Lucas Chianca and Justine Dupont win 2021 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge
Lucas Chianca and Justine Dupont have taken out the 2021 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge at Praia do Norte in Portugal.
The weather and ocean conditions slightly touched perfection.
With stunning blue and sunny winter skies, the world's most famous big wave surfing spot woke up to offshore 40-to-50-foot crashing in front of the iconic lighthouse.
Praia do Norte was ready for another spectacular day of stellar performance in heavy waters.
Nine teams of two competitors were split to surf twice during a day of six, 50-minute heats, with each team member alternating between surfing and driving the team's jet ski.
At the end of the day, the organization planned to distribute four awards: "Men's Best Performance," "Women's Best Performance," "Best Team Performance," and "Most Committed Award."
The individual trophies were awarded to the athletes with the highest two scoring waves, and the team trophy to the duo with the best two scoring rides of both riders.
The Chianca-Lenny Dream Team
Chianca, who had won the Nazaré Challenge in 2017, did not lose any time and took the first wave of the competition.
The Brazilian immediately set the bar high with a beautiful left-hand ride, a 360 spin on the wave face, and a barreling moment on a high line.
After six rounds, it was clear that Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca was the man of the day. The Brazilian surfer had got the best out of his partnership with Kai Lenny.
"It's an honor to be towed and tow Kai. He put me on the best waves of the day, and we both did our best," said Chianca.
The duo successfully defended their 2020 team title, and Lenny was ecstatic.
"We're like-minded, so it's a dream come true to work with Lucas. We both know the waves we want, and we also try to do airs, barrels and turns to push our performance as far as we can," added the Hawaiian.
Pedro Scooby was also one of the stand-out surfers of the contest with the deepest and biggest tube riding stunts of the day.
In one of his rollercoaster barrels, Scooby was spat out out the giant cylinder and earned a well-deserved 9.50 score from the judges.
"I was a bit crazy, but Nic Von Rupp cooled me down and then drove me into a perfect spot for a bomb and really good barrel," expressed Scooby.
In the end, he earned the "Most Committed Award" for putting himself in the most extreme sections, taking a maximum risk in all waves, and scoring the deepest tubes.
On the women's competition, Justine Dupont kicked off her participation in the big wave surfing event with several good waves.
However, an unexpected interference call nearly put an end to her hopes of clinching the title, as Maya Gabeira and Michelle des Bouillons sought an opportunity to take the lead.
The counterattack didn't quite materialize, and the French surfer claimed a back-to-back "Women's Best Performance" title.
Dupont's performances on both massive left and right-handers left her opponents way behind on the leaderboard.
"Teamwork paid off. Pierre Rollet is amazing. We've been coming to Nazaré for a while," concluded Dupont.
"I'm super happy to win the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge for the second time in a row. It was one hell of a day."
2021 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge | Results
Men's Best Performance: Lucas Chianca (BRA)
Women's Best Performance: Justine Dupont (FRA)
Best Team Performance: Lucas Chianca (BRA) and Kai Lenny (HAW)
Most Committed Award: Pedro Scooby (BRA)