William Aliotti Wins The Nixon Surf Challenge 2014
The Nixon Surf Challenge 2014 in association with Monster Energy, Reef and Lomography just wrapped in the Russian Far-East with William Aliotti (FRA) edging out last year's winner and compatriot, Vincent Duvignac, in the shadow of Kamchatka's volcanoes to be crowned Overall Winner of the week-long, peer-judged surf contest and adventure.
With a decent swell and variable weather conditions all week long, the invited surfers mercilessly charged the 3–5' waves from the outset, despite frigid water temperatures only just about hovering above the 34°F mark. On top of the challenging conditions, the surfers were also battling some pretty heavy jetlag after touching down on the Russian peninsula—par for the course when you fly to the Pacific coastline of the Motherland.
After a distinctly foggy start to the Surf Challenge, Day 3 saw the sun finally emerge revealing the mind-blowing scenery for the first time and showcasing Kamchatka's famous snow-capped volcanoes in all their glory.
Despite spine-chillingly cold sessions in the line-up every day, the surfers were all motivated to surf for as long as possible. For eventual winner William Aliotti, the waves of Kamchatka couldn't have been more in contrast to his normal daily routine. Traveling the globe for the last six months to surf some of the world's most tropical surf spots, William surprised everyone by taking to the cold water like it was nothing. As well as clinching the Overall title, the super-consistent 21-year-old goofy-footer from the Caribbean haven of Saint Martin also captured the Best Trick award after stomping just about every aerial maneuver in the manual.
"I'm so happy to return from Russia with two prizes in the bag – it's more than I could have ever expected when I was invited on the trip," said William. "As a Nixon rookie, it's been a real honor to experience this incredible competition first-hand alongside such a stacked rider line-up. Big ups to all the surfers, especially Vincent who pushed me all the way, and the Nixon crew working behind the scenes to make this incredible adventure a reality!"
Kepa Acero (EUK), one of the Basque Country's most talented surfers and intrepid explorers, picked up the third and final award when he was voted winner of the "I Rocked Russia" prize. Giving it his all in the water every day, Kepa's uncanny ability to catch up on sleep in contorted positions kept everyone amused throughout the trip.
It was no simple feat to organize this event in such a remote and far-flung location and the Nixon Surf Challenge 2014 turned out to be worth every effort, every sub-zero night spent camping on the beach and every bump in the road—of which there were many. Throughout the trip, the whole crew was ushered across the Russian landscape the massive military-style truck to access little-known spots dotted along the peninsula's jaw-dropping coastline.
Full gallery on nixon.com/surfchallenge.