As the beach at Barra da Tijuca is flooded with fans eager to lay eyes on the best surfers in the world at the Oi Rio Women’s Pro, it’s hard not to notice that the only Brazilian woman competing is (was) wildcard, Silvana Lima. Lima is the top-ranked Brazilian woman on the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series – she’s ranked 22nd and she’s the only Brazilian woman in the top 50, one of just five in the top 100. None of them are ranked on the CT. There are no Brazilians on the Women’s Junior Tour. And although Top 17 surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb has Brazilian roots, she officially represents Hawaii in competition.
Meanwhile, one quarter of the athletes on the Men’s Championship Tour (including the past two World Champions) and 17 of the top 100 QS men are from Brazil.