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Slater is currently licking his wounds after an agonising second round exit at the Rip Curl Pro. Just a couple days prior he was free falling into bombs at Nazare.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
CJ's smile of stoke is discernible even in the shadow of the lip.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Garret McNamara has further nurtured his big-wave reputation on the hefy shifting peaks of Praia do Norte. He looks happy to share a few.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
For years Nazare has been dominated by a thriving local bodyboard crew. They charge it harder than most, paddling in on the most hectic of swells and boosting off lips most would avoid like the plague. Dino Carmo slotted.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Bernado Jernimo launches a lofty air reverse.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
UK surfer, Andrew Cotton, has put in the hours at Portugal's big-wave Mecca, towing McNamara into his record breaker in 2012.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
There are only a few things in life that can provoke such a smile. What does it for you?© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Dino Carmo punts an invert towards the flats.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Eric Rebiere was raised in the heaving sand-bottomed tubes of France's Atlantic coast. Nazare is often compared to La Graviere, just several times heavier.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Eric Rebiere© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
A familiar sight at one of the world's heaviest beachbreaks.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
McNamara hones and interesting pig-dog stance.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
McNamara© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Hugo Vau© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
Slater pulls in again. If only the Rip Curl Pro was held a few miles further north.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
The potential and quality of Nazare has been well recognised for years, yet only recently has it lured the very best away from their favourite haunts. No doubt all those with the backbone will keep a keen eye on the Atlantic this winter, with Garret McNamara taking the lead.© 2013 Victor Estrelinha
On the the second day the conditions calmed down, the 'CT scuttled off, and the barrels stayed open.© 2013 To Mane
Water photogs will do anything for a good angle. Sitting in the impact zone at Praia do Norte is not one of the perks of the job.© 2013 To Mane
Occasionally Nazare can look inviting for the layman tube-rider, then a triple overhead bomb washes through.© 2013 To Mane
One of the break's exceptional characteristics is its capacity to work from 2-70ft+. There were no fearsome sandy mountains during this swell, but plenty of gaping stand-up tubes.© 2013 To Mane
Europe’s most intimidating beachbreak was roused from slumber last week to the exultation of local chargers and wandering pros. As the World Tour surfers filtered into Portugal ahead of the Rip Curl Pro, a solid swell surged through the Nazare Canyon, unloading in the form of double-to-triple overhead chasmal pits. Two memorable days of surfing transpired, with each session broadcast live for the big-wave loving world to gorge upon.
On the first day the local contingent were joined by the likes of Slater, CJ Hobgood, Eric Rebiere, Miguel Pupo, Alejo Muniz, Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza, all eager to squeeze in some size ahead of a less-than-promising Supertubos forecast. On the second day, the swell dropped and the ‘CT boys rushed south for round 1, leaving a less nomadic crowd to take their fill.
At no point did the surf resemble the mountainous walls ridden by McNamara during winters past, but it did highlight Nazare’s class and swell magnifying qualities, while whetting the appetites of those anticipating the Atlantic winter.