Oi Rio Pro 2022 - Congratulations Carissa Moore & Filipe Toledo
Posted by DAVID KELLY
Oi Rio Pro 2022
Anyone who underestimates the power of the yellow jersey needs to look no further than the Oi Rio Pro this past week.
Coming into the event, Felipe Toledo had a commanding lead on the men’s tour and Carissa narrowly led the women (despite the fact that Carissa hadn’t yet won an event this year). The confidence of coming into a clutch event as the tour leader gives you a bit of extra oomph when it comes to winning heats—and both Felipe and Carissa rode their momentum straight into the finals, and ultimately to event wins.
Carissa’s second event victory in Rio solidifies her spot atop the rankings with two events to go before the world championship event at Lower Trestles in September.
She is currently around 5000 points ahead of Johanne Defay and more than 10,000 points ahead of third-rated Lakey Peterson. Carissa is the first woman to clinch her spot at the year-end championship event and will likely come into the event as the top seed, which provides a huge advantage, since the top-rated surfer automatically advances to the final round.
The two events left on the schedule both play to Carissa’s strengths—her powerful carves should serve her well at Jeffreys Bay later this month and she has proven her willingness to charge barrels at Teahupoo in the past. It’s no longer a question of whether or not Carissa will surf for the title in September. All that remains to be seen is if she will come into the championship event in the top spot.
On the men’s side, Felipe Toledo has been completely dominant this season. Under the old format, where the world title was decided based on your combined results from the normal tour schedule, Toledo would already be quite close to clinching the trophy.
But things are different these days, and he will still have to surf for the crown on finals day in California. If there is any justice in this system, Felipe will end up winning the world title, because he has been on an absolute tear in 2022. After a resounding win in Rio (his fourth Oi Rio Pro victory, and third in a row), Felipe now has two wins and three seconds thus far this season, which means he has made the finals at five out of eight events.
No one else is even close, with second-rated Jack Robinson sitting a full 10,000 points behind Toledo. (For context, an event win gets you 10,000 points, so even if Robinson were to win at J-Bay this month, he still wouldn’t catch Toledo, since the Brazilian will earn a minimum of 1300 points in South Africa.) Italo Ferreira, Griffin Colapinto, and Ethan Ewing are still clinging to their top five spots as well, hoping for a chance to challenge Toledo for the title at Trestles, but as of now it looks like a two-horse race—and Felipe is way out in front.
Video Credit to WSL
John John Florence has missed the past two events due to a knee injury and officially slipped out of the top five after Rio. He’s still only 1000 points behind fifth place, however, so if things go his way and a lot of lower-ranked surfers do well at J-Bay, Florence technically has a shot of making a comeback at Teahupoo and working his way back into the top five before the championship event—but that’s assuming that his knee heals up in time. Other noteworthy injuries include Kelly Slater (who has missed the past two events) and Gabriel Medina (who took the first half of the year off, then came back to notch back-to-back third-place results before bowing out with a knee injury of his own in Rio).
We are down to the final stretch now, with only two events remaining in the regular season. Jeffreys Bay kicks off on July 12—make sure you tune in!