Who knows me well knows that, every year, I don’t miss the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, one of the stops of the World Championship Tour. After all, it’s not every day that we have pro surfers live and in colors in front of us.
I remember well the first time that this championship landed in Portugal ten years ago, not the way we know it today, but as a Search. The Search was a format support by surf brand Rip Curl that every year took the world’s best surfers to a surprise surfing location. In 2008, Peniche was this destination, and the event never left again.
The Supertubos beach and the outskirts of Peniche offer excellent surfing conditions and annually the WSL arrives in the village to set up competition.
This year was no different. It began on October, 16 and lasted until the 20 and on the last day was the all or nothing. With the Portuguese surfers leaving early the contest, the public turned all support to Gabriel Medina, the Brazilian who could claim the new world title in Portugal.
The goal wasn’t achieved, and the decision passed to the next and last stage of the year in Hawaii, but the party continued Brazilian style, with Italo Ferreira lifting the cup in the end.
Every year I ponder whether or not I go to Peniche to see the WCT (World Championship Tour) and every year I end up not resisting and going.
I think of the crowds, the discomfort that can be staying on the beach hours waiting for the event to begin, risking to catch a sunburn or getting wet with rain. But the energy you feel on the beach — yes, the Portuguese fans are the greatest! 😉 — the privilege of watching amazing surf, the battles in the water, the joys and sorrows of winners and losers, all make it worth the trip.
So, if you ask me if you should travel to Peniche to attend MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, I will answer that “yes, no doubt!”
Of course, there are always certain factors to take into consideration, such as the ones I leave here:
How to Prepare Your Trip to MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal
If you are traveling from a distance, book accommodation well in advance, as the stays usually fill by this time.
And if you are from afar and want to follow the whole championship, know that the waiting period (the period during which the competition can take place, subject to the conditions of the sea) can be ten days, so it’s maybe better to schedule some vacation time. Even if the event takes place within four days, you can always use the time left to discover the region.
Before leaving the house check the WSL website to see if the event is on so that the trip is not in vain.
Arrive early at the venue, especially if it’s a weekend or the last day of competition. As a rule, the affluence to the beach is huge, so go early and ensure a good place for the car and at the beach.
And why not share a ride with someone who’s also going? It saves annoyances and the environment thanks you.
On championship days, the heats may start right away or stay on hold for several hours. Get ready to spend a lot of time on the sand. Take food, drinks, and a chair or towel, so you are comfortable. There’s a food court on site if you don’t want to carry a lot of things with you, but you may have to deal with queues.
Before you go, inquire about the weather. Protect yourself with a sun hat or raincoat, depending on the forecast. And don’t forget a sweater because mornings are usually quite cold by this time.
Lastly and very important: don’t leave rubbish in the sand and don’t step on the dunes. Respect the beach! Set an example.
If you have any questions about MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, please leave it in the comments box. I’ll be happy to respond. If you’ve already gone to Peniche to watch the contest, tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your opinion.
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