The WSL’s Nazaré Big Wave Challenge went off Monday and from my perspective, it was one of the better big wave events in recent memory. The waves certainly didn’t hurt. They weren’t gigantic, but they were super consistent and generally had really good shape as they piled into the cliffs at Praia do Norte. I was struck by the performance aspect of the event. Lucas Chianca was setting up his bottom turn for pocket carves like he was on a six-foot wave. It was a sight to behold. The only thing missing of course was Kai Lenny, likely still recovering from a wipeout at Pipeline.
Chianca won the overall performance award along with Maya Gabeira, who definitely knows this wave like no one else. It was certainly an entertaining watch and Mother Nature allowed the WSL to finish the entire shebang in one day.
“Thank you so much to everyone who put on this amazing event in 72 hours,” Gabeira told the crowd after. “This was incredible!”
Yeah, it was. And photographer Romuald Pliquet was on hand for The Inertia to capture the swell, and the event itself, in all its glory. And it was exceptionally well done. Pliquet’s photos do an incredible job of showing the scale of the place and just how enormous the playing field is the surfers are working with. Nazaré always seems to draw a crowd. Pliquet provided these nine images that perfectly capture the place, and an event, that encapsulated the big wave season thus far.