Aussie crowned the big wave kahuna in Portugal
NAZARÉ, Portugal: COFFS Coast big wave surfing product Jamie Mitchell has today claimed the World Surf League Big Wave Tour Nazaré Challenge on 35-foot waves in Portugal.
A massive crowd of big-wave enthusiasts gathered by the landmark lighthouse on the point looking down at some of the biggest waves ever paddled in Portugal.
Surfing in the event final in 35 to 45 foot waves, Mitchell pulled off an incredible late drop on a big left-hander, grabbed the rail of his board and engaged into a bottom turn before being eaten by the mountain of white water behind him.
Mitchell quickly put on a second score on the board to cement his pole position.
On the ten-minute mark, wildcard Joao De Macedo of Portugal picked up a medium-sized right and rode out of it perfectly to add an average score to his tally and move into third position.
Ultimately Mitchell's lead proved sufficient and the Australian walked away with his maiden Big Wave Tour victory at the Nazaré Challenge.
His win confirmed he was the day's most spectacular athlete in Nazare, racking up the biggest numbers from the opening round all the way into the final.
A selective approach saw the Australian ride only the necessary two waves in each heat and make the most of every opportunity he got in the moving Nazare lineup.
"I want to dedicate this to my wife and my young little daughter who is 15-months. They are in California at the moment," Mitchell said on the podium.
"And to my mum and dad and my family back in Australia watching," he said.
Long-time competitor and 2009 Big Wave Tour Champion Carlos Burle of Brazil finished runner-up.
Nazaré Challenge Final Results:
1- Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 23.94
2- Carlos Burle (BRA) 13.00
3- Joao De Macedo (PRT) 10.84
4- Pedro Calado (BRA) 9.34
5- Nic Lamb (USA) 3.00
6- Antonio Silva (PRT) 0.20