Portugal keeps rising on the global surfing stage.
In terms of extreme sports, Garrett McNamara has been getting a lot of attention due to his record-breaking big wave surf run back in November. McNamara rode a 90ft (27.4m) wave in Nazare, Portugal, prompting plenty of press, even from mainstream media sources.
Now he wants to tackle a 120ft (36.5m) wave, with the help of a special wet suit equipped with an oxygen pocket that provides a few minutes of breathing time, should he get trapped underwater by the massive waves.
From the Mother Nature Network:
"McNamara has his plans all lined up, right down to the military-grade swell-monitoring equipment he’s using as well as the private jet that’s on standby to [whisk] him away to Portugal should conditions prove favorable for ridable 100-foot waves"
In other surfing news, Portugal’s Liga MEO Pro Surf – the country’s main national professional competition league – will now work in direct conjunction with the World Championships. The fact that Liga MEO Pro Surf is now connected with the World Championship’s sponsor, Rip Curl, means that Portugal’s top surfers will have a chance to qualify for the World’s at Liga MEO Pro Surf events.
The first of five Liga MEO Pro Surf events takes place in Ericeira on March 16-18th on Ribeira d’Ilhas beach. Surfers competing in Ericeira will get their chance to qualify for the 8th stage of the World Championships, which takes place in Peniche next October.
Read more (in Portuguese) on diáriodigital.Read More
I recently posted about the upcoming Sumol Summer Fest, which will take place in Ericeira at the end of June. Sure, I joked a bit about not knowing any of the acts, but it was all in good fun and the fest promises to be a blast on the beach.
However – if you’re after a big UK style festival, but without all the mud and football hooligans hired as security guards, you might want try the Optimus Alive festival this summer in Oeiras, Portugal. That’s right: warm weather, beaches, cheaper food and drink and some bands you might like. What’s more, it’s just a short drive or bus ride to Ericeira if you want to catch the best waves Europe has to offer.
Optimus Alive Oeiras ‘12 is being billed as the ‘Greatest arts and music festival’. Dunno what the arts part is but some of the bands include the newly reformed Stone Roses, The Cure (newly reformed, resurrected, still huffing and puffing along, I don’t know…), Radiohead (geniuses, according to many people with thick, black glasses) and (wow) even Mazzy Star. Remember Mazzy Star? Sure they droned on a bit, but they were really good!
From UK Festival Guides:
To those that are new to the festival, Optimus Alive first launched in 2007 and traditionally features varied line-ups that give equal attention to stadium filling international headline live acts and DJs, alternative independent acts and home-grown Portuguese talent. With this year’s line-up set to total 90 acts, the five-stage, 55,000 capacity festival is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international circuit; a statement that is enforced by NME who have cited it as one of the “best festivals outside the UK”. Previous artists to have played include Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Coldplay and Blondie alongside legendary electronic acts and DJs such as The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Deadmau5 and Simian Mobile Disco to name but a few.
Check out the Optimus Alive Oeiras ‘12 website for more info.Read More
Surfing is exploding in Ireland and many Irish surfers are heading to Portugal to sample some of the world’s best waves.
Though Ireland has its own formidable waves, some of the Emerald Isle’s surf spots are quite frankly a bit dangerous. The lack of sun, abundance of rain and less-than-summery temperatures are a bit less likely to lure those just starting to surf or surfers who want to combine a sunny, pleasant holiday with catching a few waves.
An article in the Irish Times describes an Irish beginners surf holiday on Portugal’s sunny beaches:
"Surfing can seem intimidating, but here, all levels of surfers share the same beaches, with beginners staying closer to the shore, while the braver head out to the large waves. There’s a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which puts us at ease. Eager as we are to fling ourselves into the sea, the basics are best learned on land. We squeeze into our wetsuits, lie on our boards and follow Marcel’s lead as the “tak tak tak” mantra begins, each call signifying a change in position until we’re upright. When we’re surfing the sand like pros, it’s time to enter the water"
And there’s no better place to sample Portugal’s top surf spots than Ericeira – Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve – which combines great surfing, a quiet, less-crowded atmosphere than most surf Meccas, and plenty of things to do apart from just surf.
This summer Ericeira will host Portugal’s first surf film festival, which will run from July 6th to 8th. The Portuguese Surf Film Festival will include feature length movies, short films and documentaries from all over the world. The final day of the festival is reserved for Portuguese films and a prize will be awarded to the best domestic product.
Check out the homepage for the 2012 Portuguese Surf Film Festival.Read More