Then dedicates his Quarterfinal win in Portugal to said local. Cue social media firestorm.
“I had a lot of good memories here in Portugal, but one of the bad memories was last night,” Italo Ferreira said in his post heat interview after his quarterfinal win in the MEO Portugal Cup of Surfing. “I was surfing in Coxos and one of the locals dropped in on my wave and then was talking a lot of shit, and that was crazy, so that heat win was for that local. Hey buddy I hope you enjoy it.” Click the link here and fast forward to the 2.15 mark to see the interview.
The first obvious shock was that the World Champ was actually breaking from the well-worn post heat interview script. He was actually proffering something entertaining and controversial. Now it wasn’t exactly in the Bobby Martinez surfing isn’t tennis range, but still, it was a rare bird indeed.
Less surprising was that a pro surfer had been involved in a run in with a local in Portugal. In 2013 Parko had an altercation with a local bodyboarder whilst freesurfing Supertubos. That footage went slightly viral, yet unlike Italo, Parko didn’t kick the nest.
Further digging revealed that the World Champ had paddled out at Coxos the evening before, with a messy three foot of swell running down the point. Coxos is one of Europe’s premier points, and like most world-class waves anywhere on the planet, it has a serious pecking order.
Locals said that Italo paddled out at the normal spot that lands you inside the takeoff zone. After taking off on the first wave inside the pack, he paddled back out, and immediately went another. It was at this stage that Jose Gregorio, a three-times National Portuguese Surf Champion, Portugal Quiksilver boss and Coxos OG, dropped in and then after Italo complained, sent him in.
That may have been the end of it until of course, Italo used his platform on the webcast to have a further crack at the local. That, as you’d expect, only caused more of a social media shit storm.
Local surf coach José Maria Pyrrait, and the father of Henrique who surfed in the event, was one who jumped on Instagram to pull him up. His caption, using google translation read, “@italoferreira, when you go surfing to a new place, respect those who have been there for many years. The person you speak to, besides being old enough to be your father, is a surfer with evidence and titles won in Portugal and in the world. He was never a world champion, like you, and today, much older, he cannot compete in the waves on an equal footing with a surfer like you. @Vascoribeiro, @fredericomoraiis, @gonyzubizarreta, @aritz_aranburu, @migueltudelach, and many other world-class surfers, have been surfing there since they were kids and respect all older places, why do you think it should be different with you ??? Just a question. When this happens to you in Hawaii, do you also go to the interview with this ridiculous conversation ???
You come from a country with a great surf culture, if you don't understand the educated localism that you lived in the lame, yes, because in many other places, it would have been much more aggressive, so champion, despite the world title, you still have to learn a lot about respect. I think you owe an apology to the entire community of Coxos locals, and when you return there, you will see that if you adopt a more humble attitude, you will be very well received. Hug and good luck.”
Italo was quick to respond to that post and issues an apology, with a few caveats. “Opaaa, Good morning !! I apologized at the same moment that it happened and I asked that if he wanted to catch my waves, he could be at ease because I was not there to make trouble and just wanted to have fun, because I was catching a wave to the "left" in the lame. .. get out of the sea right afterward respecting his space and making him comfortable. About Hawaii, a local told me that I could catch any wave I wanted before the competition & you know what I said, "I can't do this to others, I'm no better than anyone". And friend, I'm not here wanting to show myself to anyone, I just like to have fun in the water, catching even the worst waves, as it was the day that happened and that was a bad intention on the part of the other boy. It's just fine, I AGAIN APOLOGIZE AGAIN and I have nothing against it. Respect.”