The Nixon Surf Challenge 2012: La Graciosa

The 11th edition of the Nixon Surf Challenge presented by Vans and Monster Energy went down on the Island of La Graciosa from 13th to 19th of February 2012. After a jaunt to the arctic waters of the Lofoten Islands in 2011, the crew of invited surfers could enjoy one week of sunshine, good times and uncrowded waves in this year's edition of the much-anticipated event.

A volcanic gem in the Canary Islands, La Graciosa is small enough to be explored by foot and home of only 700 inhabitants. Holding some extraordinary treasures that make every surfer's heart beat a pace faster, the secret slabs of La Graciosa have now been unraveled by a group of 15 handpicked surfers, all being part of Europe's elite. The crew included Nixon team riders and friends, resulting in a perfect mix of locals, youngsters and regulars who have been taking part in the event for several years already, like Frenchmen Benjamin Sanchis, Eric Rebière and Fredo Robin.

Showing off some red-hot surfing action in front of the extraordinary scenery of the Island, the standouts of the event included Jonathan Gonzalez, Marlon Lipke, Nic Von Rupp and Joan Duru. Motivating each other to steadily push themselves to the next level, the team and the unique environment melted into a special vibe encapsulating everything that surfing stands for. Thanks to the local knowledge of Canary chargers Manuel Lezcano, Franito Saenz, Jonathan Gonzalez and Jose Maria Cabrera, the invited surfers discovered some hidden jewels on the rough coastline of La Graciosa, while receiving a warm welcome and great support from the local community.

Other than traditional competitions, the Nixon Surf Challenge is all about having fun in a relaxed atmosphere while showcasing some skills and creativity in surfing. Following a peer-judged scoring system, the surfers decide themselves who will go home with the much sought-after trophy.

In the end it was French surfer Marc Lacomare who claimed the prize of the Overall Winner while homegrown Jonathan Gonzalez picked up the award for the best trick. Lacomare is unquestionably one of Europe's hottest rookies at the moment and impressed with boundless energy and an explosive style from start to finish of the event. 31-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez for his part showcased some serious and awe-inspiring aerial skills during virtually every session, meriting him some special credit.

To find out more about the Nixon Surf Challenge 2012 and get exclusive footage and pictures please visit: Nixon.com/surfchallenge

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