The big wave community has been keeping a close eye on Nazaré, with an expected swell massive enough to green light the WSL’s 2016 Nazaré Challenge. Sure enough, the first ever Big Wave Tour paddle in event is primed for a Tuesday start.
These, however are not photos of that event (as it technically hasn’t started at time of publishing). On December 16, a day before the WSL placed the event on green alert, an XXL swell crashed onto the cliffs at Praia do Norte. Photographer Pedro Miranda was there along with several big wave tow teams to meet what Miranda called the “biggest day at Nazaré since Big Thursday in December 2014.”
“Jetskis were in the water several times during the day, looking for a window of opportunity,” Miranda says. “But the N/NE wind was so strong that it was difficult to operate the skis accordingly. It made it impossible to establish a secure environment; a rescue operation would have been near impossible.” Eventually, Jorge “Polvo” Leal, one of the wave’s more experienced watermen, called the tow teams in attendance off. Leal said afterward it would have been “suicidal to charge that day.”
So here’s Nazaré in all her glory, with no takers.