Rip Curl International has officially announced that the coastal town of Peniche, Portugal, will host this year's Rip Curl Pro Search, Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour - to be held October 19 to 28.
The location has been a mystery to most all season, but the official press launch in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon unveiled the secret to media and the surfing industry.
"We're excited about the announcement and even more excited to see the industry's reaction to our decision to hold this year's Rip Curl Pro Search in the beautiful country of Portugal," said Scott Hargreaves, Rip Curl Event Manager. "The country has a lot of great waves and we've decided to lock in Peniche's 'Supertubos' as our event spot. It's a five-star wave and one of the best beachbreak tubes in the world!"
Supertubos is a powerful A-frame barrel that feeds off deep Atlantic Ocean swells and handles waves up to the 12-15ft (4-5m). Many surfers have nicknamed it the "European Pipeline" due to its similarities to Hawaii's infamous Banzai Pipeline.
"The wave breaks all year, but the North Atlantic Ocean swells peak in the later part of Europe's summer," continued Mr Hargreaves. "This is why we've created the event window in October, instead of the June-July period we've had for the past four years."
The change of schedule will also make this year's Rip Curl Pro Search the second-to-last event on the ASP Men's World Tour calendar, meaning for the first time it could be the event where this year's ASP World Champion is crowned.
"The hype of possibly crowning the ASP World Champion is an awesome by-product of the date change, but the main reason the ASP surfers love the Rip Curl Pro Search is because it has delivered perfect waves and amazing experiences in each of the four years its been held in Reunion Island, Mexico, Chile and Bali," said Mr Hargreaves. "With that said, we'd efinitely like to present both the Rip Curl Planet Trophy and the ASP World Title Trophy on the same stage!"
Current ASP No. 3 Mick Fanning (AUS) is the only past Rip Curl Pro Search champion competing this year's ASP World Tour, with Hawaiian brothers Bruce Irons (2008 champion)and Andy Irons (2006 & 07 champion) now retired. Fanning is enthusiastic about packing his boards for Portugal: "The Rip Curl Pro Search is always exciting for me and I think it's a favourite for all the lads on tour because it really breaks things up," said Fanning, the 2007 ASP World Champion. "I haven't been to Peniche before but when I found out we were going there I had a chat to my mate Tiago Pires [Portugal's first ASP World Tour surfer] and he told me the waves in the area are world class. I got a win in the first ever Search Pro and I've always done reasonably well in them, so hopefully Peniche cops plenty of swell during the event waiting period and the Rip Curl Pro Search continues to deliver some of the best waves we ever see for World Tour competition."
The date move of this year's event has also allowed Rip Curl to include an ASP Women's World Tour contest during the Rip Curl Pro Search. The event will run from October 26 to 30 and is Stop 5 of 8 for the ASP Women's elite."The Rip Curl Pro Search has had incredible success since is started, so I think it's really exciting that the ASP Women's World Tour is jumping onboard for the adventure," said Stephanie Gilmore, reigning two-time ASP omen's World Champion. "I'm sure it's only going to make the best event on tour, even better!" The entire Rip Curl Pro Search will be webcast live on ripcurl.com and aspworldtour.com, with multiple cameras and professional commentary documenting every wave, thrill and spill throughout the event.
The 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search is presented by the Institute of Tourism Portugal and proudly supported by TMN and Buondi.