The Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge was run in massive waves and provided non-stop action for six hours straight, showcasing the best Big Wave riders in the world at the unique arena of Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal.
Competition got underway at 8:30 a.m with uncharacteristic very light offshore winds, and huge surf breaking below the world-famous cliffs of the Praia do Norte lighthouse.
Competitors got in rhythm right away and started to ride mountains of water in front of huge crowds lining up the cliffs. The level of performance kept rising throughout the day as surfers and ski drivers got accustomed to the conditions of today’s swell.
Standout rides, dramatic wipeouts and incredible rescue efforts were aplenty throughout the first four heats, which eventually prompted organizers to extend the duration of the competition.
Surfers were given a third opportunity to spend an hour in the lineup in the search for the biggest and most treacherous rides of the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa.
French powerhouse Justine Dupont (FRA) who now resides part-time in Portugal has been a standout in the Nazaré lineup for a few seasons now and proved once again today her worth among the best surfers in the world.
The 2019 Women’s XXL Biggest Wave Award recipient was towed into a massive, glassy left and negotiated the speed and line perfectly to exit on the wave’s shoulder and get picked up to safety.
Hawaiian big-wave phenom Kai Lenny (HAW) added yet another impressive line to his resume with today’s Men’s Wave of the Day award at Nazaré.
A true innovator, both with his equipment and his choice of lines riding the massive waves of Nazaré, Lenny got the crowds fired up with air time and crazy carves to claim the day’s coveted title.
“I wouldn’t have been able to ride this wave without Lucas so it’s as much his award as it is mine,” Lenny said.
“That’s what is cool about tow-in surfing, I’ve spent the last couple of years competing against him in paddling events and it was great to finally get to team up and have the camaraderie to do it.
He whipped me into that right just as we were riding back out, that wave just looked like it was going to wedge and it turned out way bigger than I thought it would be.”