It’s a go: the Nazaré Challenge is set to run on Tuesday. A WNW North Atlantic swell, expected to arrive at Praia do Norte early this week, led BWWT Commissioner Pete Mel to give the green light for the first professional paddle-in event at the towering Portuguese beachbreak.

"We are excited to call the inaugural Nazaré Challenge on," said Mel in a statement on Saturday. “The waves are projected to be 35-, 45-foot-plus, with favorable winds. We are all eager to see how the world's best big-wave surfers push the boundaries with the debut of this event."

Among the biggest shake-ups to the WSL’s Big-Wave World Tour this season, apart from the debut inclusion of female competitors at Pe’ahi, was the addition of Nazaré to the men’s schedule. Located near a small fishing village just north of Lisbon, the break is known for cinematically large waves, thanks to an underwater canyon that funnels water currents from three miles below the ocean’s surface toward a shallow headwall. Though a jet-ski and a tow rope remain the equipment of choice there for many surfers, it is just beginning to be considered a consistent paddle surfing venue at XXL size.

The progression in big-wave surfing during last year’s El Niño soon trended at Praia do Norte, which led to a few of the more heroic Nazaré moments we’ve ever seen from the likes of Brad Domke (On a skimboard), Tom Lowe (Dodging a jet-ski), and, just this October, Sebastian Steudtner (See above). A paddle-only event after a historic winter, and one that features a $100,000 total prize purse, was too enticing to pass up for BWWT officials.

"Nazaré has been long considered a spot unaccessible to paddle-in-surfing," said BWWT founder Gary Linden in April, when the addition was made to the ’16-’17 season roster. "But those barriers have been broken, and it is time for the true test: a Big Wave Event."

You can watch the Nazaré Challenge live on Tuesday at the World Surf League’s official website.

Heat One:

  • Greg Long
  • Damien Hobgood
  • Gabriel Villarán
  • Aaron Gold
  • Kealii Mamala
  • Joao de Macedo

Heat Two:

  • Nic Lamb
  • Grant Baker
  • Koa Rothman
  • Pedro Calado
  • Alex Botelho
  • Andrew Cotton

Heat Three:

  • Billy Kemper
  • Christian Merello
  • Trevor Carlson
  • Kai Lenny
  • Kohl Christensen
  • Antonio Silva

Heat Four:

  • Carlos Burle
  • Ramon Navarro
  • Jamie Mitchell
  • Will Skudin
  • Hugo Vau
  • TBD