Portuguese wildcards press the red button at Supertubos

October 23, 2015 | Surfing
Vasco Ribeiro: a junior champion knows what he's doing | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

Two Portuguese wildcards have caused the first upsets of the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, in the opening round of competition held in Supertubos, Peniche.

Vasco Ribeiro, the 2014 world junior surfing champion, sent Owen Wright and Michel Bourez to the repechage heat with an efficient performance in the small waves.

"My strategy was to start strong with a couple of good scores because it's hard to find the right waves. It paid off, and I'm really happy," expressed Ribeiro.

"It's amazing to feel all the support from all the Portuguese fans. I'm going to do my best to surf well and win a couple of more heats."

But Frederico Morais wanted to follow his countryman's footsteps. The Portuguese powerhouse attacked the left-handers, and defeated the number two surfer in the world right now, Adriano de Souza.

"I'm stoked. It's challenging out there, but there are fun waves. I was against one of the most consistent surfers on tour right now Adriano; I needed a 9.2, so I knew I had to give everything if I wanted to be back in the heat and do something big, something powerful," added Morais.

Only Mick Fanning survived the Portuguese cyclone. The Australian pushed Tiago Pires and Sebastian Zietz to the ropes and earned an important ticket to Round 3.

"We saw three dominant peaks, and I counted all the waves on each different peak; I had a gameplan before I got ready. When you see guys falter in front of you, you realize what can happen, so you just have to stick to your game," explained Fanning.

Kelly Slater arrived from London at 6 am, but managed to put his recent injuries aside and won his the first heat at Supertubos.

"I got that injury about 10-12 days ago in France, and I thought it was going to be debilitating, I haven't surfed in about a week and have been taking some time off," told Slater.

"I felt alright, and when the adrenaline goes you don't think about it so much. I saw the forecast indicating we could get some really big barrels, and I didn't want to miss that if it happened."

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2015 | Round 2 Match-Ups

Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Mason Ho (HAW)
Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Wigolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
John John Florence (HAW) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Kai Otton (AUS) vs. C.J Hobgood (USA)
Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

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