The wave pool extravaganza has come and gone, like it or loathe it the surfers are back to the shark riddled ocean. Every surf fan has had at least one argument about the validity of Brazil’s inclusion on tour. Some citing “King Kelly hasn’t surfed the event in years” while the Brazilians assert they are helping push the sport to heights never seen before, and therefore deserve to have a wave in the WSL matrix.

The women have a new Brazilian on tour, well Hawaiian turned Brazilian. Tatiana Weston-Webb has re-claimed her Brazilian heritage and changed teams. Representing Brazil not only puts her in a stronger position for Olympic team selection, but also guarantees her a booming Brazilian crowd to cheer her through the event. Currently sitting in 4th, the home crowd advantage could propel the young Brazilian bombshell to heights we didn’t get to see her achieve under the Hawaiian flag.

Tatiana in amongst the strong Brazilian contingent on tour. Photo: WSL

From Tati to Tyler. Ms Wright has gone a little wrong in the early stages of her road to achieving what only few have achieved. While the memory of Andy’s hat trick of world titles are still fresh in our memories (after the release of “Andy Irons: Kissed By God”) Tyler is going for hers this year. Rio is the stop where Tyler has historically been more successful than any other woman on tour. Not only does she hold that in her favour leading up to the proceedings, but if she manages to kick start her season and take out the event she will be the only man or woman to successfully win 4 titles at the Brazilian beach break. Her success at the sand bottomed, South American setting is integral to re-igniting her 2018 title quest currently sitting in 6th with a plethora of fresh faces ahead of her in the race.

Tyler needs to turn around her year, in Brazil, if she wants the hat-trick of world titles. Photo: WSL

Number one on The Jeep Leader Board going into Saquarema is stylish Steph. Brazil is far from being Steph’s pet event, in fact it’s one of the few locations where she has failed to raise the trophy at. However Steph is on a high. She has just captained her country for the first time, she won her record breaking Bell and performed well at both Margaret’s and the Founders cup.

Steph will be intent on making sure the rest of the field stay well behind her in the title race. Photo: WSL

With two decent swells forecast for the waiting period, the girls should get a couple of shots at stopping the critics of the contest.