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Lucas Chianca Wins Nazare Big Wave Challenge For Third Straight Year

Brazilian surfers sweep the podium as world record holder Maya Gabiera joins Chianca in the winner's circle in Portugal.
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For the third year in a row, Brazil’s Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca has topped the podium at the Nazare Big Wave Challenge. Winning the individual title, as well as the team division with his partner Pedro Scooby, Chianca has established himself as the most dominant competitor to ever pick up a tow rope at Nazare. He was joined in the winner’s circle by countrywoman Maya Gabiera, who won the women’s division, making it a full Brazilian sweep of the event.

“The teamwork mades the dream work,” beamed Chianca at the awards presentation.

With sets between 30 and 40 feet, it wasn’t the most massive day at Nazare in history, but the big, rolling peaks allowed Chianca to lean into his high-performance game. Laying down long, flowing carves and powerful, under-the-lip hacks, at times it looked as if he was just having fun at a three-foot beachbreak. Always one to push the limits, at one point during the contest Chianca flipped his jet ski with Scooby on the back.

For Gabiera, her win further cements her legacy at Nazare. Having put in over a decade in the water there, including almost losing her life and setting a world record, few know the European big-wave spot like her. And while she was reportedly nursing a knee injury going into the event and admittedly hadn’t been surfing much recently, her local knowledge and experience gave her the advantage against Michelle des Bouillons, the only other female in the draw.

One of the standouts of the event, was France's Clement Roseyro. Teaming up with Portugal charger Nic von Rupp, the two took second-place in the team results, while relative unknown Roseyro put himself on the map, earning the Most Committed award for the effort. Clearly, he's going to be someone to keep an eye on as winter in the Atlantic continues. 

Not all fun and games, the smaller surf meant competitors were forced to surf closer to the foreboding rocks and cliffs that front Nazare. And with performance levels being pushed, there were plenty of heavy wipeouts throughout the day. Thanks to the skills of the water safety crew, everyone made it safely back to the harbor at the end of the day.

The WSL Big Wave season continues as the waiting period for the Pe’ahi Challenge runs through the end of March and the Pacific still has plenty of time to turn on.

Nazare Big Wave Challenge Team Results

  1. Lucas Chianca, Pedro Scooby
  2. Nic Von Rupp, Clemente Roseyro
  3. Rodrigo Koxa, Vitor Faria
  4. Pierre Rollet, Rafael Tapia
  5. Sebastian Steudtner, Eric Rebiere
  6. Andrew Cotton, Will Skudin
  7. Michelle des Bouillons, Ian Consenza
  8. Maya Gabiera, Antonio Laureano
  9. Joao de Macdo, Antonio Silva