Madeira: the surfing pearl of the Atlantic | Photo: Turismo da Madeira

It was once considered one of the best waves in the world, and the most exciting ride of the Atlantic Ocean. The rise and fall and rise of Madeira as a surf destination is a long story. The chronicle has been revealed in the documentary "Surf Is Alive."

The Madeira Surfing Association wanted to do it. The locals felt they had to tell the whole story. The story of a surfing treasure that was nearly lost to development and construction. Fortunately, it didn't happen.

The Portuguese island has, at least, three well-known spots on the western coast: Paul do Mar, Ponta Pequena and Jardim do Mar. The first surfers to spot and surf Madeira date from the 1970s. However, despite the warm temperatures and the rocky point breaks, the island kept relatively unexplored until the mid-1990s.

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Tom Lowe: first time in Nazaré | Photo: Estrelinha/WSL

Tom Lowe had a day to remember at Nazaré. On his first wave ever at Praia do Norte, the British found an improbable jet ski halfway down the face of the liquid mountain.

All's well that ends well. It was just another big wave surfing day at the Portuguese fishing town. It wasn't colossal, titanic or gigantic, but it was good for a starter. Lowe has ready to taste the power of Nazaré. And so he paddled into a good-looking wave.

"It was memorable, to say the least. The safety down there is just dialed in, but there was an issue today. I don't know what the hell happened, but I just took off on a wave - my first ever down here - I looked up and just met the eyes of Jamie Mitchell, and we were frozen in time," explains Lowe.

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Michel Bourez: confirmed in the 2016 World Championship Tour | Photo: Cestari

Thirty-four male surfers and seventeen female surfers. The 2016 World Championship Tour roster has been defined.

We know the schedule, and we know the surfers. Everyone is ready to kick off the new surfing season. There are fresh new faces in both the Men's and Women's Dream Tour.

The 2016 World Surf League Men's Championship Tour will be comprised of 13 Australian surfers, ten Brazilian wave riders, five competitors from the USA, two Hawaiian surfers, a rider from France, a surfer from Polynesia, and two unnamed wildcards:

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