The WSL announced that CT surfer Filipe Toledo has been fined and suspended from competition following an incident at the Oi Rio Pro.
The incident, which occurred after his Round 3 elimination, has been reviewed by the WSL Rules and Disciplinary Committee with full cooperation from Toledo:
“I’m a passionate guy and surfing is my life,” said Toledo. “After getting an interference in the third round in Saquarema, I was very upset and my actions after the heat were unacceptable. After cooling down, I realized that I was not myself. I’m very sorry for my behavior. I want to apologize to the fans, my sponsors, the media and WSL. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept my suspension. I am disappointed to miss the next event, but looking forward to returning stronger for Jeffreys Bay. Good luck to everyone in Fiji and thank you all for the continued support.”
In the run-up to the Oi Rio Pro, Toledo was considered a favorite to win, or at least place in the top three. Unfortunately for him, he let his temper get the best of him after a paddle battle early in the heat. “When heats start, neither surfer has priority, so old-school paddle battle rules apply,” wrote the WSL. “The surfer with inside position has the right-of-way. Kanoa and Filipe were both interested in the same wave at the start of the heat, and they both raced to their feet to establish priority, but Kanoa got down the face faster, forcing Filipe to hang back. But not before Filipe was called for a paddling interference, a penalty that halved his second-highest scoring ride from a 5.67 to a 2.84.”
After the heat was over and Igarashi had secured the win, he tried to rush the judge’s tower, which is a serious no-no–especially considering he was in the wrong, and the judges called it by the book. The violation earned him a fine and a suspension heading into the Fiji event.
The suspension will conclude following the OK Fiji Pro:
“Filipe (Toledo) is a really good kid and an incredible surfer,” Renato Hickel, WSL Deputy Commissioner, said. “The WSL is very fortunate to have someone of his caliber on tour and he is constantly progressing the level of surfing in the live arena. It’s disappointing when we have to pass disciplinary action for any of our surfers, but that behavior is not acceptable for the sport. Filipe knows this and we look forward to seeing his talent back on tour very soon.”