Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
One of the most underrated big-wave surfers is humble fisherman Hugo Vau. Hailing from Lisbon, Portugal, Hugo is quiet and unassuming, getting on with his daily business of fishing -- or charging outside sets.
Hugo has had a decent run or two, making it to the Semifinals of the inaugural Nazaré Challenge. While he's still a relatively unknown quantity in big-wave circles, when it starts getting really serious, when there are no more games to be had, Hugo arrives on the scene.
Despite a short track record thus far, Vau is a determined and gutsy big-wave charger who is ready to take it on. He has it in his bones. He is all about Nazaré and he knows the differences between Nazaré and other big waves.
Which is to say that the biggest waves in the world all end in channels, but at Nazaré it ends with the mother of all beachbreaks, with thick whitewater, giant peaks, currents and the rest of that makes it one of the unsafest places to be when finishing a big ride.
In this nominated wave, Hugo snagged a giant left in the screaming offshore, and was dwarfed by the outsized Nazaré peak. Is it the biggest wave of the season? We will soon find out, but for now Hugo remains under the radar, a place he doesn't really mind being.