TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa took place today at Praia de Norte, Nazaré, Portugal and the world’s best big wave surfers reveled in the clean, 40-to-50-foot waves on offer.

Brazilian big wave surfer Lucas Chianca was the star of the 2022 TUDOR Nazaré Tow Challenge as he collected two awards at the WSL Big Wave event in Nazaré // Hugo Silva / Red Bull Content Pool
Lucas Chianca was crowned the Best Individual Performance at the Challenge // Masurel / WSL

It was no surprise that Lucas ‘Chumbo’ Chianca (BRA) burst out of the gates from the first heat, and despite not surfing with his usual teammate, Chianca and Nic von Rupp (PRT) were an incredible team. Chianca scored his best wave early on, speeding down the line with a critical turn in the lip and riding it out for an 8.33 (out of a possible 10). Both surfers increased their scores in their second heat and Chianca was pushing the limit of what was previously thought possible on big waves when he launched into a mind-bending alley-oop on one of his waves.

“We’re super stoked, we have a special connection out there. We are always looking for the same waves and that’s why I think we are the perfect match!” said Chianca. 

“It’s a really great opportunity, I’ve always looked up to Chumbo,” said Von Rupp. “He is the guy that always pushes your limits and his own limits so it’s a pleasure to compete with him.”

Nazaré standout Justine Dupont (FRA) suffered an unfortunate fate on her first wave, getting caught by the white water and injuring her left ankle when her foot got stuck in the strap of her board. Dupont was unable to continue surfing her heat, bringing an early end to her and team partner Tony Laureano’s (PRT) run at Nazaré.

Michelle des Bouillons (BRA) put up an impressive performance, pushing herself into some big bombs with her compatriot and partner Ian Cosenza (BRA). Des Bouillons put in a lot of time to improve at Nazaré and it showed, with better positioning taking off deeper and committing to huge rides.

Lucas Chianca of Brazil , Nic Von Rupp of Portugal and Tony win the Best Team Performance surfs in Heat of Round 1 at the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa on February 10, 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. (Photo by Laurent Masurel/World Surf League)

Lucas Chianca (BRA) once again retained the Men’s Best Performance and the Best Team Performance titles, this time partnering with Nic von Rupp (PRT).

“I was happy with my waves, and I can’t wait to learn more and try to improve with my surfing. I’m super stoked to win the best performance and best team with Nic. We had that connection in the water, that was the best part. I didn’t have to say anything, he was choosing the waves for me and I just performed and he did the same so it was the best,” said Chianca.

“Teaming up with Chumbo was amazing, he’s such a positive guy, has so much energy. He’s an amazing surfer, he’s so kind and he’s sharing his world so it was amazing to be out there. We got a bunch of waves and he was cheering for me and he got a bunch of good ones as well, so yeah stoked!” said Von Rupp.

Maya Gabeira of Brazil surfs in Heat 6 of Round 1 at the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa on February 10, 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. // Laurent Masurel / WSL)
Maya Gabeira performs during a big wave surfing session at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal // Hugo Silva / Red Bull Content Pool

It was a close battle for the Women’s Best Performance award between Des Bouillons and Maya Gabeira (BRA), but patience and experience paid off for Gabeira who clinched the top spot in the last heat of the day. 

“It’s been a rollercoaster!” said Gabeira. “It’s been a really hard day, we got pounded in the beginning of our first heat and I used all of my canisters and had a bad sensation on my spine. I kept surfing but I was just a little bit overwhelmed with stress. Seeing Justine get injured just before my heat, then Antonio (Silva) and now Jamie (Mitchell), there was just a difficult vibe today. I’m really glad I had Pierre (Rollet) on the ski with me today, he killed it and we made it in one piece. It’s my first professional win and here in Nazaré where I’ve dedicated most of my life now.”

Jamie Mitchell of Australia surfs in Heat 6 of Round 1 at the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa on February 10, 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. (Photo by Laurent Masurel/World Surf League)

First-time tow partners Rafael Tapia (CHI) and Jamie Mitchell (AUS) delivered some solid performances, but it was Mitchell’s commitment and athleticism that saw him in the perfect spot on every wave, and his ability to read the waves and combine different maneuvers together was the point of difference and awarded him the Jogos Santa Casa Most Committed Award.

Pushing himself in the final moments of the day’s last heat to find a score and take the lead, Mitchell pulled into a massive backside barrel on the infamous lefts of Nazaré and unfortunately suffered a violent wipeout. Suffering a back injury, Mitchell was evaluated and treated by the medical team on-site and evacuated quickly to further assess his condition. He is currently being treated at a local hospital.

With the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge pres. by Jogos Santa Casa completed today, the best big wave surfers on the planet will shift their focus again to the Pacific and track swells around Hawaii in anticipation of the Quiksilver Jaws Big Wave Challenge presented by TUDOR.

The TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge pres. by Jogos Santa Casa is proudly supported by TUDOR, Jogos Santa Casa, Red Bull, and Visit Portugal. 

The TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Presented by Jogos Santa Casa was broadcast LIVE on and Red Bull TV. The same platforms offer an array of replay content, from the full day of action to cutdowns of the best action, highest scores, interviews and more.

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Wave at the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa on February 10, 2022 in Nazare, Portugal. (Photo by Laurent Masurel/World Surf League)

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About the WSL

Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including 
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  
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TUDOR is an award-winning Swiss-made watch brand, offering mechanical watches with refined aesthetics, proven reliability and unique value for money. The origins of TUDOR date back to 1926, when “The Tudor” was first registered as a brand on behalf of the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf. He created the Montres TUDOR SA Company in 1946 to offer watches with the quality and dependability of a Rolex, at a more affordable price point. Because of their robustness and affordability, throughout their history TUDOR watches have been chosen by the boldest adventurers on land, underwater and on ice. Today, the TUDOR collection includes emblematic models such as Pelagos, Black Bay, 1926 and Royal. Since 2015, TUDOR has also offered mechanical Manufacture Calibres with multiple functions and superior performance. 

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