NAZARÉ, Portugal (Saturday, February 10, 2018) – The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) Nazaré Challenge was put on hold today after dangerous winds developed during the second heat of Round One. BWT officials decided to call the competition off to ensure the safety of the competitors. Event officials will make a call tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. WET for a possible 7:30 a.m. WET start (11:30 PM PST, 5:30 AM BRST, 7:30 AM GMT, 6:30 PM AEDT).
“We saw the wind come up really strong out of the NW,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “The conditions were way too dangerous for the surfers. We went on hold to see what the conditions would do, but because we did not see a change, we have decided to pause the competition and look to finish the event tomorrow. There will still be solid swell and the forecast projects that there will be lighter winds. It was just too dangerous with the winds. The surfers could not get down the face. Their feedback was that it was way too hazardous out there.”
Prior to the competition being called off for the day, Round One Heat 1 witnessed Lucas Chianca (BRA), Billy Kemper (HAW), and Nathan Florence (HAW) earn their places into the Semifinals with solid mid-range scores. Peter Mel (USA), Alex Botelho (PRT), and Jamie Mitchell (AUS), defending Nazaré Challenge winner, will also advance to the next round after earning the top three places in Round One Heat 2. The remaining 12 competitors in Heats 3 and 4 will anxiously monitor the conditions and prepare for their potential start first thing tomorrow morning.
Surfline, Official Forecasters for the 2017/2018 Nazaré Challenge, are calling for:
XL to possibly XXL NW swell is developing for Nazaré on Saturday the 10th thanks to a strong, double-barreled area of low pressure now stretching over Greenland. Model guidance indicates that wind of 40-45 knots will develop in this fetch over the next 12-24 hours, with seas of 35-40 feet also expected to develop just east of Greenland.
At this point, we’ll look for building, longer period NW swell through the morning on Saturday, with 20-35’+ faces. The swell looks to peak from around mid-day and hold over the afternoon with solid 25-35’+ faces and occasional sets to 40’+ faces. There will also be some short period NW swell running in the morning, which will give the surf at least somewhat of a jumbled feel, but that short period swell will ease through the day.
Wind, while not ideal, does look manageable. Offshore to side-offshore flow from the NE to NNE is currently expected in the morning in the 10-15 knot range, trending to sideshore north at 15 knots+ from late morning through the afternoon.
If called back on tomorrow, the Nazaré Challenge will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page and on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, and Sport TV in Portugal.
Nazaré Challenge Round 1 Results (H1 – 2):
Nazaré Challenge Remaining Round 1 Match-Ups (H2 – 3):
The 2017/2018 Nazaré Challenge is presented Jogos Santa Casa, and proudly supported by Tourism of Portugal, West Tourism, and Nazaré City Council. The 2017/2018 WSL Big Wave Tour is proudly supported by Corona, the Official Beer of the Big Wave Tour (excluding North America), and Quiksilver Airlift, the Official Inflatable Vest of the 2017/2018 Big Wave Tour.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
(C) Towsurfer.com 2018