Rip Curl Pro Portugal: big waves expected

The greatest assemblage of surfing talent in history has converged onto the quaint Portuguese township of Peniche for Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, running from October 7 – 18, 2010.

Culminating the European leg of the season, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal comes at a crucial time for the 2010 ASP World Title race, with four surfers remaining in the hunt.

Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion and defending Rip Curl Pro Portugal winner, scored his first victory of the year last week in France, vaulting himself to No. 3 on the 2010 ASP World Title Race rankings. Despite the recent momentum from Fanning, the prodigious natural-footer is contemplative when discussing his campaign through the remaining three events.

“In reality, Kelly (Slater) has a pretty solid lead at the moments and I’ll need a few more Hail Marys here in the back three events,” Fanning said. “He (Slater) has been on an incredible roll over the past three events and it will take something special to catch him. That said, I typically enjoy the back part of the year. It seems when everyone is getting a bit burned out, I thrive a little more. I feel more burned out at the start of the season.”

Fanning will battle former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, Kelly Slater (USA), 38, Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, for the 2010 ASP World Title.

When Rip Curl Pro Portugal competition commences, Fanning will face compatriot Daniel Ross (AUS), 27, and Trials Winner Marlon Lipke (DEU), 26, in Round 1 of competition.

Tiago Pires (PRT), 30, current ASP World No. 15, is the first surfer ever to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour and will represent Portugal amongst the world’s best.

“It’s an honor to be here representing my country,” Pires said. “A few years ago, we lost the WT event in Portugal and that was very sad. Now it looks like this event is here to stay and it’s a great thing. Last year, I didn’t have a very good event here. I lost in my first heat. I guess I put some pressure on myself, but pressure is good. I’m having a good year this year and I hope I can come back and do my country proud.”

Pires battles Adrian Buchan (AUS), 28, and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, in the opening round of competition.

Running in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro Portugal is the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Portugal, featuring the ASP Top 17.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, is coming off a lengthy mid-year break and is excited about donning the competition singlet once again.

“I’ve had a great time mixing it up in the big cities, remote Indonesia, California and some quality time at home to freshen up my headspace,” Gilmore said. “I think I'm simply just excited to compete in a World Tour event again. I was starting to miss this environment, and I’m looking forward to getting some solid swell over the next few days.”

Gilmore faces Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 20, and Cannelle Bulard (FRA), 16, in the opening round of competition.

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 2: Dane Reynolds (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adam Melling (AUS), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS), Marlon Lipke (DEU)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS), Chris Davidson (AUS), Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Bobby Martinez (USA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 12: Andy Irons (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

Heat 1:Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Heat 2:Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 3:Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Cannelle Bulard (FRA)
Heat 4:Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Justin Dupont (FRA)
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Nicola Atherton (AUS)
Heat 6:Coco Ho (HAW), Carissa Moore (HAW), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)

Stoked and Broke: like in our everyday lives

In a time where many surfers pay $3.000 for a surf trip in uncrowded waves, Ryan Burch and Cyrus Sutton set off on a thirty mile, eight day walk through San Diego, California, with no money in their pockets.

With a fantastic soundtrack by The Blank Tapes and Mike McCarthy, "Stoked and Broke" shows how these guys made their own boards, bamboo rickshaws, solar cookers and hobo stoves to survive the absence of capitalist practices.

This incredible tour of innovative and creative ways of living the purist surf life is debuting in theatres and will be available in DVD.

Meanwhile, watch the funny trailer.

Dan Corbett: where's the surfer? | Photo:

The competition window for the 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy runs through the end of Winter next March, but already a tsunami of entries have been received thanks to a run of massive swells in the Southern Hemisphere in recent weeks.

The Billabong XXL Awards recognize the best rides and biggest waves challenged by top surfers at every break on the planet at any time of the year, with the winners decided based on the photographic evidence.

While it’s been a banner year for extra-hollow surfing focal points like Tasmania, Fiji and Mexico (which have produced loads of entries in the Monster Tube category), the XXL Biggest Wave division had been off to a slow start – until yesterday, October 4. That was when a huge Indian Ocean storm lashed Western Australia with a massive swell and a spot known as the “Outer Bombie” of Margaret River came to life -- with Dan Corbett of nearby Dunsborough there to take it on, face to face.

Late in the afternoon, with the help of a jet ski assist, the 23-year-old Corbett dropped into a 50-foot-plus wave which is one of the biggest seen worldwide this year, and one of the bigger waves ever challenged in Australia.

Photographer Jamie Scott ( was there to capture the moment and make it eligible for Billabong XXL Biggest Wave contention. However, Scott did not take too long to relish the moment as a new, bigger round of surf was expected to arrive right away.

“Tomorrow’s swell is meant to be bigger,” said Scott, “peaking in the morning and the winds straight offshore so we’ll just have to see I suppose....”

The XXL event’s global nature has been very clear this year, with spots all over South America filling the event website with a great diversity of big wave action. Chile, Peru and Brazil have all been represented in record numbers, both by surfers and surf spots. The other big producers include the perennially amazing Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania and an epic day of tubes at the exotic Fijian reef pass known as Cloudbreak. Puerto Escondido, Mexico has also produced a number of entries thanks to Southern Hemisphere swells making their way up to North America. All the entries can be easily accessed and viewed at the event website at

In the coming weeks, the attention of big wave aficionados will turn to the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches and giant storms unleash their oceanic fury on Hawaii, the US West Coast and Europe. Thanks to modern surf forecasting at, the dozens of top big wave riders who chase each swell are able to easily cross half the world to be where the biggest waves will be with only a few days’ notice.

The 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards feature an array of categories including the $50,000 Ride of the Year, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and the Verizon Wipeout of the Year. There are also “world champ” awards for the Surfline Best Overall Performance (male) and the Billabong Girls Best Performance (female). The event features over $120,000 in cash prizes for the surfers and photographers who are celebrated at a gala awards function in Southern California each April.