HAWAIIAN superstar John John Florence will head in to Tuesday’s Rip Curl Pro in Portugal with a chance to take home a maiden world surf title.
The current world number one will need results to fall his way at Supertubos if he’s to take home the coveted trophy, with several surfers also a chance to take the crown.
“I’m super excited to be here,” Florence said.
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“The forecast is looking good and I know what this wave can do – we’ve seen it a few years back. I’m excited for getting barreled and for a great event.”
His nearest rival, Gabriel Medina, has closed the gap and sits just 2,700 points behind the Hawaiin after a runner-up finish in France.
If Medina makes it into the quarterfinals, the title race will automatically be sent to Hawaii.
“I’m very happy to be back in Peniche,” said Medina.
“It’s a place I like and the waves are really good. I hope everyone has a good event. I’m feeling confident and I’ve had some good results at the past few events. After france I’m closer to the top and I’m going to give it my best.”
Florence can only become WSL Champion in the following scenarios:
- If Florence wins the event and Gabriel Medina (BRA) finishes no higher than 9th
- If Florence finishes 2nd, Medina finishes no higher than 13th, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) finishes no higher than 3rd and Jordy Smith (ZAF) finishes no higher than 2nd
- Gabriel Medina (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Kolohe Andino (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) all still have a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Surfline, official forecast partner of the WSL, are calling for:
Winds associated with Hurricane Nicole will set up long period W swell that fills in on Tuesday PM and continues for the middle and second half of the week with generally light winds and favorable conditions. An active North Atlantic provides the potential for stronger NW/WNW windswell/swell for next weekend and into the early/middle part of the following week but local winds and conditions look dicey at this point.
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) Miguel Pupo (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA), Miguel Blanco (PRT)
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Adriano De Souza (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 12: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW)