“Nazaré is a crazy wave – you don’t ride it – it rides you,” says the 2016/17 Nazaré Challenge winner Jamie Mitchell.
Puerto Escondido Challenge winner (and extremely talented waterman) Kai Lenny said, “Nazaré is usually too big and we are waiting for a swell that is not 100-feet so we can paddle it. It is more survival. Just survive. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally right now. If you go to Nazaré, you will probably get smoked no matter what.”
Competing surfers are currently en route to Nazaré where Mitchell – the defending champ – is coming off of a shoulder injury and looking for his second win.
The swell is predicted to be in the 20- to 30-foot foot wave throughout the day on Friday – with morning sets as large as 35 feet on the face. While this isn’t a gargantuan swell by Nazaré standards, light offshore winds are predicted throughout the day line up for extra clean conditions for the surfers to paddle.
Here are the Matchups in Round 1:
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), Hugo Vau (PRT)
Heat 4: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Alex Botelho (PRT), Grant Baker (ZAF), Nic Lamb (USA), Nic von Rupp (PRT), João Guedes (PRT)
All Photos Courtesy of the World Surf League.
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