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Barrel On The Dordogne Courtesy Fabrice Colas And Phillipe Garrigues Crowds line the bank at the Pororoca Championship 2001 in Sao Domingos do Capim, Copyright Paulo Santos
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3rd National Pororoca Surf
Championship 2001

2nd National Pororoca Surf
Championship 2000
(in Portugese)

Rio Guama, Brazil
The Rio Guama, surrounded by woodland and vegetation, inhabited by a huge fauna of wildlife, infested with crocodiles, piranhas and poisonous snakes, is home to one of the lesser pororocas, but the one that has most successfully attracted attention. The wave breaks at between half and one metre, and enters the Guama from the Capim. Some sections of the tide break around Pico Island at the confluence of the Capim with the much larger Para.

The wave is observable from the riverside Bujaru, but it is the small deprived village of Sao Domingos do Capim at the confluence of the Capim and Guama, which every year becomes overrun with tourists. Spectators have grown from a few hundred to a few thousand over the three years of the Pororoca Surf Championship. With rapid media growth and strong support from the Para state government, what started out as the Pororoca Challenge two years ago, has now become the national pororoca championship and is rapidly evolving into just one stage of a Brazilian pororoca tour.

The Guama wave is not to be underestimated. It can exceed eight feet in height and was actually witnessed at four and a half metres by the nineteenth century explorer, Martius! It is as destructive as any other pororoca and numerous expeditions have suffered broken boats at the hands of the wave. In April 2000, cable news showed a boat as part of a Pororoca Explorer team driven into the bank and flipped sideways.

Even in the depths of the Amazon jungle, crowding appears to be an encroaching problem. During the 2001 National championship, a group of joyriders overran the event for a while, confusing the surfers and breaking up the wave, in motor boats and on jetskis. However, laws forbid unlicenced use of the river, and the intruders were sought out by the Coast Guard. Meanwhile, Ricardo Tatui became two time winner of the championship, only interceeded in 2000 by Sandro Rogerio de Sousa, with the best ride of his pororoca career in the final. He became the first rider to take the falling wave to the bank and connect through as it broke again out to midstream.