Mick Fanning: pitted at Supertubos | Photo: Poullenot/ASP

The Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2015 is a decisive stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT). Mick Fanning is in the driving seat, but Adriano de Souza is ready to take control of the rankings.

Only 450 points separate the Brazilian from the Australian. Peniche and its Supertubos will likely define the remaining title contenders before Pipeline shuts the door and crowns a world champion.

However, Fanning can still celebrate a fourth trophy in Portuguese waters. He needs to win the event and hope De Souza loses early.

"It's always great to come back to Portugal, the town and the country always put on a great event for us. Supertubos can be heaven or hell. When it’s good, it’s an amazing wave. And then sometimes it gets extremely tricky. You can get lost easily out there. That’s the beauty of it, and part of our sport," explains Mick Fanning.

"I look at it as another two weeks of work. Some days you want to sleep in. [But] it's time to put the head down. You can either celebrate or commiserate come the end of the year."

Adriano de Souza wants to get back on top of the rankings. The Brazilian hopes to surf enough to send the ultimate decisions to Hawaii. He won Peniche in 2011, and he wants to repeat the feat in 2015.

"Basically, I keep my head up, because I need to work pretty hard to catch Mick. He’s sitting on a comfortable seat at this stage. The rest of the guys need to work really hard to get there, and I’m one of those guys. So the only choice I have is to work hard, and put my head down," added De Souza.

For Owen Wright and Gabriel Medina, the race is still not over. It will be hard for them to catch up, but the pressure is definitely off their shoulder.

This time, Dane Reynolds won't compete as a wildcard. Three Portuguese surfers - Tiago Pires, Frederico Morais, and Vasco Ribeiro - will try to shine in their home turf.

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2015 | Round 1 Matchups

Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Mason Ho (HAW)
Julian Wilson (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Owen Wright (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Kelly Slater (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Italo Ferreira (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Nat Young (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Bede Durbidge (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Josh Kerr (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)