Ultimate Fantasy Champion Continued: A Run-Down Of Contenders At The Nazare Pro
Plough your way through even a handful of Instagram stories at the moment and you’ll unwittingly be taken on a whirlwind tour of the cobblestone streets and clifftop viewpoints overlooking Nazare. A startling number of boogers from Mike Stewart to Alexandra Rinder have descended on the Portuguese municipality in preparation for this year’s eponymous event and have taken to the ‘gram to showcase the charm of the Portuguese coastline.
Both the men’s and women’s 2018 World Champions will be crowned at Praia Do Norte - a double whammy that has spurred a palpable level of excitement on social media surrounding the contest and with the forecast showing a small building swell through Sunday/Monday followed by some large, long-period swell developing on Wednesday, there is going to be no shortage of waves for the contest window.
As per usual, this year’s men’s contest entrants will be as vast and varied as ever with a true spectrum of styles, nationalities and Instagram-fame present among the field. So as has become our (self-appointed) duty here at Movement, we’ve gathered some intel on those most likely to end up on the podium and compared and contrasted their most relevant (and not so relevant) attributes. Do yourself a favour and before placing your bets on one of this year’s rashvest-toting combatants, peruse our comprehensive guide below.
The man with it all to lose here in Nazare. The defending World Champion is in the box seat to go back to back in 2018, something that has not been achieved on the World Tour since Damian “The Joker” King did it way back in 2003 / 2004. The Saffa is a comp machine and has proved himself on the world stage for the past 3 years. Solid as a rock. Let’s see if he can can withstand the pressure and fight off the long list of talent snapping at his heels.
The world title mathematics are simple for Tanner. He has to win Nazare to become the world champion. It’s a crazy thought for the 20-year-old to achieve this feat at such a young age, but he is more than deserving. Tanner has spent the last few months surfing California’s notorious Wedge - a wave with some very similar characteristics to Praia Do Norte. If we were betting men, our money would be on the child prodigy.
You never know what to expect with Diego. He’s one of the fiercest competitors on tour and loves a gaping left tube more than most. Cabrera has had plenty of solid results here over the years but is yet to clinch a win at Nazare. The Canary Islander is looking more hungry than ever and his strange absence from the tour this year looks to have him more focused than ever on finishing the year off strong.
The dark horse. With the anticipated premiere of Antonio’s fresh flick, New Age on Friday night in Nazare, the viewing should spark a little fear into the heart of each and every one of his competitors that stand before him. The local knows this place like the back of his hand and as the defending champ this year, he’ll be looking to bring home the chocolates once again.
Another former winner of this event, Houston has been training hard with the Hubboards team in the Canary Islands for the past few weeks and has made the pilgrimage to Nazare with a fresh Mohawk in tow. But this gun’s flair for aesthetics extends well beyond the top of his head and we reckon Jerry could easily pull this one off on sheer riding style alone. No doubt a force to be reckoned with.
Pierre Louis Costes
PLC is still the best bodyboarder in the world right now, hands down. With two world titles already under his belt but also a painstaking 4 runner-up placings, the Frenchman will be eager as ever to even the keel of his competitive standings. We reckon a place on the podium is as good as reserved for Pierre; it’s just a matter of which one.
Fresh off a win over the weekend in Viana, and his third for the year, Roberts will be entering the water at Praia Do Norte brimming with both energy and confidence. One of the fittest guys on tour at the moment and with a steadily growing track record, his odds are improving by the minute.
The Wildcard. Word on the street is that ‘Mr Ios’ has been on a rampage tour through Europe as of late - starting in the Greek Islands before finding himself knee deep in Portugal’s finest. He’s also been riding a bodyboard from time to time! If the waves turn on, he will certainly be the one to watch.