While you were sleeping the Men’s First Round of the Oi Rio Pro was completed in Saquarema. It was everything Kelly’s pool isn’t which is simultaneously both a good and a bad thing. There was a change in venue, some Mikey Wright heroics and a fair few hammers thrown in the four to six foot righthanders. Here we take a look at some of the key players and assess their performances. 

Deputy Commissioner Trav Logie: 6.5 

Commissioner KP, along with other heavy hitters Parko, Slater, and Ronnie Blakey swerved Brazil, passing on Facebook live duties to Trav. His first call was to move the event a kilometre up the beach to the wedgy rights next to the breakwall. Up there was the inevitable backwash, the 60 per cent closeout ratio and the odd barrel. It was however 60 per cent better than the lefts at the other end and all the surfers seemed stoked on the move. Except the ones that lost. 

Filipe Toledo: 8.5 

Won the first heat of the day with scorching railwork under pressure and confirmed his favouritism. If he can win heats without his air game, at a break that he knows well, then it’s going to take something, or someone, special to take him down. 

Mikey Wright: 9.5 

John John Florence must now be having nightmares involving mullets and VB cans shoved in all the wrong places. Wright again showed his brutal power, but also his composure when he won the heat with a buzzer beater. With the judges currently hating on safe surfing, he looks less and less like a wildcard and increasingly like a genuine world title threat. Too soon?

John John: 7.5 

Unlucky in that his was the highest losing heat score of the day and his closeout reo for a 9 was the Round 1’s best move. However JJF left points on waves in the heat and it was these tiny mistakes that cost him in the end against Mikey. In his Round 2 heat, up against anti-Mikey Devid Silva, it was back to business even if he didn’t need to get out of second gear. 

Wade Carmichael: 8.0

The Avocan woke up and thought he’d been transported to one of the many southern corners of the Cenny Coast that regularly throw up wedgy, wobbly and chunky righthanders. That he hadn’t surfed this break didn’t mean diddly shit as the rights were tailor made for his hack attack. With a few tubes and some trademark gouges his first Round 1 heat of his CT career was his. Stoked eh. 

Jordy Smith: 5 

Scorch your freesurfs. Get your boards right. Show moments of class in your heat. Catch poor waves. Lose to dramatically inferior opponents. Rinse and repeat. Till you retire.

Tomas Hermes: 2 

Snapper will surely end up as the high point of not only his year, but his career. How has it happened that him and Mikey Wright can be competing at the same event, at the same time? 

Italo Ferreira: 7.5

At one stage rode a kick flip out switchfoot, at which Peter Mel predicted that the increasing use of switchfoot, ala skating and snowboarding, will revolutionize the sport at some stage in the future. That Italo surfing natural looked like a Griffin Colapinto, if he’d been shot in the leg and head with an air rifle, didn’t seem to worry Pete. Otherwise the Brazilian looked supremely confident in yellow, a colour he may well need to get used to.  

Ezekiel Lau: 5.0 

7 for his surfing, but loses two points for the over zealous chest beating. Is anyone a bit tired of Zeke trying to aggressively prove he wants it more than everyone else? 

The Backwash: 6.5 

Super consistent and a reliable performer on both tides, one of the best in the business.