Big Wave Surfing
Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge : Kai Lenny and Justine Dupont Win Individual Best Wave Awards
mardi 11 février 2020 –
“This event has almost been a lifetime in the making,” Bill Sharp, Big Wave Tour General Manager said. “It’s just fantastic to experience with a completely different format, essentially a day-long expression session without worrying about advancing or giving a score before a certain amount of time. Everything has come together and today was one of the best days in big wave surfing’s history.”
Competition got underway at 8:30 a.m with uncharacteristic very light offshore winds, and huge surf Surf #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.
Justine Dupont Wins Women’s Wave of the Day
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.
“I was so lucky I had a really nice wave at the beginning of the heat so then we felt pretty comfortable out there,” Dupont said. “I’m really happy, Fred and I had a good rhythm and Clement was there to pick me up after all the waves. All the work that we’ve done this past year has really paid off. There were some really big waves, maybe not giant, but altogether the conditions were perfect for competition.”
Kai Lenny Claims Men’s Wave of the Day
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."
Lenny and Lucas Chianca Crowned Team Champions
Team Young Guns, composed of Kai Lenny (HAW) and Lucas Chianca (BRA) won the team distinction for their collaborative efforts towing into some of the biggest waves of the day and drawing effortless, unique lines in the massive walls of Nazaré. Both surfers looked more comfortable in the 40+Ft faces than most surfers in head-high surf Surf #Surf , giving all the fans an unrealistic feeling of ease while their rides were simply extraordinary.
“We haven’t had that much training together, only a couple of sessions,” Chianca said. "But when I see Kai perform I think it just matches perfectly with the way I like to ride as well. We drive for each other like we really want and it feels really comfortable."
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