Nicole Pacelli was born in the Brazilian coastal city of Guarujá, and later moved to São Paulo, where she grew up at Maresias Beach. Nicole's mother, Flávia Boturão, a former bodyboarder and her father, Jorge Pacelli, a former professional surfer made sure that she grew up with surfing in her blood.

When she started hitting the beach she first chose a stand-up paddleboard after someone had given her dad the board as a gift. By 22 years old, she had become the very first champion of the Women's Stand-up World Tour in the wave category, following up with another victory the following year at the Turtle Bay Women's Pro in Hawaii.

Nicole is practically fearless when it comes to tackling waves. When she first took a trip to Hawaii she headed for Jaws and paddled out before she had even been to the North Shore. Sometimes she arrives at the beach and the waves are booming, and some of the men are unsure as to if she should be out there, but she paddles out regardless, without a fear in the world.

Her inclusion in the Women's Performance Awards at this year's World Surf League's Big Wave Awards is testament to the hours she has put in, consistently paddling out at places like Jaws, Waimea and various lesser-known outer reefs on the North Shore.

World Surf League
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