Lucas Chianca claims the 2018 Nazaré Challenge

February 12, 2018 | Surfing
Lucas Chianca: he won the 2018 Nazaré Challenge at 22 years of age | Photo: Masurel/WSL

Lucas Chianca has taken out the 2018 Nazaré Challenge, at the infamous Praia do Norte, in Portugal.

Despite the tricky and dangerous ocean and wind conditions, thousands of surfing fans invaded the local lighthouse, and the surrounding cliffs to witness the world's best tackling the big waves.

With 25-to-35-foot waves on offer, the organization announced that the contest would be rated with a bronze coefficient.

In the first day of competition, and before the event was put on hold, the wind was so strong that was wasn't allowing surfers to get down the face of the wave. Twenty-four hours later, the contest was resumed, and the finals got underway.

Chianca, 22, won all his three heats. The Brazilian athlete stormed Round 1 and then kept his composure through the semifinals.

In the decisive clash, Chianca rode four waves and imposed his supremacy in Portuguese waters over Grant Baker, Kai Lenny, Billy Kemper, Natxo Gonzalez, and Nathan Florence.

"I am stoked and grateful to win this event. All these guys competing are so crazy and inspiring. We flew here as soon as we got the call, were a bit tired, and then just went straight into the competition the next day. ," said Lucas Chumbinho.

"The waves were so gnarly and scary. After so much hard work, the glory! Many still to come! Thanks for everyone that helped me so far."

With this result in Portugal, Billy Kemper climbs to first place in the overall rankings, and sends the world title race to Mavericks, in case it gets the green light.

The 2018 Nazaré Challenge also marks the end of Carlos Burle's extreme surfing career. The Brazilian veteran won the 2009/2010 Big Wave World Tour, and several event titles.

The 50-year old athlete announced his retirement, but he will be working with Lucas Chianca as a coach and mentor, and help propel the sport into higher grounds.

"It has been an amazing life pursuing big waves and watching and witnessing all the building of this beautiful sport that I love so much. What I see for big wave surfing is a bright future," said Burle.

2018 Nazaré Challenge | Final

1. Lucas Chianca (BRA) 19.89
2. Billy Kemper (HAW) 13.93
3. Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.83
4. Kai Lenny (HAW) 13.23
5. Grant Baker (ZAF) 11.04
6. Nathan Florence (HAW) 10.89 uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.