Nazaré, December 20, 2016

Surf fans all know by now that Jamie Mitchell won the inaugural Nazaré Challenge in thunderous conditions, and that he won it by going for crazy waves in each and every heat.

Obviously Jamie is one of the fittest big-wave surfers on the planet, but no matter how fit you are, and how many of the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard races you have won, there's still the problem of mortality. Being in great physical condition might help you maintain paddling ability and being in the right place, but it is not the factor that gets you over the ledge when that ledge goes square.

This wave was in the event, and it was one of the biggest, deepest and steepest lefts of the day. Jamie was in the sweet spot, if you can call dropping down a 40-foot face and attempting to outrun a lip that is aimed squarely at your head sweet. He got down that wave at ridiculous speed at a tight trajectory and made the drop in what was one of the most exhilarating moments that whole day. He ended up engulfed by the whitewater, after successfully getting down one of the biggest paddle-in waves of the year.

Jamie has had a blinder of a year so far, and whether he wins any awards in the WSL Big Wave Awards, he's already walked into the record books.

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