Oi Rio Pro Event Forecast & Breakdown

3 May 2017 0

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

Saquerama's beach break, Image from Google

Saquerama's beach break, Image from Google

COASTALWATCH | 2017 Oi RIO PRO 9 - 30 May 

This year the Rio Pro has been moved up to the east the event's previous home in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Here's a little breakdown of the now location, who's in form and what the forecast is looking like for the waiting period. 

LOCATION

SAQUAREMA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 
This town, about 50 k’s or so along the coastline east of Rio, is a more relaxed vibe than its nearby state capital, but will provide a significant improvement in surf for the CT crew. (Those we talked with at Bells all said they’re gonna miss the nightlife, but it’s worth it for the waves.) Saquarema has been the site for the QS10,000 Quiksilver Pro for a few years now, so if you’ve watched any of that online you’ll know what to expect. At one end of the beach there’s a long North Narra style left with a series of solid though slightly fractured sections, at the other there’s a right-hand wedge with plenty of muscle. Both spots are in the play for the event. Like Rio’s beachies, it’s exposed to heavy south groundswells which are common this time of year. Expect it to favour power and variety, with natural footers maybe having an edge in the right wedge.

FORM

BURNING IT UP
Everyone who ripped in Australia. The form should essentially hold true to what we saw here. There will be a shift down in board lengths which may detract slightly from JJF’s dominance in Oz; his smaller boards weren’t quite as twinkly as those 6’2” pins. But, yeah, if you made a semi in Australia, man or woman, you’ll be a contender here.

IN WITH A SHOT
Local wildcards. They’re gonna know the spot and they’re gonna know how to surf heats. Outside the top few men, you’ve gotta imagine Gabriel Medina will be frothing to de-embarrass himself after a slow start. Julian Wilson missed big results here by tiny fractions and is one of the hidden form surfers at present. The qualifiers look super fresh and have experience at the location too, Connor O’Leary should have a warning light attached as should Freestone and Joan Duru. Of the women, well there’s the top six, who’ll be fighting out the title between them, but Johanne Defay, Bronte Macaulay and Keely Andrew are outsider tips for semis.

WAITING FOR THE PACIFIC LEG
Kelly, Jeremy Flores, Ace, Frederico Morais, Fanning, Parko

Check out the lineup for round one.

SURF FORECAST

The South Atlantic’s been pretty god damn active lately and the trend should continue in the week leading up to Oi, with a deep and powerful low moving off Patagonia around May 4 and shifting into the central South Atlantic by around May 6.

While most of the energy from this storm is focused on south-west Africa (Skeleton Bay anyone?), a fair bit of S and SSE swell should move behind it and spin off toward the very south-facing Rio coastline. Landfall for this swell may be a day early for the event but there should be enough grunt in the leftovers to get a first day kickoff. Local winds look to be NE which is favourable for the Saquarema left.

Further out, the forecast looks a little bit like too much computer guesswork at this stage, but we’ll be surprised if that first swell isn’t followed by something of a similar variety — maybe a touch smaller — within three or four days. Beyond that? Let’s wait and see.

Saquerama's rights, Photo provided

Saquerama's rights, Photo provided

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