Watch: Belharra before lockdown

Stu Nettle
Reels

Video and text from SurfSession.com:

Over the past 72 hours, we have taken our hearts to a roller coaster ride.

First, we got excited about this XXL swell that was scheduled to hit Europe this week. What happened yesterday on the sides of Mullaghmore and Nazaré came to reinforce in us the idea that, yes, something special was in the process of being prepared.

Then, Emmanuel Macron came in the evening to shower our enthusiasm with the announcement of a reconfinement. But the announcement made yesterday around 8 p.m. drowned in the excitement of living one last beautiful and very big day before shutting ourselves away.

And what a day!

A few hours before being confined again, Belharra gave us one last gift. Because, yes, the Basque giant could have woken up tomorrow, or during the month of confinement to come, and we would have missed everything. But no, it is today that the beautiful Basque had decided to put on her clothes of lights, a little as if she had decided to come and give us a little of her strength for the weeks to come.

If COVID is occupying the media scene at the moment, it was good to forget this anxiety and gloomy climate.

We had the chance to embark at 7am this morning aboard a boat to capture what the beauty wanted to show us today. Laird Hamilton, initially announced, was ultimately unable to make the trip, but the French chargers made a whole community proud.

On the side of Belharra: Peyo Lizarazu (in foil), Pierre Rollet, Stéphane Iralour, Gautier Garanx, Benjamin Sanchis, Joan Duru, Miky Picon, Justin Becret, Mathieu Aguirre (in foil), the Mangiarotti brothers, Paul Duvignau (in the oar), Antonin de Soultrait (with the oar) or Mathieu Crépel in particular were there for a morning in paradise.

Pierre Rollet, Stéphane, Iralour and Gautier Garanx probably nabbed the three bombs of the day.

Thank you, gentlemen!

Comments

sangsta's picture
sangsta's picture
sangsta commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 9:48am

Didn't see any Frenchmen with the big baguettes catch any waves. Good effort to try and paddle into that lump.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 10:17am

That foiler looked awkward, not totally in control and just a bit of a pest IMO.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 10:27am

I'm totally in awe, but have to agree.
Foiling looks really fun but in general, I can't help wondering if taking up foiling is a choice between foiling and having any mates.

Ride on

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 1:22pm

Well, you gotta learn somewhere...

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 1:25pm

Ha!

wozz's picture
wozz's picture
wozz commented Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 6:46am

So he’s a typical foiler then.

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 10:24am

Yeh surely it’s the ultimate insult to be dropped in on by a foiler on a 30 foot wave

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 10:28am

Not sure why they bothered with such a dynamic soundtrack.. lots of mis-matched audio crescendos where they bizarrely cut to someone grinning on a jetski in the channel. 

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 5:51pm

Totally. Mullaghmore wins the best place to be on that swell. While i sat in my edit suite on the Northern Beaches hating every minute of it.

drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 10:39am

every time someone caught a good one they had to navigate wake from some oblivious numpty on a ski.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 11:01am

That foiler was so far out on the shoulder he was barely on the wave.

As someone just said, the biggest problem for the surfers was negotiating one or more ski wakes while trying to make the drop.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 11:25am

The word "craptacular" was made for that foil rider.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 11:35am

Years ago I suggested that the only way to ride massive Nazare, to cut through the chops and move fast enough to outrun the wave, was with a foil.

I still believe that, though old mate up above guy wasn't presenting the best argument.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 1:04am

stu - there *was* a foil out at nazare later the other night (our time). they got a few but mostly on the shoulder - seemed to have difficulty because (i guess) they needed to avoid the impact zone because (i guess) it was difficult for them to get onto the ski with the foil. it looked too difficult and therefore dangerous to get into position.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 12:05pm

Foilers last wave gets obscured by the boat but pretty sure he'd still be feeling a bad case of whip lash. Yeowch!!

jasper99's picture
jasper99's picture
jasper99 commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 2:07pm

Is France going into lockdown again due to foilers not socially distancing?

marcus's picture
marcus's picture
marcus commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 3:41pm

thats just ausie east coast bombie size

i remember the internet when it was just for intelligent people but.

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 4:21pm

Soundtrack? Nah. There is plenty of hipster French le tune's they could have used. I agree on the Foils being the next step, but jeez, it still shit's me seeing power craft in the way and being a safety risk rather than a safety measure. I would have been just as happy watching from afar with my Croissant and Cafe.

The U Turn
...a little Aloha goes a long way.

toncie's picture
toncie's picture
toncie commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 5:07pm

What, the French don't know about drones?

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 12:24am

WOW.... that 4 minutes and 44 seconds was as riveting as a rivet gun........
I need to watch the Skeleton Bay 'Mirage' footage just so I can sleep tonight......
I bet there was a few high cinq's goin around that day.......ohhh la la

It's easy to be brave from a distance.

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 12:39am

good for them, I mean its big yes but it's an absolutely shite wave, other joints nearby would have made for way more exciting footage, this place makes Nazare look hollow.

B Dub

theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 8:25am

Jeez what a tough crowd of armchair chargers.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 11:48am

haha. Nailed it mate

billythekid's picture
billythekid's picture
billythekid commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 9:03am

Wouldn't mind seeing the actual catching of the wave - watching a paddle on, that would be interesting

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 12:00pm

So.... it's official. Belharra is a dud even on the biggest, cleanest swell in years and we never want to see it again!

Billie

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 12:05pm

Sancho was there so bound to be some good footage coming
https://www.picuki.com/media/2432176834395748949

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 12:00pm

Also... lots of Billys in this thread

Billie

Ronson's picture
Ronson's picture
Ronson commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 1:35pm

the whole thing was bizarre

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 3:53pm
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 11:23pm

its a giant burger.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 12:10am

Yep, it’s a burger.
But the immense size of the wave and the eye-popping peril and the high speed they sustain for a very long distance, it must be quite a thrilling wave to ride.

Edit: I take it back. I was talking about Nazaré.

Belharra. It’s certainly not a good wave shape. But imagine if it was a local wave and you were up to it. It would be pretty fun to have a dig when it was on.
I’d be one of the watchers on a jetski.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 10:45am

..you lot must have forgotten Jamie Mitchell's wave from 2016? out there - was about xxx ft..if only he'd made that drop - going right ..I might add..not on my Peahi radar, which I ride regularly from my armchair - but hard to ignore volume of water out there.

Having said that; it did look a little like a caper cops episode out there in this ep; a lot of jet powered objects moving around, on what looked like dangerous trajectories.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 11:21am

Three 'x' signs for Jamie Mitchell's wave, hey? Triple digit territory.

The thing about the JM's wave was that during the same session there were lots of big, broad burgers, much like in the video above...and then Jamie's wave came through. All of a sudden things stepped up big time.

Reminiscent of Avalanche in Hawaii, just the wild randomness of it, where a xxft wave can gently break right here, but the next wave will be xx + 1 ft and break top to bottom 200 metres further out.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 12:39pm

Stu > exactly where I was coming from - in essence, I wouldn't write-off Belharra based on that 1 wave of JM's, which was nuts. I don't know anything about Belharra's bathymetry vs. Nazare unique canyon/trench - but both of these waves seem to have similar characteristics to me? A few more JM type waves ridden at Belharra and the hordes will descend and revalue its context IMO > RR

PS: saw the xxx+1 factor at Boat Ramps last Thursday > as I turned the corner a set broke 100 meters further out from the pack. I nearly crashed my car, stopping to watch, trying to calculate the size from 2kms away. The next set was ridden at 10ft+ - so what did that make the size of preceding set?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 10:14am

I know it looks fat in action, but still shots of Belharra are worth a closer study: