NAZARE opens its doors for 2012, headed up by Garret McNamara and ably assisted by the likes of Andrew Cotton, this is the third year of the Canyon Project aiming to explore the possibilities of the area's waves.
During the down days from the World Tour at Supertubos it became de rigueur to head an hour north and peek under the skirts of this wild beachbreak. One-by-one they trooped up, first Kelly Slater and then Joel Parkinson
, all drawn by the idea of a wild ride down the face of the shifting peaks of Praia do Norte, Nazare's northern beach.
Beachbreaks aren't big wave spots as a rule of thumb, but like all generalities there are exceptions: Nazare is one of them and Puerto Escondido another. Nazare is a geographical oddity, a freak of nature and a place of spectacular potential.
"For me it's like a mongo version of Straddie at home." Said Joel Parkinson "Garrett reckons it's a cross between Jaws and Puerto. It's a series of giant beachbreak peaks that come out of radically deep water. There's a huge chasm in the ocean floor that runs all the way down the coast and funnels all the swell straight at the headland. When I first saw it and saw the first set hit the place I thought it was the eighth wonder of the world. I just love watching the ocean when it's wild and powerful like that. We watched it for hours on the Wednesday and I was happy enough just doing that. It was like watching fire." © 2013 Nazare Qualifica/Vitor Estrelinha/Jorge Leal