Jamie Mitchell Charges and Wins at Nazaré
Gold Coast surfer, Jamie Mitchell, has claimed the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) Nazaré Challenge overnight in historic fashion with the iconic Portuguese underwater canyon delivering massive 35-foot-plus waves for the world’s best big wave surfers.
“I have never made a final before today so to win is unreal, I knew I was close to doing well in a whole event,” Mitchell stated. “To put together a whole contest from start to finish is actually more exciting than just the win today. I felt comfortable out there, my board felt amazing and that gave me a bunch of confidence.”
Jamie not only is a big wave charger, but was the undisputed best paddler of all time, winning the Molaki Challenge a Kelly Slater like record of winning the event 10 years running from 2002-2011 before concentrating on big wave surfing.
Kelly Slater, widely acknowledged as the greatest and most enduring athlete of all time, in any sport, beyond even Michael Jordan, says, “Jamie is one of the greatest unknown sportsmen of all time. His winning percentage is higher than anyone in any sport ever.”
The 2016-2017 Big Wave season continues to deliver exciting action. Big Wave Tour commissioner Peter Mel, alongside the judging panel, allocated today’s conditions a “Silver Rating” with wave faces in the 35-to-45-foot category.
Halfway through the final, Mitchell committed to an incredibly late drop on a lefthander, grabbing the rail of his board to engage into a bottom turn before being eaten by the mountain of white water behind him. Mitchell later surfaced with his equipment and was rewarded an excellent 8.67 for his effort, stealing the lead from Burle. The Australian quickly put a second score on the board to cement his lead and hold throughout the remainder of the Final.
The Australian walked away with his maiden Big Wave Tour victory at the Nazaré Challenge, a result earning 12,500 ranking points and rocketing him from 13th to 5th on the tour rankings.
“I got into a good rhythm at other events but lost it at some point, but this one I managed to keep it and it feels amazing,” he continued. “I’m going to be here until Friday and it looks like there will be more giant waves coming, so I might just take a day to recover from today and try my luck again out there.”
A day off…. Most of us would need a day off after just watching the craziness…..
Parko to Surf and Speak at Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival
After a great end of year performance, Joel Parkinson has ended up at 9th on the rankings, and is looking forward to having another crack in 2017. The highest rated Gold and Tweed Coast surfer, has been confirmed as a started in the 2017 Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Classic. An amateur event which sees surfers taking part on boards more than 35 years old, with one fin a flashback to the 1970’s. The event runs on Saturday and Sunday the 7th and 8th of January 2017, and entries are open to the public. Occy is also confirmed as a starter, along with a field of red hot locals and all comers. First prize is the glory and an Ian Byrne channel bottom single fin, but everybody that competes get the prize of possibly surfing pumping Burleigh with only 5 other guys on a classic 1970’s single fin. Maybe a chance to surf against Occy or Parko? Entries are available from the Surfing Queensland website, and the field is limited, on a first in first served basis.
As part of the festival, on the Friday the 6th January 2017, Burleigh Boardriders will be hosting their annual charity luncheon at Burleigh Brewing. Guest speakers will include Occy, Joel Parkinson, Rod “Kerrbox” Kerr from Bondi Rescue, and the best looking guest speaker the luncheon has ever had with big wave charger and Instagram sensation Felicity Palmenteer.
Also some sporting memorabilia will be up for grabs, including a framed 2002 Rip Curl Pro Bell shirt signed by the winner, the late great Andy Irons. I personally got this shirt signed by Andy when I was commentating the event, just 10 minutes after his win. It has been held back until now put the item up for auction, and should fetch a pretty penny.
Tickets for the lunch are $120 per person, or $1,200 for a table of 10, with refreshments from Burleigh Brewing and food provided…. Tickets are available by contacting Edward Lindores on 0413757551.
A merry Christmas to all, hope you get some tubes, and I’ll catch you in the waves!!