43º 33′ 23,0″ N and 7º 02′ 29,8″ W were the exact coordinates where the first big wave event in Galician waters was born. Illa Pancha Challenge, is the name of the event of the wave located at the mouth of the Ria de Ribadeo, where there is a lighthouse since 1860, which until now had a secret for half the world, the wave that aims to break all barriers for its power and danger.
A monstrous wave in the Galician town of Lugo that was discovered in 2009 by the Basque surfer Ibon Amatriain and that our colleague Axi Muniain has continued surfing and setting new limits “to his madness”. Thanks to these two surfers and the fundamental role of Eric Rebiere, organizer of the event, it has been possible the realization of this event, Illa Pancha Callenge.
Twenty-four of the best big wave riders on the world circuit gathered in the town of Lugo to challenge nature and surf the dreaded wave. The format of the championship was tow-in, because the type and size of the wave does not allow it to be surfed by paddle and an important security deployment was developed.
The monstrous wave, which can reach 18 meters high, as the bottom has a height difference of 15 meters in 50 meters long, which makes it a hollow wave with a size comparable to slabs of Hawaii or Australia.
Lucas Chianca and Ian Cosenza were the winners of the I Lipchain Illa Pancha Challenge 2019, with Pedro Scooby and Everaldo Pato Teixiera in second place and Natxo Gonzalez and Adrián Fernández from Valderrama completing the podium.
Let’s hope that the event lasts for many more years and that it continues to put Galicia at the epicentre of world surfing, along with the Pantin Classic.