Nazaré has already had a pretty eventful 2018. That’s well known and well documented less than six weeks into the year. On Wednesday, the WSL announced they’ve finally found a swell suitable to give the Big Wave Tour’s Nazaré Challenge a green light for Saturday, sneaking it in before the contest window closes on February 28th.
“We are calling the WSL Nazaré Challenge ON for this Saturday, February 10,” said WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner Mike Parsons. “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.”
This will be the second running of the WSL’s event at Nazaré after Jamie Mitchell won the previous contest at Praia do Norte. It will also be the third of this year’s four-event tour. Kai Lenny currently leads the BWT rankings with a win in 2017’s Puerto Escondido Challenge and a 4th place finish at Jaws in late October.
Running the Nazaré Challenge Saturday will also give the WSL one last chance to fit in the Mavericks Challenge before that contest window closes on February 28th as well. Competitors had been put on alert for a possible event at Mavs nearly a month ago before it was all eventually called off due to poor conditions. With Saturday’s green light in Portugal and just over two more weeks to run the first-ever Mavericks Challenge, this could turn into a busy month on the Big Wave Tour.