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The Inertia

As you know, Nazaré ain’t always the prettiest of waves. It’s cold and weather-beaten, thrashed winds and pounded by storms. Those winds and storms, though, are a necessary evil—without them, there would be no mind-bendingly big wave there. It’s just that sometimes they’re a little too close. When the Nazaré Challenge was called on, event organizers knew they had a blustery day ahead. They made the call to run a few heats early, just to get their feet in the wax, as they say. “We are going to start the Nazaré Challenge at 8:00 a.m. local time,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “We are starting early to try to get ahead of the wind that is projected to come in through the afternoon. There are solid waves so far, and we expect to see the swell build throughout the morning. We will see surf in the 25-to-35-foot range, with sets in the 45-foot range. It will be an epic day of competition. Best of luck to all of our surfers out there today.”

But after only two heats, Mother Nature decided she’d had enough. The wind picked up to near-gale force while the waves remained huge. The forecast, at least, looks a little better for Sunday. A little. “NW swell will be on the rise through the day on Saturday and will peak over the afternoon hours,” wrote the WSL forecasters. “Early morning we expect to see face size in the 20-30’ range with some larger sets to 35’ building through the morning. Note that there will also be short period NW swell running for jumbled conditions. As the swell builds into the afternoon we’ll look for 30-40’ faces, with max sets to 45’+. Moderate offshore NW wind prevails in the morning at 10-15 knots, becoming breezy sidehore N wind for the late morning and afternoon in the 15-20 knot range.”


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