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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 21 May 2018

Brazilians and Aussies dominate the top 10 surfers in the world after thousands of Brazilians cheered home boy Filipe Toledo into a win at the Oi Rio Pro on the weekend, writes Spike.

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AUDIENCE ADULATION: Brazil celebrates the home run hit by Filipe Toledo. Photo WSL / Poullenot

A capacity crowd at backup site Barrinha in Saquarema went ballistic as Toledo rocketed from ninth to second on the Jeep Leaderboard after he defeated rookie Wade Carmichael of Australia in the final. Barrinha again delivered hollow, barrelling surf, with solid six foot sets enabling some deep tube rides. The result powers Carmicheal 11 spots into 5th place going into the next event in Bali, which is halfway on the Championship Tour.

With Toledo, Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina breathing down his neckDespite his elimination by Toledo in the semifinals, Julian Wilson's third-place here and win on the Gold Coast keeps him at the front of the pack, but must now fend off three Brazilians on his tail, with Toledo, Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina breathing down his neck.

Sadly for Saffa fans - and this is becoming an oft repeated line of late - Jordy Smith and Mikey February languish towards the bottom of the rankings. Jordy's third consecutive 13th drops him another five spots into 25th spot. Mikey drops four places into 30th spot after his 2nd 25th of the year.

He is a rookie though, so we can forgive him the first season jitters, but the big man has to find some form going into the Corona Bali Pro. If he can get a result at Keramas (May 27 to 9 June), and back that up with something at J-Bay a month later, Jordy could claw his way back into contention.

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WADING IN: Rookie Wade Carmichael pulls in front of the 2018 class. Photo WSL / Poullenot

Toledo earned his second CT win in Brazil and the sixth of his career, and now lies well in the World Title conversation. With this kind of BMT - the 23-year-old has yet to lose in a final - disount the pocket rocket at your peril.

The Aussies are back, and the Brazilian storm rumbles on.Interestingly, apart from Ezekiel Lau (6th), who is Hawaiian, you need to go all the way to 12th to find the first competitor with a United States to their name (Griffin Colapinto). The Aussies are back, and the Brazilian storm rumbles on. Only Michel Bourez (French Polynesia) and Lau interrupt their dominance in the top 10.

"It is emotional to win here in Brazil in front of this crowd,” said Toledo. “Coming back home and having this amazing support from the crowd, especially for my baby Koa, it is unbelievable. My son and my family are motivation for me. I am one of those athletes who performs well under pressure. Koa means warrior and I definitely was a warrior to go out there and get that trophy.”

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POCKET AERIAL: Filipe Toledo has not lost a CT final in his career. Photo WSL / Poullenot

Toledo took wins against Carmichael, Wilson (semifinals), and American Kolohe Andino (quarterfinals). Toledo, who was the first and only surfer to score a perfect 10 in Brazil, heads to Bali just 1,340 points behind Wilson.

“The Final is a win or it is a second,” continued Toledo. “It is the last heat and the last chance. That is what I put on my mind. It is time, the big show, my stage, and my passion. I think Barrinha the last few days has been amazing, and I’ve been training here since I’ve gotten here. It was amazing to surf over here."

Australia’s Carmichael had a breakthrough result today with his first Final on the elite CT. The 25-year-old from the Central Coast played spoiler by overcoming Brazilian hero and 2014 WSL Champion, Gabriel Medina (BRA), in the quarterfinals and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in the semifinals. Carmichael was the best of the 2018 rookie class and the result puts him in firm contention for Rookie of the Year.

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FLYING SOLO: Julian Wilson's third place keeps him (just) in front. Photo WSL / Poullenot

“My surfing was working and I did not change much and stuck to my guns, and it all came together. There is a lot of power in this wave, and I always love getting barreled. The crowd is electric. Even though it is not for me, it still feels good and it is epic to see. I am still learning, soaking it up, and enjoying my time.”

Toledo notched up a deep barrel for a near-perfect 9.93 (out of a possible 10) to put the early pressure on Carmichael. Toledo sealed it with another tube for a 7.17.

For Wilson, his consistency has paid off, despite the shoulder injury and being away from his family: “It has been hard being away from my little girl and my wife, and to come over here and dig out a good result feels really good. Kerammas is one of my favorite waves. We will see what we get this year at Bali. We could get perfect barrels and nobody is going to complain, but it could be four foot with some wind on it and everyone could raise the bar.”

Brazilian superstars Medina, Yago Dora, and Michael Rodrigues fell in the quarterfinals and exit in Equal 5th place. Check www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

Oi Rio Pro Final
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.10
2 - Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.00

Oi Rio Pro Semifinal
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.37 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 5.63
SF 2: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.17 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.27

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Quarterfinal
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.84 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.93
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.20 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 9.83
QF 3: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.40 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 3.63
QF 4: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.86 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 8.30

2018 WSL Men's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Oi Rio Pro)
1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 19,415 pts
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18,075 pts
3 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14,995 pts
4 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14,160 pts
5 - Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13,585 pts

2018 WSL Women's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Oi Rio Pro)
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 29,490 pts
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 25,630 pts
3 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 20,020 pts
4 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 18,980 pts
5 - Caroline Marks (USA) 17,000 pts

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