Surfboats were introduced as a sport in Portugal in 2002 when a group of friends and rowers went to France for their first Surfboat competition. They got their first wave with the Perranporth crew sweeped by Richard Meadmore. From that moment they never looked back and decided Surfboat was definitely a sport for Portuguese waters. The group of 5 friends founded the Portuguese Surfboat Association (Associação Portuguesa de Surfboat) in 2003 to help developed the sport in the country.
The first Surfboat in Portugal was introduced in the 1970's when the Australian Navy offered a wooden Surfboat to the Portuguese Navy. There are no records of that Surfboat being used and surfed in Portuguese beaches.
The second Surfboat arrived in Portugal by the hands of Peter Gaisford from Perranporth in April 2004. He trained Portuguese rowers and a sweeper during 3 days and sweeped the Portuguese crew on a dangerous outing on the official Surfboat presentation in Portugal. This Surfboat was bought by Clube Naval de Sesimbra who bravely sponsored an unknown sport in the country.
In 2004 Portugal competed in the World Titles in Viareggio (Italy) and was offered a Surfboat by Pirelli and Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club.
Portuguese surf rowers have been competing in international competitions since 2002 including: French Cup (2002-2007), European Championships (2007-2009), UK Open Championships (2008-2010) and World Titles (2004 & 2008).
Surfboat is now a known sport in Portugal and every year the Surfboat has surfed Portuguese waves.
A first competition is still missing and the Portuguese Surfboat Association hopes to get more clubs running Surfboat and to organize a competition soon (European Champs who knows...).
Surfboat Rowing Clubs
Associação Portuguesa de Surfboat