The Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro, the fourth and penultimate stage of the MEO Surf 2022 League, the first division of national surfing, has a call scheduled for 6:30 am this Friday, in the sands of Santa Bárbara – 7:30 am in mainland Portugal.
The best national surfers are ready to shine on the waves of the Azores on a stage that, in addition to being the last of the three Allianz Triple Crown events, could crown the women’s national champion, with Teresa Bonvalot just needing to reach the final to guarantee the title in advance.
The Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro is thus preparing to receive the best national surfers, in an environment of great expectations. Teresa Bonvalot, Frederico Morais, and Vasco Ribeiro also join several local surfing talents, with emphasis on “captain” Jácome Correia, who has been competing for several years in the MEO Surf League.
Jácome Correia, Azorean surfer and national top 20
“It is a great pleasure to host the MEO Surf League at home. I remember that the first championship I saw in my life was a stage of the National Surf Championship, also on the sands of Santa Bárbara. At the time, surfing for me was a weekend game. Now, no kidding, I can play here too. I think the circuit should look more at the islands, including other islands where surfing still doesn’t have as much weight. The arrival of the MEO Surf League to São Miguel turns out to be extremely important, as we already have some training athletes, and this event, as well as the international ones that exist here, end up playing an essential role in the training of these young people. I hope that everyone enjoys the island to the fullest, as well as its waves and that they maintain respect for our intact nature. It will feel great to compete at home, with my family supporting me.”
In addition to Jácome, the most “international” and renowned Azorean surfer today, other young talents will be in action, such as Manuel Morgado, Diogo Viegas, Peter Healion, Afonso Albergaria and wildcards Francisco Benjamin and Pilar Filipe.
Francisco Benjamin, Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro men’s wildcard
“I consider it very important to have a stage of the MEO Surf League here in the Azores. Not only for bringing the best national surfers here but also for giving local surfers the opportunity to get in the water and train with these great surfers. It will be my debut in the MEO Surf League. It’s a new experience, which I’ll see as a learning experience, although I hope to have a good result.”
In turn, Pilar Filipe is happy to face national surfing references and show all her potential in the waves she knows well, in a competition in which she will be competing alongside her brother, Jácome Correia.
Pilar Filipe, Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro women’s wildcard
“I hope that this participation will be a good experience for me against the best national surfers, without putting too high expectations. I’m a friend and fan of Teresa Bonvalot. I really liked that she won the stage and that she entered a heat in front of her. I’ve been to several local championships with my family, but this time it’s going to be different because it’s going to be against athletes I’ve never surfed with. It’s also good to be in competition with my brother, who is a great example for me.”
Regarding the forecasts for the three days of competition, it is expected that there will be enough swell for the national surfing stars to shine brightly in the Azorean waves. Francisco Morgado, event director, is optimistic about this long-awaited return of the MEO Surf League to the Azores.
Francisco Morgado, event director of the MEO Surf League
“The expectations are good for the Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro, in this return of the national circuit to the Azores. The first two days of competition promise to have satisfactory conditions in the sands of Santa Bárbara. On the last day of the race, there are expectations for the entry of a new swell, which can help to brighten even more the crowning of the champions of this stage.”
Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro schedule (subject to change):
Day 1 – Friday, June 24
06:30 – First-day call for Women’s or Men’s Round 1 (to be confirmed)
9:00 am – Lecture on the protection of the oceans and beach cleaning conducted by Jerónimo Martins and with around 90 children from schools in the municipality of Ribeira Grande.
Day 2 – Saturday, June 25
07:00 – Call of the second day of competition (to be confirmed)
Day 3 – Sunday, June 26
07:00 – Call third day of competition (to be confirmed)
14h00 – Female and male Go Chill Expression (to be confirmed)
16:00 – Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro Finals (to be confirmed)
17h00 – Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro Pro prize delivery (to be confirmed)
In dispute at this Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro will also be the best wave of the stage through the Joaquim Chaves Saúde Best Wave award, while the Bom Petisco Girls Score will distinguish the best female score. Added to this is the fight for the Go Chill Expression Session, both for men and women. Finally, there is also the prize awarded by the Ribeira Grande City Council to the best local surfers.
Fantasy Surfer – Place your bets at fantasy.ansurfistas.com
Prize-winning stage: Rip Curl Search GPS 2 Watch
Deadline for setting up teams: until 6:30 am on Friday
On television, the Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro can be watched live on Sport TV, as well as on other official media: MEO facebook, MEO app – available at position 810 of the MEO channel grid, and at www.ansurfistas.com and social networks at @ansurfistas.
The MEO Surf 2022 League is an organization of the National Association of Surfers and Fire!, sponsored by MEO, Allianz Seguros, Joaquim Chaves Saúde, Bom Petisco, Go Chill, Somersby, Corona and Rip Curl, sustainability partner Jerónimo Martins, local support from the Ribeira Grande City Council, and technical support from the Azores Surf Club and the Portuguese Surfing Federation.