Green Light for Nazaré BWT Challenge This Saturday

Form Guide

NAZARÉ, Portugal (Wednesday, February 7, 2018) - The World Surf League Big Wave Tour is placing the Nazaré Challenge in Nazaré, Portugal on Green Alert to commence on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Praia do Norte (North Beach), a break notorious for its powerful waves and dangerous whitewater speeds, has seen monstrous waves this season and now event organizers are tracking conditions favorable enough to run the highly-anticipated competition.  

“We are excited about what we are seeing at Nazaré,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “We are calling the WSL Nazaré Challenge ON for this Saturday, February 10. With a solid swell coming from the NW, we are looking at around 9-to-12 feet of deepwater swell that will translate to 25-to-35 foot faces by mid-morning and potentially pushing 40 feet later in the day. There is potential that the winds might come up when we run, so we plan to start early in the morning and finish before it comes up too high.”

The second-ever Nazaré Challenge in Portugal will see the world’s best take on some of the heaviest waves in the world. Defending event winner Jamie Mitchell (AUS) and the men’s big wave field will be put to the ultimate test as they battle the infamous break that has long been considered inaccessible to paddle-in-surfing. Kai Lenny (HAW), current Big Wave Tour rankings leaders, will look to improve his 13th place finish at Nazaré. 

The 2017/2018 WSL Big Wave Tour has completed its first two events of the season with Lenny winning the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico, and Ian Walsh (HAW) and Paige Alms (HAW) taking out the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii.  

Formed in 2009, the Big Wave Tour joined the WSL in 2014 and has produced historic performances at never-before-contested venues such as Nazaré in Portugal and Pe'ahi on Maui's North Shore. Monitoring swell systems and weather patterns throughout the season, the Big Wave Tour only runs events when surf reaches the 30-foot-plus mark, mobilizing on 72 hours' notice with an international field of Big Wave men's and women's athletes.

Surfline, Official Forecasters for the 2017/2018 Nazaré Challenge, are calling for:

XL to possibly XXL NW swell is developing for Nazare on Saturday the 10th thanks to a strong, double-barreled area of low pressure now stretching over Greenland. Model guidance indicates that wind of 40-45 knots will develop in this fetch over the next 12-24 hours, with seas of 35-40 feet also expected to develop just east of Greenland.

At this point, we’ll look for building, longer period NW swell through the morning on Saturday, with 20-35’+ faces. The swell looks to peak from around midday and hold over the afternoon with solid 25-35’+ faces and occasional sets to 40’+ faces. There will also be some short period NW swell running in the morning, which will give the surf at least somewhat of a jumbled feel, but that short period swell will ease through the day. 

Wind, while not ideal, does look manageable. Offshore to side-offshore flow from the NE to NNE is currently expected in the morning in the 10-15 knot range, trending to side shore north at 15 knots+ from late morning through the afternoon.

The 2017/2018 WSL Big Wave Tour is proudly supported by Corona, the Official Beer of the Big Wave Tour (excluding the US), and Quiksilver Airlift, the Official Inflatable Vest of the 2017/2018 Big Wave Tour.

The 2017/2018 Nazaré Challenge competitor list will be released closer to the event start. Please check back at WorldSurfLeague.com for updates. 

Comments

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Thursday, 8 Feb 2018 at 7:18pm

What sort of swell interval exactly is expected during the bwt event at nazare ?

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:35am

Looks to me like starting out in the morning at about 8ft @ 16 sec building to 12ft @ 15sec which they are saying will translate in to -

"we’ll look for building, longer period NW swell through the morning on Saturday, with 20-35’+ faces. The swell looks to peak from around midday and hold over the afternoon with solid 25-35’+ faces and occasional sets to 40’+ faces"

The bathymetry in the Nazare canyon sure knows how to milk a swell. Freak of nature!

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:39am

Answering myself unfortunately from yesterday's question- a quick google search to find out asap, Magic seaweed says 16s then 15s during the day .

