2016 Puerto Escondido Challenge surfing contest begins - Sports Illustrated

The Weekender: Puerto Escondido Big Wave contest is on

Big wave surfing's 2016 Puerto Escondido Challenge begins this weekend, with swells in excess of 30 feet heading for the region. CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the contest.
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Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the videos and news from the week that was—like surfer Courtney Conlogue and moto star Ryan Dungey being featured in ESPN’s Body Issue—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.

Puerto Escondido Big Wave Contest is a Go

With waves forecast in the 20-25 foot range (4-5 times overhead) conditions are a go for the World Surf League’s Puerto Escondido Challenge. One of the heaviest beach breaks in all of North America is set to dish out some serious poundings. Most of the WSL’s big wave contingent has migrated to mainland Mexico for the contest. Greg Long, Makua Rothman, Billy Kemper, Nic Lamb and Albee Layer round out the top five seeds in the event that will feature six man, 60-minute heats. The contest is set to run starting at 9 a.m. central time Friday and it could run into Saturday. The heavy conditions have all the athletes showing extreme respect to the Mexican Pipeline. “(Had) my first session ever at Puerto Escondido (to warmup),” said Kai Lenny. “Snagged a good wave and got cleaned up by a solid set. I was very humbled by how sketchy this giant beach break is.” The contest is live at Worldsurfleague.com

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Ryan Dungey and Courtney Conlogue Featured in Body Issue

ESPN announced the athletes for its annual Body Issue and two action sports stars will be gracing its pages: current world No. 1 on the women’s surfing world tour, Courtney Conlogue, will bear all for the eighth edition where some of sport’s best athletes wear nothing but what they were born in while moving as they would in their athletic state. Supercross champion Ryan Dungey will also grace the magazine’s pages that will feature ten men and nine women. One of the most interesting bodies to be featured? Barrel-chested defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (Patriots, Texans) also joined the roster.  

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ESPY Award Nominees Announced

In more ESPN news, the lineup of action sports stars nominated for the ESPY Awards’ action sports athlete of the year was also announced this week. And it’s a talented bunch that includes snowboarder Chloe Kim, skateboarder Nyjah Huston and skier Gus Kenworthy. But for my money, the ESPY has to go to Keala Kennelly, who maybe did more for women’s surfing than anyone has in history, let alone women in sport. Earlier this year Kennelly, 37, captured the award for Barrel of the Year at the WSL Big Wave Awards for a massive tube she towed into at Teahupoo. It was an extremely important moment in the sport as it marked the first time a woman had won the award when up against the men, too. “It was a massive night for women’s big wave surfing,” she said at the time. And in my opinion, an underrated moment in the history of women’s athletics.

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Russian BASE Jumper Avoids Police Encounter

Had to get this one in for your Friday in honor of letting go for the weekend. Russian BASE jumper Otmashka Dubinina walks out onto a bridge in China and is stopped by Chinese police. She smoothly talks her way out of trouble, then later takes her coat off to disguise her looks and drops from the bridge. It seems pretty legit and the video has gone semi-viral because of Dubinina’s cute looks and fun-loving demeanor (check out that grin as she foils the police). Dubinina is from St. Petersburg and is an experienced pilot. Check out this vid for more of her exploits in Asia.

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What’s On Tap

Puerto Escondido Challenge
Worldsurfleague.com | Friday 10:00 a.m. EST

The best big wave surfers in the world will challenge one of the heaviest beach breaks on the planet at Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The contest is set for Friday but could run into Saturday.

World of X Games
ABC | Saturday 2:00 p.m. EST

Skater Cross—think skier or snowboard cross—will make its debut on the World of X Games this weekend.