Freakish Friday: Nazare XXXL – Surfline

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Over a nonstop winter season and banner for the big swells in Nazare, this one might end up being the biggest. The seas are already expected to cross the 55 to 58 foot range. “It’s not just above the 5-10 foot model guidance,” says Surfline’s Mike Watson, “it’s one of the largest satellite-confirmed measurements over this hyperactive winter in the US. North Atlantic.” Read Incoming’s full story here. And no matter how many Canyon sessions or competitive accolades they’ve already racked up this season, surfers aren’t taking this one lightly.

Nazaré: live camera feed

chumbo. Video: Tucker Wooding

“He’s been shooting non-stop this year, more than any other year,” Portuguese pro Nic Von Rupp, who won “Best Team Performance” alongside towing partner Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca, told TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge two weeks ago. “I don’t know how to describe it other than Nazare flat out, nonstop: two swells over 50ft, 60ft, even this week, it’s been crazy. Clean and super fun.

“I hurt my ribs during the contest, Nic continued, “so I hadn’t planned on surfing for the next two weeks. But it looks too good. And looking at the rankings, this could be the last effort, the last session of the season, so I think I’ll deal with that.

“I needed to come to Nazare for this huge swell,” echoed Nazare’s perennial MVP, Chumbo. “Perfect wind and swell directions. Let’s do this.”

“Honestly, I originally planned to go somewhere else,” admitted Joao de Macedo, “but I stopped at Nic Von Rupp’s and he was foaming, so now I’m staying here [laughs]. I’ll just try to catch one or two, you know? Eric Rebiere comes from Galicia, Michelle des Bouillons is in the area, and a few other people.

The beast in its debut, Thursday evening. Photo: Vitor Estrelinha

“It’s half term right now and I was actually in the Alps with my son on different kinds of mountains [laughs]said British pro Andrew “Cotty” Cotton. “But I am going to Nazare. I know Gmac [Garrett McNamara] isn’t there, but there are a few teams that come together for that. Should be fun.”

“Honestly, I feel a bit nervous,” said 19-year-old Charger Tony Laureano, who just won the inaugural Coruna Big Waves event in Spain. “Whenever there’s a big swell like this, it’s impossible not to. The forecast for Friday shows it could be one of the biggest swells of the season: straight offshore, big stretch. We are going to have massive waves.

“The last few days I’ve been surfing pretty much every day,” Tony continued. “I won the competition, then I went to the Basque Country and trained every day. I feel ready for it. My goal is to get out there, charge as hard as I can and get home safe.

“Most people here, we don’t even look at the forecasts,” said local hell Rafa Tapia. “We were born ready and just trying to take it one day at a time. Try not to procrastinate or look too far ahead. Every time we wake up for those big days, there’s always a new plan. We know the bomb is coming, but we mustn’t make mistakes, don’t hurt ourselves, and follow safety protocols.

“The biggest swell of the season?” Michelle des Bouillons has finished. “I try not to think about it like that. It’s just another day at work. I did tow surfing every day to stay on top. I train with my mother, meditate and eat as well as possible. Wish me good luck.”

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