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:45am

Oh deckstrus, we posted at the same time damn , could have waited .
Thanks anyways.
i did read the article but it didn't specify.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:49am

https://www.swellnet.com/reports/portugal/north-west-coast/praia-da-naza...

Looks like a late Saturday afternoon peak of 4.5m @ 14.8 seconds (leading edge in just under 17 seconds midnight Friday).

Nazare is indeed a freak. Model guidance is usually pretty good for these events, as per what the local wave buoy records. However the transformation in the surf zone is like nowhere else on earth.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:57am

Face measurements are not in my language either .
Only interested in what the surfers call it, not what the contest promoters call .

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 11:32am

Surfline measure wave faces; Surfers height is typically around half of that.

So, "25-to-35 foot faces by mid-morning and potentially pushing 40 feet later in the day" means 12-18ft surf, with occ 20ft sets later.

Our model is estimating 10-12ft surf for a regular open surf break in the area (though, angle has quite a bit of north in it, which may be knocking off some of the size), and for the few swells I've watched over the last few years, surf size as the wave A-frames is typically two or three times this at least.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 1:21pm

If that wind gets up I want to see Kai bust out the foil...

mantown's picture
mantown's picture
mantown commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 6:00pm

and they are paddling?

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 6:43pm

They say, that the first Nazare Challenge was 9/10 feet. With some easy 15 to 30 foot faces.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 9 Feb 2018 at 10:29pm

Hey Tim are you kidding 9 to 10 foot ?
That was huge !
This swell looks mental for paddling but with that wind thats horrific a devil wind for lefts so gnarly .
Ben thanks for the details so much more understandable in metres than surflines face sizes.
Hoping for a miracle wind drop for those surfers !
One things for sure at nazare is it will be huge crazy waves

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 10 Feb 2018 at 7:25pm

Its On .

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Saturday, 10 Feb 2018 at 11:55pm

Why is Nazare so hard to forecast for, anyways?
Surfline Forecaster Kevin Wallis explains:

“The big thing is the variability in the model guidance more than a couple days out. The NATL is quite a bit smaller than the NPAC, so you get a lot more day to day and model run to model run changes (and that trend is exacerbated during the true winter months, say mid/late Dec through Feb). Add to the fact that the event is almost always gonna need to be called green before the storm actually develops and it makes for a tricky forecast. (The call needs to be made 72 hours before the event runs.)

“A couple days ago, this swell looked like it would be very marginal for size. Yesterday, we were worried it would be too big. Now we’re kinda settling in and it looks OK.

“Local wind also really tough to call 3-5 days out in the middle of winter, as many of the same storms that create swell will also impact Portugal in some capacity. So you’re dealing with shifting wind forecasts and have to really pay attention to trends over the last couple/few model runs and what, if any, type of agreement you have across the different models (GFS, ECMWF, WRF, etc.).”

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 at 8:43am

Saturday, February 10, 2018
Nazaré Challenge Off for the Day, Next Call Sunday
Strong winds and unruly conditions led the Commissioner to put the action on hold. The next call Sunday, February 11, at 8 a.m. WET.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 at 7:37pm

First wave ridden today, and Joe Turpel’s commentary says it all: “it’s easily overhead”.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 at 8:25pm

I'm enjoying it because it's nothing you see in competitive surfing - it's not a performance mal comp with all the walking, and it's not a pro shortboard comp. In smaller waves (I see triple head sets) they are using 8'6 to 10' or so, the boards are getting in crazy easy and they are doing turns more relatable to us mortals.
The boards too are fascinating - here you have to design for early entry and sheer straight line speed and what you end up with is 10'4, wide point forward, lots of beef forward like a Brewer, narrow pins tails with down rails, and... quads?! It's pretty spun out as here the type of competition is dictating a design radically different to anything else out there.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 at 8:36pm

Thruster 3s aswell for that chop

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 at 8:43pm

Personally i find this hard to watch for more than 10 mins,in these conditions i cant believe its on foxtel,gonna be a hard sell imo......

simba

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Monday, 12 Feb 2018 at 3:49pm

Forecast for Nazarre next week is 30 -35 foot with light winds

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

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