A perfect day in San Sebastian with a cloudless sky, clean 4 foot swell and light winds. The Nixon Surf Challenge kicked off in traditional chilled out style after a night out in San Sebastian. The boys hit up the local tapas bars and got intimate with a few Cuba Libre’s as they took in the Basque culture.
Standing out in heat No. 1 was Tim Boal who’s smooth radical surfing took the lead. Heat No. 2, CJ Kanuha showed off some incredible progressive surfing with a number of reverse 360’s to narrowly beat Spain’s Gony Zubizarreta. Canaries star Jonathan Gonzales took Heat No. 3 doing a massive air 360 then connecting into powerful turns, proving that he’s undoubtedly one Europe’s finest surfers. Benjamin Sanchis managed to just take the lead from UK surfer Reubyn Ash with some powerful, stylish surfing. Heat No. 4 was a great example of two strong surfers with very different styles. Cheyne Magnusson fell out in his very first heat and was sent to the losers round where he completely redeemed himself with a fresh bag of tricks and several powerful turns, allowing him to advance. Hodei Collazo was flying the Basque flag strong to snatch the lead from birthday boy Simon Young.
As the afternoon went on a few beers were cracked and the beachside lunch was fit for a king. The competitors were at full attention as the waves improved with the afternoon. Tiago Pieres arrived in time for Heat No. 6 and proved why he has qualified for the WCT, defeating local surfer Norman Landa who had one of the most difficult heats of the contest.
Basque local Jaime Azpiroz won heat No. 7 surfing against local 13 year old wonder kid Ethan Egiguren who narrowly lost to Nigel Gibb. Clay Marzo squeezed into San Sebastien just in time to make the last heat of the day, and completely blew up and showed everyone what progressive surfing is.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the quarter finals and finals.