Surfers on the Big Wave Tour are likely frantically checking flights, packing board bags, and tracking down their inflatable vests about now. On Tuesday, the World Surf League issued a Yellow Alert for the 2018 Nazaré Challenge at Praia do Norte, Portugal.
“We anticipate a great swell hitting Nazaré later this week,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner, in a release. “A WNW swell is moving toward the region and expected to hit Praia do Norte with ideal winds on Friday, November 16. We have issued a Yellow Alert to potentially run on Friday. We are closely monitoring the conditions, and if all continues to align, we will go Green 48 hours prior.”
The official forecast calls for waves in the 20-to-30-foot range with some sets pushing 35 feet on Friday. It ain’t 80-feet (see also: Rodrigo Koxa’s Guinness World Record-breaking monster), but as Kai Lenny put it in a recent video of himself testing some big wave equipment in some small stuff: for Nazaré “we want a swell that’s not 100 feet so we can paddle it.”
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Big waves don’t happen all the time and competing on the @wsl big wave world tour we are given 48 hours to be at one of the 3 Tour stops, Peahi aka Jaws (15 min drive) Mavericks (5 hour flight) and Nazare (30 hour trip.) Have to stay sharp for when the call comes in! 👊🏾💯🌊 🎥: @kaiwatermanmedia / @ryanjohnson.mov
The complete athlete list is as follows, and we’ll continue to monitor this story as it develops.
Nazaré Challenge Athlete List:
Billy Kemper, Kai Lenny, Ian Walsh, Makuakai Rothman, Lucas Chianca, Jamie Mitchell, Tom Lowe, Alex Botelho, Greg Long, Natxo Gonzalez, Will Skudin, Grant Baker, Nathan Florence, Jojo Roper, Russell Bierke, João De Macedo, Rodrigo Koxa, Antonio Silva, Hugo Vau, Nic Von Rupp, João Guedes, Three WSL BWT Invitees TBD by WSL BWT Commissioner
Alternates: Ryan Hipwood, Andrew Cotton, Tom Butler, Axi Muniain