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25.04.04 - CARRYING EURO HOPES TO TEAHUPOO - Portugal’s Tiago Pires is keen for the Tahiti trials, and the WQS season ahead.
23.04.04 - PARKO WEEK CONTINUES
- Passing the good fortune down the line.
21.04.04 - SPRINGING STRAIGHT BACK IN CALIFORNIA - Barely home from Bells, some of the American WCT crew are back in contest singlets again this weekend
20.04.04 - PARKO SIGNS FOR FIVE - Parko signs up for five years in a multi-million dollar deal with Billabong.
19.04.04 - WATCHING FROM AFAR - The pain of being on the sideline.
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26.04.04 - FROM DOOR TO DOOR - Brasileiro Marcelo Nunes started surfing on a door, now a continued career in WCT surfing can open the door of opportunity.
Ex sarge, Gold Coast, Monday April 26th, 2004.
Marcelo Nunes
A career in pro surfing means different things to different people. It is obviously what most would presume or perceive as the ultimate existence - getting paid to go surfing. If you’re top 10 material, and recognised and paid by the surf industry accordingly, it may mean that you’ll be able to partake of an indulgent lifestyle, and be afforded the trimmings of opulence. If you’re not necessarily perceived as a super star, Marcelo Nunesbut you have made the Top 45 cut from a middle class background, you can still be assured of an upgrade towards a comfortable income and improved lifestyle, but if you’re from the impoverished northern end of Brasil, it may be the difference between living in a shack with a dirt floor, and what people would consider a decent existence for you and your family. Such is the way it is for Brasil’s top 45 surfer Marcelo Nunes.
Marcelo NunesMarcelo is dark-skinned, of Indian and Negro descent, and thereby known in Brasil as a Mameluco. From Natal, the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, he is known from his state origins as a Potiguar. Born and raised in a fishing village, he is also therefore what the Brasileiros call a Caicara. Confused? The bottom line is that this ‘mameluco caicara potiguar’ is a very good surfer, and he is determined to rise from the inherent poverty of his native village and upbringing by the product of his surfing abilities.
Marcelo’s family were typically poor, but he soon discovered that the ocean could readily and joyfully compensate what his simple home and life lacked in material possessions and appointments. Now 24 years old, his affairs with the ocean began with riding a skim board at the water’s edge at the age of 10. Marcelo NunesAfter a time, two of his uncles had him progressing to standing up riding the whitewater on a door, and pieces of wood strapped together. Just like fellow champion Brasileiro surfers Fabio Silva and Leonardo Neves, who both came from poor favela upbringings, and despite his mother’s insistence on him pursuing a ‘real’ career, Marcelo strove for success in surfing, invariably ducking through the school fence to head for the beach. He has come a long way since.
Marcelo NunesAfter success as a teenager on the Abrasp circuit in Brasil, and then the WQS tour, he eventually made the WCT cut by winning the Algarve Millennium Pro in Portugal in 2000 with a lightning display of beach break dexterity interlaced with functional aerials. His learning inaugural WCT season of 2001 was cut short by the cancellations forced by the terrorist tragedy of September 11, and he was fortunate to re-qualify thanks mainly to a second placing at the highly rated Huntington WQS event, but then after a following WCT season which included some great surfing, but few results, he failed to make the cut at the end of 2002.
Marcelo NunesMarcelo fought hard again through last season’s WQS tour and is now back in the WCT for his third season. Being successful this time around is important not just for Marcelo’s personal aspirations and passion, but for what prizemoney and sponsorship dollars can do for his mother and sisters and their living standards. Surfing has opened the door of opportunity for Marcelo and his family. He may now be able to afford real estate and to give his family what they could otherwise have only dreamt of. We in the western world are familiar with the bumper sticker ‘Surfing is Life’. To Marcelo and his family it is just that. ENDS