It seems like tomorrow will be the big day! Tomorrow the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is expected to start. Nazaré, about 125km North of Lisbon, is one of the most popular seaside resorts along the “Costa de Prata” (Silver Coast), Portugal. Since November 2011, when surfer Garrett McNamara, from Hawaii, surfed a record-breaking giant wave (23.8 m) at Nazaré, this seaside village became famous for its big waves.

Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016
Garrett McNamara’s wave from 2011 in Nazaré

In recent years, Nazaré has become a popular tourist destination being a picturesque seaside village. Its long sandy beaches are considered to be among the best beaches in Portugal.

After his record-breaking giant wave in 2011, McNamara returned to Nazaré several times in the search of an even bigger wave. In October, 2013, Carlos Burle, from Brazil, surfed another wave that is being studied as possibly the largest wave ever ridden. Surfing big waves in Nazaré is not without danger. In October 2013, female surfer Maya Gabeira experienced a near-death wipeout in Nazaré. Fortunately, she was rescued after losing consciousness.

Nazaré hosts such very high breaking waves thanks to the presence of the underwater Canyon. This canyon makes the waves much larger. The famous big waves of Nazaré gave origin to the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016.

Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazré
Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazaré

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 has been called on with big-wave riders Andrew Cotton and Tom Butler, both from the UK, in the starting line up. Depending on the local wind, it looks like Tuesday December the 20th is the first possible day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the wind and ocean conditions cooperate.

The the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), with a series of major swells heading towards Nazaré, confirmed the start of the event. All surf lovers around the world will have their eyes on the world’s best big wave surfers. The 24 selected big wave riders will take on the waves of “Praia do Norte”. This beach beak is notorious for its imposing waves and dangerous whitewater speeds.

According to Peter Mel, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner, the waves are projected to be 10-14m plus with favorable winds. “We are all eager to see how the world’s best big wave surfers push the boundaries with the debut of this event” he says.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is an all-new event on the WSL Big Wave Tour. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be the first paddle-in competition to take place at Nazaré. This happening reaffirms Portugal as a big wave haven.

The event will be contested by 24 of the best big wave surfers. Our friend and local surfer Alex Botelho is among these 24 courageous surfers. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is scheduled to start early in the morning Portugal time on Tuesday, December 20. Depending on the conditions, the organization is also keeping the option open of competition days on Wednesday, December 21 and Thursday, December 22.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be webcast LIVE at and on the WSL app. The total prize purse for the Nazare Challenge is $100,000.

Nazaré Challenge Competitors in 2016:

Greg Long (USA)

Billy Kemper (HAW)

Nic Lamb (USA)

Carlos Burle (BRA)

Damien Hobgood (USA)

Cristian Merello (CHL)

Ramon Navarro (CHL)

Gabriel Villaran (PER)

Grant Baker (CHL)

Trevor Carlson (HAW)

Koa Rothman (HAW)

Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Aaron Gold (HAW)

Kai Lenny (HAW)

Pedro Calado (BRA)

Will Skudin (USA)

Kealii Mamala (HAW)

Kohl Christensen (HAW)

Alex Botelho (PRT)

Hugo Vau (PRT)

João de Macedo (PRT)

Antonio Silva (PRT)

Andrew Cotton (GBR)

Tom Butler (GBR)

Visit Nazaré these days to be impressed by these heroes or book your own surfing lesson in Portugal!

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