WSL Launches New Competitive Big Wave Surfing Format In Nazaré


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The Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge 2020 will take place on February 11 in Praia do Norte, Portugal.

The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) hoisted the green flag for the first big wave team towing competition in the organization’s history.

WSL official surf forecasters expect a series of XXL northwest swells towards Nazaré, and light offshore winds, resulting in wave faces of 40 to 50 feet.

The new and unique Big Wave surfing format will feature 19 athletes – 17 men and two women – paired up as tow teams.

The towed surf format

The teams will surf during a four-hour expression session with no elimination phases or rules.

A rotating round format and priority system will ensure all five teams are in the water at all times.

Each team will have two one-hour rounds to tow in the giant waves of Nazaré.

Then, a nominating panel will analyze the captured waves and select the biggest and best surfed waves as finalists.

At the end of the day, the best performances will be shown on the big screen, and each surfer will vote in private for their favorites.

The final vote tally will determine the champions, as judged by their elite heavy water peers.

Four trophies are at stake: Men’s Wave of the Day, Women’s Wave of the Day, Team Champions and, Commitment Award.

Nazaré, the “eighth wonder of the world”, is home to three Guinness World Records: the biggest wave ridden for men, the biggest wave ridden for women and the biggest wave for kitesurfing.

Nazaré Tow Surf Challenge 2020 | List of surfers

Group A | Rounds 1, 3 and 5
Team Australia: Axi Muniain (AUS) / Mick Corbett (AUS)
World team: Sebastian Steudtner (DEU) / Maya Gabeira (BRA)
Atlantic Team: Grant Baker (ZAF) / João de Macedo (PRT)
European team: Nic von Rupp (PRT) / Francisco Porcella (ITA)
French team: Benjamin Sanchis (FRA) / Eric Rebiere (FRA)

Group B | Rounds 2, 4 and 6
Young Bulls Team: Lucas Chianca (BRA) / Kai Lenny (HAW)
Portugal team: Alex Botelho (PRT) / Hugo Vau (PRT)
Team Justine: Justine Dupont (FRA) surfer only / Fred David driver only
Brazil team: Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) / Pedro Scooby (BRA)
Great Britain Team: Andrew Cotton (GBR) / Tom Butler (GBR)

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