Battle Of The Paddle Brazil: 1 Day To Go (aka 29 Random Photos From ‘Friday Fun Day’)

 
Battle of the Paddle Brazil presented by Quickblade

Less than 24 hours until the Battle of the Paddle Brazil hits the water… Less than 24 hours until the first ever BOP outside the USA gets underway…

We’ll have rolling updates here on SUPracer.com all weekend, while all the racing will be webcast LIVE by the event organisers so you can follow it along. We’ll be embedding the stream here on SUPracer.com so you can follow the whole thing. Not quite as good as having the blue skies overhead and the perfect white sands of Brazil between your toes, but it should give you plenty of insight into the action.

The live webcast begins on Saturday at 9am local Brazil time, which is…. 10pm East Coast Australia, 1pm France, 7am Florida, 4am California, 1am Hawaii. The schedule is calling for the Elite Race to run first up at at 9am, but it depends on the conditions. The wind around here is super unpredictable, so an optimal course and schedule will be set first thing in the morning.

Oh and there’s also a solid swell expected, so expect plenty of carnage pics ;-)

But while the paddlers have been waiting for the event to start we’ve been having a few adventures on the side. I’ve been traveling with the Quickblade crew on this trip and so far we’ve been enjoying some pretty awesome hospitality and epic weather.

With the main event site a hive of last minute activity today, the Mad Scientist (Jimmy Terrell), Tarzan (Fernando Stalla) and myself headed off in search of an adventure. There was a strong Southerly side-wind blowing across the main beach, so we decided to drive South to the next headland and see if we could find our first Brazilian downwinder.

This is how it went down…

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First thing I saw when heading down to the contest site… a giant street sign promoting the event and featuring none other than Aussie Beau O’Brian. I went to school with this guy and have been training and racing with him for much of the past few years, so it was pretty random to see a larger-than-life photo of him in the middle of a street in the middle of a random town in Brazil… Beau and the Aussies aren’t here in person this weekend (their National Titles are a few days away) but are clearly here in spirit.

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Cabo Frio, Friday, 8am. 24 hours until the BOP Brazil hits the water… Not a bad view to wake up to.

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Cabo Frio in the morning. Blue skies. Clear waters… #cantcomplain

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We drove South from Cabo Frio to Arraial do Cabo… and found a quiet little fishing town with a pretty awesome beach that was tucked inside a sheltered bay. The beach was lined with oldschool fishing boats so I decided to get artsy and do an “The Old Meets The New” photo shoot – showing the contrast of my QB full carbon paddle (the awesome Slim Jim 92 with Oval-Tapered Shaft, in case you’re wondering) against the traditional wooden fishing boats.

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Could get used to this place… [click to enlarge]

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Getting all creative and giving a shameless plug to the presenting sponsor of our BOP Brazil coverage…

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I was getting right into the photo shoot when all of a sudden…

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A couple of local kids sprinted up to the boat we were playing around with and started emptying it as fast as they could. They looked they were in a hurry but we couldn’t quite figure out what was going on…

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Not ones to stand around and watch, Jimmy and Fernando jumped in and gave the boys a hand to get the hulking boat out into the water (note: I’m still taking photos at this point…). We got them going and off they paddled into the distance. Little did we realise we’d meet up with them again 10 minutes later…

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Before we set off on what we thought was a downwinder, there was time to pose for the camera… something that Fernando is a total natural at.

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Tarzan, Boss Man and the Mad Scientist. Really can’t complain with Brazil so far…

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The Alex Matero designed, G-Zero produced Brazilian rocket that Jimmy and I will be paddling in the Elite Race tomorrow. Figured I probably should have at least one session on it before the race… :O

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Jimmy and Fernando playing round in the sheltered bay before we headed out into the wind…

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Yet another shameless plug for QB…

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Ok this is where it got interesting. We were paddling around in the quiet little bay, warming up and getting ready to head out into the ocean for our downwinder. When suddenly we saw a whole lot of commotion over in a little cove… We paddled in for a closer look and suddenly realised why those local boys on the beach were in such a hurry to launch their boat: The local fisherman had netted a massive haul of fish and were filling their old wooden boats with the catch… And everyone was shouting…. The multi-lingual Fernando translated and gave us a running commentary. Turns out, the fishermen had so many fish they were running out of boats and desperately trying to figure out how to haul in their catch before the fish got loose. It was quite a sight. Five oldschool boats surrounding a big circular net that was black with fish, with locals scurrying around trying to secure their payday. (Where’s Wally: can you spot Fernando Stalla on the beach there…?)

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We all paddled in for a closer look…

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The fish were literally jumping out of the boats there were that many… It was like something out of a cartoon.

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Fernando getting a close up of the action…

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I was waiting for someone to yell at me for being a full on tourist and taking so many pics… but the locals seemed to think what we were doing was as much of a novelty as what we thought they were doing was… (pretty sure that sentence makes sense..?)

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Fishing adventures behind us, Jimmy and Fernando head off in search for the start of our downwinder…

— For the next 30 minutes there were no photos taken… because we were struggling just to stay on our boards. Turned out the wind had swung around slightly and if we’d paddled straight out of the bay we would’ve eventually hit France. After a few k’s of paddling on one side we eventually hit our line and were able to get into some fun little bumps… —

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Fernando chasing the bumps and warming up for tomorrow’s big race… Notice the perfectly white sandy dunes in the background. Epic spot to paddle around here…

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Reach, damnit, reach!

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Fernando praying to the gods that the wind doesn’t change. We were still a fair ways away from our destination…

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Jimmy testing out his latest patented paddle-sail-foiling technology…

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We finally made it back to where we were headed… the main Battle of the Paddle Brazil event site in Cabo Frio. If you look towards the beach (you know you can click on all these pics and enlarge them, right?) you’ll see the big white tents and signature BOP banners.

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Jimmy and Fernando getting some last minute race training in…

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Back on dry land the photo shoot continued. That’s the problem of having a water-proof phone… I snapped 312 pics over the space of a few hours. If I spent as much time training as I did snapping shots, I’d probably do a lot better in tomorrow’s race. But I digress; here we see the main setup. It’s just like Dana Point, only the beach is way nicer (no offense Doheny…).

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The view from up on street level. The beaches here are packed with sunbathers even on weekdays, so no matter what happens tomorrow we’re pretty much guaranteed a stellar crowd.

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Getting all creative with the panoramas… The beach of Cabo Frio. Nice little spot… see you tomorrow.

 

NEXT READ THIS: Battle Of The Paddle Brazil LIVE WEBCAST