Stab Magazine | The Inaugural Tow Challenge At Nazare Is Green Lit

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The Inaugural Tow Challenge At Nazare Is Green Lit

Crashes, hold-downs, glory guaranteed!

news // Feb 10, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Paddle surfing will always be the pinnacle of big wave surfing. 

While tow surfing had it’s heyday in the 2000’s with waves like Laird’s at Chopes, the resurgence of paddling in the 2010’s redefined progressive big wave surfing. In saying that, some waves just can’t be paddled, and when you can’t paddle, well, you might as well tow.

Nazaré is one of the world’s premiere big wave spots, but if you’re honest, the paddle surfing done there doesn’t compare to the tow-in highlights. So, for the first time, the WSL is running a tow-in comp, which is scheduled to run on Tuesday.

There’s an oversized swell brewing off the Portuguese coast, and Surfline is predicting 40 to 50-foot waves with light offshore winds blowing. Essentially, it looks like it’ll be pumping—if 50-foot waves are your cup of tea. 

The format of the event includes ten teams with two surfers in each. The teams will be country-based, and for the first time at Nazaré, will also include two female surfers. Surfers will compete in their teams switching between driving the ski and surfing with a priority system in place to ensure everyone gets somewhat of an equal shot. 

Team World: Sebastian Steudtner (DEU) & Maya Gabeira (BRA)
Team Brazil: Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) & Pedro Scooby (BRA)
Team Great Britain: Andrew Cotton (GBR) & Tom Butler (GBR)
Team Australia: Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS) & Mick Corbett (AUS)
Team Portugal: Alex Botelho (PRT) & Hugo Vau (PRT)
Team Young Bulls: Lucas Chianca (BRA) & Kai Lenny (HAW)
Team Europe: Nic von Rupp (PRT) & Francisco Porcella (ITA)
Team France: Benjamin Sanchis (FRA) & Eric Rebiere (FRA)
Team Atlantic: Grant Baker (ZAF) & Antonio Silva (PRT)
Team Justine: Justine Dupont (FRA) surfer only/Fred David driver only

The first call will be Tuesday at 8am local time, so if you want to watch what will be carnage intermixed with world class wave riding, we suggest you tune in. While surfing mightn’t be the best spectator sport, there’s still something better about watching it live compared to the Instagram highlights the next day. 


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