Oi Rio Pro forecast
Approaching the halfway mark of the Championship Tour, the surfers now head to Brazil for the Oi Rio Pro - curiously held 100 kms away at Saquarema.
Brazil has a reputation for small, short-period beachbreaks, which is only partly true, reefbreaks are thin on the ground so most surfing is done over sand, however the surf is bigger and more consistent than what international commenters might guess. Large stretches of the Brazilian coastline face south and receive regular barrages of swell rounding Tierra del Fuego and pushing up the Atlantic, and Saquarema is one of them.
Last year, Barrinha, which is the back up location for the contest, had a bed of sand running parallel to the newly constructed breakwall, making for some of the better waves of the 2018 tour. The organisers moved the contest from the primary location of Itauna, at the eastern end of the beach, down to Barrinha for three days of the contest, including the finals.
Filipe Toledo, Barrinha, 2019 (WSL/Poullenot)
While we don't have any on-the-ground reports on the state of the Barrinha sand, we can say that the Oi Rio Pro will get moderate levels of swell through the first half of the waiting period.
The opening day is this Thursday, 20th June, and the event will kick off with clean 3-4 ft waves, however it'll be short-lived as the morning offshore will be interrupted by a sou-west change linked to a low spawning off the coast. The organisers may get a half-day of heats in if they wish.
The sou-west change will generate a large groundswell for Friday (see image below), getting up to 6 ft, but conditions will be poor with an onshore S/SE wind.
Saturday will dawn lumpy as the onshore eases and northerly winds (tending east-northeast) will move in and create cleaner conditions. The improved surface conditions will combine with a slow decline in size from 4-5ft Saturday, down to around 3ft+ on Sunday. It should be a great weekend of surfing, sand quality notwithstanding.
That takes us four days into the waiting period, and it's important to note here that the Oi Rio Pro has only a nine day waiting period. It's the shortest waiting period of the season....well, except for the Surf Ranch comp.
So, approaching the halfway mark the organisers should hopefully have two full days of competition completed, plus one or two half days to tick off the seeding and elimination rounds.
There are no new swells due through the early part of next week, meaning Monday and Tuesday will see the surf gradually declining in size before a new mid-period S/SE arrives sometime during the middle of the week. Pinning down the exact time is hard from this far out.
The organisers will be fixing their hopes on the quality of the mid-week swell to finish both the Men's and Women's contest in good waves.
Stay tuned to the comments below for any updates.
Also, if you're curious about how rockwalls can be shaped to help surfers, reread this 2018 article about Barrinha.