The famed big-wave spot in Portugal has fast become one of the most recognizable big-wave spots in the world, offering plenty of opportunity each winter for some of the year’s biggest waves ridden and most brutal wipeouts.
In preparation for this highly-anticipated big-wave contest, we decided to offer the top 5 moments from last winter’s Nazarè Challenge to get your blood pumping for some world-class big-wave action on Saturday.
1. Jamie Mitchell’s first Big Wave Tour win
Surely the biggest story of the 2016/2017 Nazaré Challenge was Jamie Mitchell’s fearless surfing en route to his first Big Wave Tour victory. He looked poised the entire event (even when Nazaré got the better of him), making noise throughout the day as a measured risk-taker who was on his way to a win.
2. Nic Lamb’s Brave Pull-In
California’s Nic Lamb went all-out throughout the first Nazaré, which earned him a spot in the final. This incredibly brave pull-in, combined with a few other big-time wipeouts, nearly kept Lamb from even making it to the podium with a concussion sustained from the action.
3. João De Macedo’s Gutsy Performance
Portugal’s own João De Macedo wanted to showcase the first-ever event at Nazaré with his own dedicated surfing, which is exactly what he did throughout the event. He was always committed and exhibited a true relationship with Portugal’s premiere big-wave spot.
4. Tom Butler’s Painful Wipeout
The United Kingdom’s Tom Butler may have suffered the most at the hands of Nazaré during the contest. This brutal wipeout left him with a collapsed lung, a split ear drum and bruised ribs. He wore the wave on the back and needed a visit to the hospital afterwards. Thankfully the rescue team acted quickly and were able to get him to the hospital in a timely fashion.
5. Damien Hobgood’s Kick-Out
Damien Hobgood’s transition from the Championship Tour to the Big Wave Tour was one that seemed quite natural for the Floridian. He started the contest off with some of the best rides and truly set the tone for the day. He performed this stomach-churning kick-out on one particular wave, and also had some difficulty on the inside with a jet ski pick-up. It was a trying, but eventful day for Hobgood.
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