Reports – as yet unsubstantiated with nobody involved willing to go on record – of multiple incidents in the lineup at Nazaré are coming out of the last couple of days of huge swell at the infamous big wave break.
With yesterday seeing perhaps one of the biggest swells ever, it wasn’t just the conditions themselves threatening the well-being of the world’s best tow surfers; a crew that included the likes of Kai Lenny, Lucas Chumbo, Andrew Cotton, Justine Dupont, Nic Von Rupp and Sebastian Steudtner – as well as reigning Men’s CT World Champ Italo Ferreira.
Apparently, a disagreement got physical after two crews disputed priority and wave count. As the driver of one ski pulled up alongside the other team’s ski to talk to the driver about etiquette, the surfer on the sled behind stood up and jumped on top the other driver in a rare physical confrontation in the lineup at 60ft plus Praia da Norte on Wednesday.
Not ideal, given the inherent dangers involved in just being in the lineup, but nothing compared to what went down yesterday (Thurs 29th) on one of the biggest days ever witnessed.
After an incident that saw one (European) crew drop in on (another European) surfer up and riding, causing the deeper surfer to wipeout as the pair clashed mid-face, multiple reports are emerging that the driver of the ski of the surfer who was dropped in on then intentionally ran over the team involved in the drop-in, with his ski.
A witness said, “He (the driver of the drop-in team) could have easily been killed, luckily it was a glancing blow. The board (of the surfer that dropped in) was all dinged and fucked up by the impact.”
How big exactly yesterday was remains to be decided by the powers that decide these things, a process itself not without controversy.
Andrew Cotton, who wasn’t involved in any of the incidents mentioned above, posted a pulled back shot of an absolutely massive wave, his only ride of the day, with the caption.
“I only really wanted 1 wave today, I was happy to wait and I knew it was going to be a right just out straight in front of the lighthouse. Definitely the fastest I’ve ever been on a surfboard…”
With the chance of another swell filling in on the back of this one, and the waiting period on the Nazare Tow Challenge opening Monday 2nd Nov, there is a chance the event might run next week.