"It was incredible to participate in this event. It was a childhood dream to surf in the most respected big wave event. Just being part of the participants is a great source of pride and a sign that I did something right in my career", the 32-year-old athlete told Lusa.

Nicolau von Rupp was ranked 22nd, out of 40 participants and was the only male European representative, with the only other European being French Justine Dupont from France.

"I am very happy with my evolution in recent years. Honestly, I thought I would never be invited to this championship. Being invited as a Portuguese surfer, who spends most of his time surfing in Nazaré, and also in Ireland, and with much less hours in Hawaii, it shows that they respect the evolution of national surfing and the great impact of Nazaré", he highlighted.

The Praia Grande surfer said it was "truly an honour" to have the opportunity to represent Portuguese big wave surfers.

"The first round went very well for me. The second didn't go as well as the first and I ended up in the middle of the table. But I feel that participating is the most important thing and I'm very motivated for the two remaining events this season [Nazaré and Jaws]".