The World Surf League kicks off the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour on February 28th at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. There are many plot lines heading into the season, none more heralded than the arrival of the Brazilian Storm. Since last year’s Snapper event when Gabriel Medina, the new Brazilian World Champ, made clear his intentions for an historic 2014 title run by taking down hometown favorite Joel Parkinson, the buzz surrounding the rapid ascension of the Brazzos over the past three years, and more notably, the past twelve months has reached a crescendo.
This year, with seven Brazilians on the CT, Medina returning to make his title defense, and some of the current CT elite getting up there in years, will we witness the Brazilian Storm evolve into a veritable force of nature or watch this impressive run-up dissipate into something far more mundane?
Rest assured, I’m not a hater. I admire the Brazilians for their tenacity and passion. I used to date a girl from Rio when I lived in south Florida. She and her friends lived packed together in a tiny little apartment with barely any possessions but the clothes on their backs. But they were all intelligent, kind people who loved life and weren’t shy about showing it, regardless of what may have been occurring around them at any time. Little Claudia and her friends always talked about their home–their deep love for it, as well as the heartbreaking political and socio-economic problems its citizens faced (and that was a long time ago. Clearly, things have been too slow to change). But no matter where our conversations went, they always returned to just how special her people and her country were.