Stab Magazine | Chippa Wilson Wins The Nixon Surf Challenge
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Chippa Wilson Wins The Nixon Surf Challenge

As decided by the riders. 

cinema // Jun 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

The Nixon Surf Challenge is a pleasant outlier to the traditional surf event. It brings a fistful of the best surfers from Europe and beyond together for five days of immersive surf exploration. The goal is to stray from well-known breaks and hold the event in more remote locales. At the end of the event the competitors choose the winner. “Who else is better to decide on the best surfer than the guys that are surfing?” asks Fergal Smith. “We know who the best surfer is.”

The Nixon Surf Challenge has been going for 10 years, originally located in San Sebastian. Since then, the event’s migrated to Lofoten (Norway), Iceland, Kamchatka (Russia), Hainan (China) and this year’s took place in the Emerald Isle (Ireland).

As the Green Party candidate for County Clare, Fergal has switched his focus from chasing waves to looking after the environment and maintaining a sustainable, simple way of life. “In some ways, I feel a bit guilty about the fact I’ve stopped going on the Nixon Surf Challenge in recent years,” he says. “It’s not because I don’t want to – they’re probably some of the best trips I’ve ever been on – but it’s just not been possible since I made my decision not to fly by plane anymore.”

Chippa, who by nature avoids any type of competition, claimed the victory. “To me, this event is about getting the team together and going to a spot that’s pretty much on your dream list,” he says. “And when we’re there – waves or no waves – we’re going to have a good time. The Nixon Surf Challenge is a special type of competition, because it doesn’t really feel like one at all.”

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