A host of big name Australians will be missing when the next stage of the Men’s World Surf League starts this week in Brazil. Mick Fanning is on sabbatical, Kai Otten has withdrawn for personal reasons, WA’s Taj Burrow recently announced his retirement and Joel Parkinson is nursing an injured knee.
Meanwhile Owen Wright and Bede Durbridge will spend more time on the shore after missing the first three events of the year through injury. Durbridge has not surfed since he broke his pelvis at the Pipe Masters last December in Hawaii.
In their absence World Number 1 Matt Wilkinson leads a group of less experienced Countrymen. Familar faces such as Julian Wilson and Ace Buchan will compete, while Adam Melling and Stuart Kennedy have been brought in as replacements.
The event has moved 24km south to Grumari after storms damaged the contest site at Postinho its usual home. The event starts today and can run until Saturday May 21st.