Jamie Mitchell made history today winning the first Nazaré Challenge at Praia Norte, Portugal. The Australian surfer Mitchell also received his first victory in the Big Wave World Tour in 35-to-45 foot surf.
Nazaré Challenge Final Results:
1- Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 23.94
2- Carlos Burle (BRA) 13.00
3- Joao De Macedo (PRT) 10.48
4- Pedro Calado (BRA) 9.34
5- Nic Lamb (USA) 3.00
6- Antonio Silva (PRT) 0.20
Throughout the entire competition Mitchell held the lead despite the cold weather conditions and the 35-foot-plus waves.
This morning, wave-enthusiasts watched the competitors paddle through some of the biggest waves ever seen in Portugal.
Big Wave World Tour veteran Carlos Burle and newcomer Pedro Calado opened up today’s final with an early lead. Nic Lamb followed shortly having two of the worst wipeouts all season. Then Joao De Macedo dropped into a set wave which placed him in third place.
Later in the final Mitchell took a ride on a huge wave grabbing the rail of his board to engage into a bottom turn. Mitchell was awarded an 8.67 for his effort and quickly earning a second score to secure his winning spot.
“I have never made a final before today so to win is unreal, I knew I was close to doing well in a whole event,” Mitchell stated. “To put together a whole contest from start to finish is actually more exciting than just the win today. I felt comfortable out there, my board felt amazing and that gave me a bunch of confidence,” said Mitchell.
His victory in the Nazaré Challenge bumped him up from 13th to 5th place in the tour rankings.
WSL BWT Rankings Top Five (following Nazaré Challenge):
1- Grant Baker (ZAF) – 25,018 points
2- Pedro Calado (BRA) – 21,943 points
3- Greg Long (USA) – 21,921 points
4- Carlos Burle (BRA) – 18,175 points
5- Jamie Mitchell (AUS) – 15,690 points
Runner-up in this first-ever Nazaré Challenge and 2009 Big Wave Tour Champion Burle said, “I’m super proud of my body, it was a tough event all-around in this cold weather, dropping huge waves and getting pounded all-day long.”
“This is my last season as a competitor but… I’m super happy to have been part of this event as I feel there will be much more to come,” said Burle.
The third place holder Joao De Macedo was also acknowledged for his great accomplishments in the Nazaré Challenge. He eliminated reigning Big Wave Tour Champion Greg Long during the first round, and Big Wave Tour leader Grant Baker and Aaron Gold in the semis.
“It feels amazing, just the camaraderie in the water and the way all of us were really pushing our limits today,” De Macedo explained. “The amount of preparation that goes into paddling and surfing this size out there is huge, I’ve been training for months and it feels great,” said De Macedo.
The Todos Santos Challenge in Mexico remains scheduled for the season. The World Surf League hopes to have the Todos Santos Challenge before the season ends in February, 2017.