Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge gets the green light (updated)
After a frustrating season of big swells ruined by bad winds and vice versa, the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge is a go.
At 8am, this Tuesday the 11th - local time, 7pm AEST - the contest will kick off.
Already more than three months into the waiting period, the Wozzle has chosen a smaller swell, relatively speaking, but the conditions should be primo with very light north winds, even an outside chance for an offshore, followed by light onshores in the afternoon.
The contest format features ten teams representing their country, except for Team World, Team Young Bulls(?), and Team Justine, featuring Justine Dupont and her driver. For Australia, the team is RCJ and Mick Corbett.
Here's the full list of competitors:
Team World: Sebastian Steudtner (DEU) & Maya Gabeira (BRA)
Team Brazil: Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) & Pedro Scooby (BRA)
Team Great Britain: Andrew Cotton (GBR) & Tom Butler (GBR)
Team Australia: Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS) & Mick Corbett (AUS)
Team Portugal: Alex Botelho (PRT) & Hugo Vau (PRT)
Team Young Bulls: Lucas Chianca (BRA) & Kai Lenny (HAW)
Team Europe: Nic von Rupp (PRT) & Francisco Porcella (ITA)
Team France: Benjamin Sanchis (FRA) & Eric Rebiere (FRA)
Team Atlantic: Grant Baker (ZAF) & Antonio Silva (PRT)
Team Justine: Justine Dupont (FRA) surfer only/Fred David driver only
EDIT: Ross Clarke-Jones wont recover from injury in time so his place in Team Australia will go to Basque surfer Axi Muniain, and he and Mick Corbett will now be known as 'Team Nazare Water Fun.'
From the press release:
"Each team will compete twice in an hour-long heat with a priority system to ensure all riders get their shot at some of the best and biggest waves on the day."
"The event will be captured from multiple angles and broadcast live. When the competition wraps, a nominating panel will examine the video evidence and select the biggest, best-ridden waves of the day as finalists. At an awards ceremony later in the day the athletes themselves, along with a group of expert judges, will review the nominated rides and place their votes in an assortment of categories including Men's Wave of the Day, Women's Wave of the Day, Team Champions and the Jogos Santa Casa Commitment Award with the winners being crowned at that time."
You may recall that in November 2018, a large west swell was forecast for Portugal with many surfers racing to Nazare, however the idiosyncracy of the wave, specifically the way swell refracts out of the Nazare Canyon and collides with the original swell train to form oversize wedges, doesn't happen on west swells.
Tuesday's swell, however, is from the north-west bringing the canyon wedges into effect.