Get ready for a surf competition on world’s biggest waves
The Nazaré Challenge in Nazaré, Portugal, is put on Green Alert with potential to start on Tuesday, December 20.
With a a series of major swells heading towards the region, all eyes will be on the world’s best big wave surfers as they take on the waves of Praia do Norte (North Beach), a break notorious for its powerful waves and dangerous whitewater speeds.
“We are excited to call the inaugural Nazaré Challenge on,” said Peter Mel, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “We have been closely tracking the WNW North Atlantic swell and see that everything should align for a Tuesday start. The waves are projected to be 35-45-foot-plus with favorable winds. We are all eager to see how the world’s best big wave surfers push the boundaries with the debut of this event.”
100 foot waves
Waves at Nazaré can be up to 100 foot. The monsterwaves are caused by an underwater ravine (the biggest one in Europe) that’s called the Nazaré Canyon. At its deepest, the Nazare Canyon is some 16,000 feet from the ocean’s surface, according to the Portuguese Hydrographic Office. So first you’ve got really deep water, and then when it approaches the shore it gets shallow which allows the waves to climb to monstrous hights.
The highly-anticipated Nazaré Challenge is an all-new event on the WSL Big Wave Tour and will be the first paddle-in event to take place at the venue that put Portugal on the map as a big wave haven. The event will be contested by 24 of the best big wave surfers, led by BWT ratings leader Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF), 2015/16 BWT Champion Greg Long (USA), as well as regional event wildcards Alex Botelho (PRT) and Andrew Cotton (GBR).
Where to watch
While the competition is scheduled to start early in the morning Portugal time on Tuesday, December 20, organizers are also keeping the option open of competition days on Wednesday, December 21 and Thursday, December 22, should the local weather conditions call for it.
The Nazaré Challenge will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app.