Nazaré Gets Green Lit!
The annual aquatic slalom kicks off this Friday in Portugal.
Yesterday, Mikey C gave us the rundown on the Nazaré Challenge's impending green light. A 30-35' face swell, light offshores, and a stacked lineup.
A Praia do Norte not big enough to break records and limbs, but one that still strikes fear into the carpal tunneled tips of keyboard warriors around the globe.
As Mikey noted, there's a significantly larger swell sizing up for the following weekend, causing him to posit why they're seemingly swell dodging by opting for the smaller swell. What Mike failed to realise however, is the subtle fact that 100-ft, onshore plagued waves are typically unsurfable.
Praia do Norte is an unbelievably shifty spot; ranging from skyscraping tee-pees towards the point, to wedging shorebreaks when its small. Opting to run in a mid-sized swell is the best case scenario for a 'big wave' paddle event there.
The comp this Friday will be the third ever BWWT event at Nazaré and the first event of the 2018/19 schedule. Judging from the forecast, it's likely to land somewhere in the middle of it's hospital admitting debut and the shorebreak floater fest seen in it's sophomore year.
It mightn't live up to the standards of a Jaws or oversized Puerto but if watching men risk their lives in a shifting, aquatic mountain is your cup of joe, your Friday's dialled.
"Nazaré is usually too big and we are waiting for a swell that is not 100 feet so we can paddle it." Kai Lenny said about the event. "Nazaré is not really the most ideal place for turns. It is more survival. Just survive. Just trying to prepare myself mentally. If you go to Nazaré, you will probably get smoked no matter what, so you have to be prepared.”
Jamie Mitchell on the other hand is concerned about surfing there at all, “Nazaré is a crazy wave; you don’t ride it, it rides you, I’m coming off a shoulder surgery this summer and have worked hard to be ready for the Big Wave Tour, so it would be special to do well again here. I am jumping on a plane, heading over there now and am excited that we are on.”
Here's the lineup for Round 1
2018/2019 Nazaré Challenge Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper (HAW), Lucas Chianca (BRA), Greg Long (USA), Nathan Florence (HAW), Francisco Porcella (ITA), Antonia Silva (PRT)
Heat 2: Ian Walsh (HAW), Tom Lowe (GBR), Will Skudin (USA), Russell Bierke (AUS), João De Macedo (PRT), Rodrigo Koxa (BRA)
Heat 3: Kai Lenny (HAW), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), Jojo Roper (USA), Pedro Calado (BRA), Andrew Cotton (GBR)
Heat 4: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Alex Botelho (PRT), Grant Baker (ZAF), Nic Lamb (USA), Nic von Rupp (PRT), João Guedes (PRT)