For the fifth consecutive year, the Nixon Surf Challenge, presented by etnies, came to Playa Zurriola in San Sebastian on September 17-18, 2004. As with previous competitions, there was a real mix of surfers. From the WQS warriors battling way up in the rankings, such as Tiago Pires and Miky Picon, to the freesurfers like Benjamin Sanchis, and The Malloys, who make the Nixon Surf Challenge their only competition of the year.
With two days to run the competition, there was no stress, and the emphasis was on relaxing and enjoying the ambience with friends. Friday saw clean, small waves, but the surfers all agreed that it would be better to wait for the swell, which was predicted for the following day. Once this decision was made and the waiting was over, the day was spent soaking up the mellow Basque vibes and munching 'pinxos'.
Despite the small waves, some great surfing could be witnessed, with a standout performance coming from a local speedo-wearing longboarder. Some of our more proactive pros decided it would be a good idea to personally invite all the women in the vicinity to the official event party that was to be held the following evening.
The next day, better surf allowed the competition to start. Our Stateside visitors Jon Rose and Keith Malloy both fell in the first round, leaving Dan Malloy to carry the flag for the U.S. However, despite a sterling performance, the might of the Europeans playing at home could not be overcome, and Dan was edged out in the first Semi-Finals.
The Euro-fabulous Finals saw Tiago Pires continue his perfect run of victories to take home the trophy. 2nd place went to last year's winner, Miky Picon, with Fredo Robin settling in 3rd and Axier Munian in 4th.
As the sun set on San Sebastian, the eclectic mix of surfers headed into the night together. Friends reunited once again from all corners of the globe, joined by one simple passion: a love for surfing.
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