The Nazare Pro saw Round 4 of the Men’s competition take place in challenging conditions before the event was put on hold due to poor visibility.
A thick fog rolling in from the north was threatening to obscure the view of judges all morning, but a moment of sunshine saw competition commence in the afternoon at Praia Do Norte. The swell was on the rise all day, this time from a more westerly direction than previous days in the waiting period. Some well-groomed lefthanders would grind along the shallow sandbank when the sets came through, making competitors anxious to get out there.
The Round 4 heats kicked off with Diego Cabrera of the Canary Islands in fine form, launching some large rollos and landing them smoothly (even back in the barrel in one particular ride). Uri Valadao of Brazil also put in a strong performance, executing a beautiful floating air reverse on a right hander, and mixing up his heats with rollos, inverts and flips. France’s Maxime Castillo never seemed to get in the heat, the clear winners being Uri and Diego.
Heat 2 saw an exceptional level of riding from all the competitors. The swell seemed to clean up even more and offer some perfect peaks for Jared Houston and Iain Campbell of South Africa, and Eder Luciano of Brazil to entertain the crowd with. Campbell found some serious tube time in the heat, and combined some large rollos, even attempting a huge air reverse, to take a convincing win. Houston and Luciano were closer placed for most of the heat until a large right-hand peak loomed on the bank for Houston to attack. Bottom-turning on this larger set wave, Houston was looking to, launch something stratospheric until the lip crumbled only slightly as he made connection. Instead of flying high, he was launched out into the flats, handling a strong invert and putting both himself and Campbell out of reach.
Heat 3 saw conditions shift again, with Alan Munoz of Chile finding the best of them, leaving Uranga and Cardoso to battle for second place. Local knowledge seemed to pay off, with Cardoso finding the scores, ending Uranga’s campaign and most likely seeing him out of the world title race.
The final heat of the day was hampered by the fog, and there was a lot at stake, with serious world title contender Pierre Louis Costes in need of a result to keep his campaign alive. 3 times the heat was put on hold, but all it took was two waves for PLC to remind everyone why he is one of the greatest riders of all time. Launching his trademark flips and some clean barrel riding for the win ahead of Jacob Romero in second place and local Miguel Adao eliminated in third.
The fog set in and the organisers decided to wait until tomorrow to finish this cliffhanger of an event. A world champion could be crowned tomorrow, so you don’t want to miss a second of it.
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