With the QS 10000 Billabong Pro Cascais and Cascais Women's Pro both kicking off this weekend, who better to run through the event than Frederico Morais? Morais is Portugal's highest-ranked surfer in the competition and being a Cascais local, he knows the area inside and out. We talked to Fred about the banks, the forecast, the equipment required, and what type of surfer might do well there.
Cascais is buzzing
"Cascais is a massive surf town and the surf scene in Portugal is getting bigger each year. With the men's QS and the women's CT, it's great for this part of the world. All the groms get to see the best surfers and some state-of-the-art surfing and there's a general added level of excitement around town, which is great. There's plenty of places to surf in Cascais too, so crowds aren't a big factor. Everyone here is amped to have the surfers in town."
"It's a fairly even playing field out there at Guincho. I think the wave can suit the more power surfers, which maybe helps me a little. However there are definite ramps and we always get wind, so the air guys will be happy. It's also not that tricky of a beachbreak, in that you often get the chance to do three or four big turns. But on the low tide sometimes you'll get one big section to punt. It really doesn't favor a particular type of surfer."
The CTers come to town
"For the guys this is now probably the most important part of the year with this 10000 event, then a 6000 in Brazil and then the two prime events in Hawaii. The Billabong Pro Cascais is almost as difficult as the Hawaii comps, as there are so many CT guys surfing in the event. They tend to kick off their own European leg here, so it makes it even harder to score points. On the other hand you always like surfing against the best surfers in the world, that's the whole point, really."
Picking a winner
"It's really hard to pick a winner in any of the QS events. You'll see a guy ripping in the freesurfs and then he will go out first round. All the CT guys might be favorites, but you can never count out an underdog who desperately needs the points to come through. To be honest I'm not really looking at anyone else, just concentrating on my own game and trying to win the thing myself. To do that at my homebreak would be epic."