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21-year-old Lucas Chianca took the win at the Nazaré Challege, and no one was surprised. Photo: WSL

21-year-old Lucas Chianca took the win at the Nazaré Challege, and no one was surprised. Photo: WSL


The Inertia

Nazaré is a place where local knowledge rules. There is a dedicated crew of surfers there who are on every single swell, come hell or high water. Lucas “Chumbino” Chianca is one of them, and it’s high time he won a WSL Big Wave Tour event. There is no better place for him to stand at the top of the podium than Nazaré, and on Sunday, he did just that.

Chianca is only 21-years-old, but he’s already proven himself to be a person of extraordinary talent in waves most people would run from. Especially at Nazaré, where he does a lot more than just ride waves—Chumbinho toys with one of the most dangerous waves on earth. Take, for instance, this floater on a 15-foot left:

“When I drop into the big waves, I don’t want to think about size,” Chianca said in a WSL interview last year. “I want to surf that wave. Mavericks for me is like the J-Bay of big-wave surfing. You can find the barrel and ride the sections. When I talk about surfing, I’m talking about turning on the wave, riding the whole wave.”

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There’s a reason why he’s talented in waves of extra-large size: he’s been doing it since he was 12. His father put him at the butt end of a tow rope when he wasn’t even a teenager and whipped him into big waves in Brazil.

After a hectic day on Saturday that saw only two heats before being called off because the conditions were too dangerous, Sunday cleaned up relatively nicely. The finals came down to Billy Kemper and Chumbinho, and with two back-to-back Jaws wins, Kemper ain’t no slouch. Kemper couldn’t beat Chianca, but his second-place finish puts him at the top of the ratings on the BWT.

Nazaré Challenge Final Results:
1 – Lucas Chianca (BRA) 21.39
2 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 14.33
3 – Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.83
4 – Kai Lenny (HAW) 13.23
5 – Grant Baker (ZAF) 12.23 6 – Nathan Florence (HAW) 10.89

Watch the entire Finals day on Worldsurfleague.com