Eric Rebiere, professional surfer and member of the world’s giant wave elite, was the ideologue and visionary of this project. His goal to show the world what was in Galicia and, specifically, the giant wave of O Panchorro, on the Ribadense coast, finally came true two years ago, with the birth of the Illa Pancha Challenge in 2019, event that has managed to place this galician wave among the five largest waves in the world.
What makes this wave stand out is not because of its size or shape, but because of its quality. It can easily reach 18 meters high, which, due to its flint stone seafloor, causes a tube only seen before in Hawaii or Australia. The big difference between the Nazaré wave and the O Panchorro wave is that this last mention is much more technical and demands more risk.
The first time that Eric surfed it was in one of the big wave explorations with the professional surfer Sylvio Mancusi. Until that time, he had never surfed such a large and spectacular wave so close to the coast, which led him to identify this location as the ideal place to celebrate a big wave challenge.
The first edition was held in 2019, in which the Spanish Surfing Federation turned this contest into the First Spanish Championship of tow-in, with waves up to 14 meters high and an impact of up to 1,500 spectators and 105,000 online visits.
The second edition was held at the beginning of 2021 in a smaller event format with the participation of 12 surfers at national and international level, including Juan Fernández, current champion of Spain of big waves, and Lucas Chumbo, one of the world’s most renowned big wave surfers.