Words and photos by Posy Dixon
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to the Rip Curl Pro in Peniche, Portugal for an awesome week with riders and press travelling from all over the globe to attend the competition. Here are a few blurry Hipstamatic shots (my camera is broken) of my trip.
I rocked up to Lisbon to the news that the girls event had already wrapped up, with Hawaiian super-star on the rise Carissa Moore taking the title off Stephanie Gilmore. General consensus on the block was that the girls were ripping it up, with the standards rising by the day.
Travelling into Peniche (a beautiful fishing town just an hour our of Lisbon) it was clear the Rip Curl Pro was big news in town, flags flying high welcoming all the international visitors and a general buzz as news flew around each day about the heats, who was in and who was out of each round.
There were two separate sites for the competition – ‘Supertubos’ – which is kind of like the Portuguese equivalent of Pipeline, and another site at ‘Belgas’, a peninsular just ten minutes out of town. The competition roved between the two sites depending on the wind and the swell (which seemed to change each day), ensuring Rip Curl had their work cut out of them, seamlessly moving the huge infrastructure the Supertubos beach to a small cover 4 K down a dirt track at Belgas. They coped incredibly well however, and people flocked to each site each day, enjoying front row views of the worlds top surfers shredding the 2 – 3 meter waves.
As well as watching a lot of spectacular surfing I was lucky enough to have a beginners surf lesson (on the small waves handily placed right next door to Supertubos) which was great as we got to use all the new Rip Curl wetsuits and boards... all the gear and no idea. I also rented this low-slung cruiser and had a good explore all over town.
Each night there were amazing spreads laid on – either bbq’s on the beach or meals at local restaurants. We met the mayor of Peniche (total dude) and sampled some seriously weird Portuguese deserts (a purple yogurt that tasted like blue cheese and a strange green jelly). Michelle from Rip Curl introduced us to the whole crew and many new friends were made!
On the last day I interviewed the amazing Hanalei who was out at the competition having a bash a TV presenting with her new behind the scenes podcast The Hanalei Show. She was funny, inspiring and stunning, an amazing girl and the perfect ambassador for Rip Curl. Watching my final sunset of the trip, I packed up my bags and headed back to London – already looking forward to next year.
Thanks Peniche for a good one!
You can watch footage from the Rip Curl Pro Peniche and keep up to date with all the ASP tour news at aspworldtour.com