Wright (AUS)
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
4. Taj Burrow (AUS)
5. Jordy Smith (ZAF)