Former elite world tour surfer ( WSL),
2 x european pro champ (WSL),
Nazaré tow challenge surfer
Writer : SurfGraduation system, Surfista Carioca
Event organizer : Coruña Big Waves , Illa Pancha Challenge
Icon Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belt
husband - father
One of those things that you might think twice to say yes. But as I always did on big surf, since back in the days at Romulo’s house in Hawaii.
I just say yes and go.
I get say that for me this event was a personal victory.
Get over a really complicated time in my life , where I need to deal with a sharing guard for my kids that became a wild lawyer situation with an investigation to myself till this day , based on things that the mother of my kids is been saying.
Thing that when I had a resolution in my head in how to act with all this. Life became simple. Values became strong.
For sure I had put more sport in my life, but 1,5 month ago before event start, I hurt my shoulder fighting Jiu-Jitsu and was tuff to keep doing everything.
Had a great sport psychology sessions with Maria Augusta that really gave my sone set up points.. points to start and be motivated.
When that avalanche hit my back. I was on this moments that life stopped.
First impact was something unreal strong. Send me all over !! Second I couldn’t believe, I’ve never saw the size of the brown/white water like that in from of me.
I just said : God, my life was good but I still want to come back to my kids.
As soon I had think of them ( my kids) the monster impact hit me and even if was as strong as the first one, I was calm. Really calm in fact.
Daisy to reach the sand.. I only thought about go to the sand have a break and breath.
No strength at all to pick up the sled. And after many tour I could.
PWC came after many waves and that really killed my energy.
Had a breath on the beach. Some oxygen and went to the harbor to change CO2 for the inflation vest.
Went back out, but my energy wasn’t the same.
Had to try ! Need to try and let’s see what I could do going back.
And for sure, the strength on my legs wasn’t the same.
Got 2 and drove Sancho to the end of the contest.
Big congrats to the girls.
Maya Gabeira and Justine DuPont were killing it and charging!! Surfing as good as the men crew.
My feedback for this 1st edition is that was a really good edition if our Alex Botelho and Hugo Vau , didn’t have their accident.
Sure Alex was on a way worst situation and I doubt that if was somebody else , could survived.
Alex is a strong kid and really used to paddle monster Nazaré and get smashed all the way to the beach. Think this is what really made posible to got all that time he was unconscious and filling his lungs with salt water .
Alex is recovering now and out of risk.
No damaged ! More important thing.
Thank you to his lovely lady Celeste and Dr Axel to give me news from him.
Now, on my eyes, what should change :
1 : security first
On a contest that is called “ tow” , for the security gets on a high level, I think the team should be a team where both really need to back up his partner, to make sure they have all set up on this area. Training a lot and on no space for mistake.
We all know that every teams only go out with 2 PWC for training.
So , first change could be teams of 3, where all need to surf , drive and rescue or 2 surfing and one rescue as usual. But their full year team.
The WSL could only deliver 2 to 4 really good drivers with experience at Nazaré and one of than with a swimmer behind.
In case needs to jump as Alemão de Maresias did with Alex, not able to pick him on the top of the PWC.
Should be teams represent their sponsor and sponsor that are putting all needs for surfers train all year for that day.
What will change is the possibility to teams being more and more together.. training together and get on the level of the moto gp.
Saw many webs going against the event and the dangerous this is.
We ready to go!
What we need is more support from sponsors to be more and more prepared.
3- competition format
Think heats with a clear score is the best way to go.
Expression session with a video that not everyone was in. Is a difficult way to make a champ. To support and coverage all team with the attention they give.
For end up I think a safety drone or even the live drone, should have a different color and a way to make smoke or another sign that make sure the drive get to the surfer , he could know where the surfer is and if is a tuff call .