Punta Galea, Spain (Sunday, December 22, 2013) – A spectacular day of surfing on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour saw South Africa’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker take the win at the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country, Spain on Sunday.
The large Atlantic Ocean swell pumped consistent big waves into the Punta Galea Harbour point with surfers agreeing that wave faces were in the 30 feet range all day.
Baker, 40 years of age and from Durban in South Africa, controlled the 45 minute final from start to finish utilising perfect positioning and taking the biggest and best waves to finish with a near perfect score of 29.01 out of a possible 30.
“What a day for me, it just got better each heat and in the final I felt like I actually peaked and it just worked out perfectly” said Baker. “This wave surprised us. It is a legitimate big wave in the world of big wave surfing and we all really enjoyed the challenge.”
Today’s win sees Baker leading the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour rankings for this season and well positioned to win this year’s Big Wave World Tour Title.
“It’s the aim to try and win the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour Title and today’s win certainly has me well placed, but there are three event to go and I really have to focus on each event and be ready for when they might run.”
Finishing second and third and not far behind Baker were USA/Santa Cruz pair Nic Lamb, 2nd place on a final tally of 28.21, and Ken Collins on 24.87 in 3rd.
“I would have love to have won today and I think it got down to Baker’s last wave where he was in a slightly better position than myself to catch that wave” said 25-year-old Lamb.
“I’m still happy with second. Ken (Collins) and myself are here representing Santa Cruz and to place 2nd and 3rd sees us both well in touch on the world rankings and I’m looking forward to the next three events, two of which are on our home coastline in North America – Mavericks and Oregon.”
Punta Galea offered an amazing spectacle for the large crowds, estimated above 10 000, who lined the picturesque 400 meter cliff face that overlooks the break in an amazing natural auditorium setting.
Local Basque surfer Adur Letamendia from nearby Zarautz was the highest placed European making the final and placing 4th ahead of Ramon Navarro from Chile and David Bustamante (Basque/Spain).
Australian waterman Jamie Mitchell placed 7th overall, narrowly missing the final when he was edged out in his Semi-final by Navarro.
The water safety team were kept extremely busy all day with numerous snapped leashes and a particularly dangerous inside rocky section to the break where many surfers had to be towed from. One such incident saw rider and ski come to grief on the rocky point.
Apart from that, the day was managed superbly by competitors and organisers.
Three event locations remain on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour, Mavericks in California, Nelscott Reef in Oregon and Todos Santos (Mexico) with a waiting period through to March 31st.
The events only run if and when a large swell and good surface conditions coincide with surfers given a few days notice to get to the location and surf.
Results: Arnette Punta Galea Challenge
1st Grant Baker (South Africa/Durban) 29.01
2nd Nic Lamb (USA/Santa Cruz) 28.21
3rd Ken Collins (USA/Santa Cruz) 24.87
4th Adur Latamendia (Spain/Zarautz) 23.57
5th Ramon Navarro (Chile) 14.34
6th David Bustamante (Spain) 0.00
The biggest waves in the world deserve the biggest screen in your house. With XPRESHON you could be watching the XPRESHON Big Wave World Tour live on your TV. But whatever your style – skate, surf, snow, BMX or Moto – only XPRESHON has it all – All the news, All the latest movies and live events from all around the world. Miss Nothing with XPRESHON! Exclusively on XBOX and Windows 8.
Issued on behalf of:
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Compiled & Distributed by:
Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.