A dream of mine came true when I visiting one of the last day of the Rip Curl Pro surf World Championship 2013 tour.
The event took place at the legendary, world-class spot Superturbos at the peninsula Peniche.
This place has one of Portugal's absolute best beach breaks and is named "Suberturbos", because of it's queen waves. The waves are extremely fast, long and tubular.
On the day I went to see the contest, the tubes were awesome, but only on occasion. The event takes place within a given period of time. The time schedule has space for "bad" days, so the organizers annouce wether the contest is on of off during the morning each day. We and the event organizers waited and dreamed for a better swell forecast, but it made due - some perfect waves showed and everything else wasn't half bad.
I only had a periphabel acquaintance with the pro-surfers. I only knew a few names and titles. Since surfing isn't really a big thing among us danes, it's hard to chase the contests and sport on first hand. To be there was a big thing for me.
I captured a few close ups of some of the biggest stars, but I was unlucky and didn't shoot the winner of 2013: Kai Otton from Australia.
Go to http://www.redbull.com/en/surfing if you feel like seing more pictures and get some actual experts' words on specific tricks, the surfers and so on.
In surfing contexts you can always expect the presence of guuuurls
That lazy baywatchman had the best view...
As audience you either sit in the VIP area, at the beach banks or stand right next to the ocean. Love that the conditions determining this sport is something we human beings can't control. The "perfect" sweel comes if all the right elements (as for example air, water, wind, current) mix well together. If it doesn't mix well the contest just have to wait or stick with what nature feels like giving.
Adriano de Souza from Brazil were a favorite, but he narrowly lost out.
But he sure did dazzle the crowd in the process!
Souza taking a moment
John John Florence
This man apparently thought he was in a desert somewhere in the east....
This highly exposed dude made it possible to go and see the contest! Thanks again Sergio
Mick Fanning 2 x champ - didn't become a 3-timer though. BUT he just won the Billabong Pipe Masters at Hawaii mid december!
Fanning also took a moment. He mumbled some words with closed eyes and his hand folded or rubbing in circles as in the picture. I guess he probably asked for luck and success in the heat waiting for him.
But I'm also pretty sure that these "ambassadors of the ocean " has a great, great respect for the environment their sport takes place in. Both to keep the nature protected but also for the sake of their own safety. No matter if you're a pro surfer, there will always be conditions beyond your abilities. The ocean is not controlled and I guess these surfers from time to time do send out some prayers for them to stay alive.
Aerials are awesome!!
So are sun, skin and surfing