World Surf Championship Tour – Supertubos Peniche

Early February saw the start of another Championship Tour (CT) season at Pipeline, Hawaii. The second stage of the competition also took place in Hawaii, this time at Sunset Beach. The third event of the 2024 series is about to start right here in Portugal! The MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal will welcome the world’s elite surfers to Peniche and see them surf the famous Supertubos, a spot known for barrel waves. The Portuguese session is scheduled for 6–16March.

For those less familiar with the surfing world, the Championship Tour is a yearly competition of the best-ranked surfers, according to the World Surf League, which ultimately crowns the world champion at the end of the season. The tour has a separate male and female competition, competing in 10 different locations around the globe. The defending champion is Filipe Toledo from Brazil, who did not have a great start this year in Hawaii and had to quit the first stage due to health complications has recently announced his retirement from this year’s competition. In the women’s competition, Caroline Marks from the US will fight to reach the world title for a consecutive year.

For most of its part, the tour is a point system race. Each location has a series of eliminating rounds or heats, culminating in a final heat between two surfers. Participating athletes will accrue points depending on how well they perform at each event. Obviously, winners take the most points for the next round with a stage trophy and prizes are awarded. The point system is in play until the very last event when the ’final five’ – those with the most points – compete to decide the world title. The champion will not be crowned until the final, which in 2024 is scheduled for September in Lower Trestles, San Clemente, California.

Five judges score each wave from zero to 10 points. The highest and lowest votes are discarded and the average of the remaining three votes is the score for the wave. Surfers can ride as many waves as they want in their heat, but only the two best waves will add up to make their heat score. Elements considered by the jury are speed, style, and power. The main things judges will look out for are the combination of manoeuvres, commitment, and how the competitor surfs each wave. Surprisingly, for some, the size of the wave is not in itself an element to judge, although it does have a massive effect on the other factors. The best ride will score the perfect 10 score but this is not easily done. Even harder is the dream 20-point heat score, when a surfer is awarded two 10-point waves during a single heat.

Amongst the competing athletes is Kelly Slater, arguably the surf GOAT (greatest of all time) and 11-time World Champion. Kelly is still competing at the highest level despite his tender age of 52! This is likely to be the last opportunity to see this amazing sportsman competing in Portugal. 

The 11 Brazilian athletes currently on tour will bring a lot of support to Supertubos from the many Brazilians living in Portugal.

Frederico Morais, aka “Kikas”, is the Portuguese presence in this tournament and one of only two European athletes featured in a league dominated by Brazilians, Americans, Aussies and Hawaiians. The 32-year-old surfer from Cascais is currently ranked 30 on the WSL and will attract a lot of attention on the beach, where the local crowd will be cheering for him. 

For now, let’s see what the Atlantic conditions bring to Supertubos and … GO KIKAS!!

Championship Tour 2024 – Dates and Locations

  • Event 1: Pipeline, Hawaii Jan 29 – Feb 10
  • Event 2: Sunset Beach, Hawaii Feb 12 – 22
  • Event 3: Supertubos, Portugal Mar 6 – 16
  • Event 4: Bells Beach, Australia Mar 26 – Apr 5
  • Event 5: Margaret River, Australia Apr 11 – 21
  • Event 6: Teahupo’o, Tahiti May 22 – 31
  • Event 7: Punta Roca, El Salvador Jun 6 – 15
  • Event 8: Saquarema, Brazil Jun 22 – 30
  • Event 9: Cloudbreak, Fiji Aug 20 – 29
  • Event 10: Lower Trestles, US Sep 6 – 14

By the way, you can watch the full CT live on YouTube and other streams


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