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Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge Explained

Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge Explained
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Big wave legend Pete Mel breaks down the format for the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa.

This season, the WSL will present the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa. This is the first, team-oriented big wave tow-in event in the league's history.

Here's how it works:

  • 19 big wave surfers from around the globe - 17 men and 2 women - will be paired up in tow teams.

  • They will compete in a four-hour expression session with no elimination, and an option to run longer if conditions are right.

  • The session will feature a rotating heat format and priority system that keeps five teams in the water at all times.

  • Each tow team will get two, one-hour heats to whip each other into waves of mind-boggling heights.
2020 XXL Biggest Wave Entry: Kai Lenny at Nazaré, Portugal on January 14, 2020. Photo by Heavy Water Films. 2020 XXL Biggest Wave Entry: Kai Lenny at Nazaré WSL

We're talking Guinness World Records potentially being broken, severe wipeouts and daring feats of water rescue. And, unique to this event, the final results will be determined by an athlete-led judging panel.

Four honors will be awarded at the end of the day:

  • Men's Wave of the Day
  • Women's Wave of the Day
  • Team Champions
  • The Jogos Santa Casa Commitment Award

Later that evening at an athlete reception, the day's top performances will be shown on the big screen, and each competitor will privately vote for their favorites. The final voting tally will determine the winners, as judged by their elite, heavy-water peers.

Nazare Promo Image Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa WSL

Competitor List:

Group A: Heats 1, 3 & 5

1.Team Australia (Yellow): Axier Muniain (EUK; Regular) & Mick Corbett (AUS; Regular)
2.Team World (White): Sebastian Steudtner (DEU; Goofy) & Maya Gabeira (BRA; Goofy)
3.Team Atlantic (Brown): Grant Baker (ZAF; Regular) & João De Macedo (PRT; Goofy)
4.Team Europe (Purple): Nic von Rupp (PRT; Goofy) & Francisco Porcella (ITA;Goofy)
5.Team France (Powder): Benjamin Sanchis (FRA; Regular) & Eric Rebiere (FRA; Goofy)

Group B: Heats 2, 4 & 6

1. Team Young Bulls (Blue): Lucas Chianca (BRA; Goofy) & Kai Lenny(HAW; Regular)
2. Team Portugal (Black): Alex Botelho (PRT; Regular) & Hugo Vau (PRT; Goofy)
3. Team Justine (Pink): Justine Dupont (FRA; Regular) surfer only/Fred David driver only
4. Team Brazil (Green): Rodrigo Koxa (BRA; Goofy) & Pedro Scooby (BRA; Goofy)
5. Team Great Britain (Red): Andrew Cotton (GBR; Regular) & Tom Butler (GBR; Goofy)

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