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Nic Lamb Wins Punta Galea Challenge on ASP Big Wave World Tour

December 12th, 2014
Nic Lamb (USA) drops down the face of massive wave on his way to victory in the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday  Image: ASP / Poullenot

Nic Lamb (USA) drops down the face of massive wave on his way to victory in the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday  Image: ASP / Poullenot

Nic Lamb (USA) won the Punta Galea Challenge, the second stop on the 2014 / 2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT), in huge 30 to 40 foot (9 to 13 metre) waves at Getxo in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday.

Lamb finished ahead of Makuakai Rothman (HAW) and Nathan Fletcher (USA) in the giant shifting walls of water as the lead change hands numerous times in the 60 minute Final before the Californian clinched his first event win.

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, the reigning BWWT champion and 2013 Punta Galea winner, was ousted in Round 1 of this year’s event when he struggled to find any rideable waves in the morning high-tide, onshore conditions.

Lamb opened his wave account in the Final with an incredible ride all the way from the outside on a 40-foot set wave that earned him a score of 9.77 out of 10. He took control of the heat by dropping into a lefthander that took him dangerously close to the rock-lined shore but added 7.0 points to his total.

Halfway through the encounter Rothman posted back-to-back 9 point rides to grab the lead, but Lamb selected another huge lefthander and survived a jaw-dropping late take-off to score the only perfect 10 point ride of the final and take the win.

“I’m stoked, over the moon, right now,” Lamb said. “I was in the lead in the beginning then Makua fought back with his two nines. I knew I needed a high-nine and tried to remain cold as ice and wait for the wave and it came through and paid off.”

“We had enough time, so it was just a matter of positioning myself right and wait for the wave to come,” Lamb continued. “Punta Galea is a sick wave, I love this place. There’s multiple take-off spots so it’s a little tricky. The playing field is pretty large. We still got two more events to go, my goal is to win the title and I’ll try my best to do so.”

Rothman waited for another wave but the winner of the first event in Peru earlier this year had to settle for second place in Spain. He has solidified his rankings lead heading into the final two events of the BWWT season.

“It was great, we had a good battle,” Rothman said. “I had two nines and he had one and the 10. I just want to say thanks to all the people here today that cheered us on.”

“Nic is the man for today but I’m still leading the tour and I increased my total so that’s good,” Rothman continued. “That’s my goal – to win the World Title this year. My whole life I’ve dedicated myself to big waves and I’m looking forward to hopefully compete on home soil in Hawaii.”

Nathan Fletcher waited for the final moments of the final to drop into a big left of his own, belting an 8.90 to jump on the podium in third place.

Local favorite Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) confirmed he’s the strongest big-wave surfer hailing from the Basque Country by taking fifth place overall. Gonzalez only managed one ride in the final, an eight pointer, after recording a near perfect total of 29.33 out of 30 in his semi-final, which included the only other perfect 10 point ride of the event.

“It was pretty hard today with mushy conditions in the morning and it’s a really meaty wave,” Gonzalez commented. “You had to be a little lucky to get the right waves. In the semis I got two sick ones and I’m stoked with my result today.”

Gabriel Villaran (PER) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA) completed the final, placing 4th and 6th respectively.

The Punta Galea Challenge was webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Nic Lamb (USA) 29.77
2- Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 28.60
3- Nathan Fletcher (USA) 25.67
4- Gabriel Villaran (PER) 23.69
5- Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 16.00
6- Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.00

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 19.33, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 26.37, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.19, Kohl Christensen (HAW) 14.53, Greg Long (USA) 11.34, Ken Collins (USA) 3.66
SF 2: Nathan Fletcher (USA) 24.99, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 22.27, Nic Lamb (USA) 21.21, Shawn Dollar (USA) 19.17, Will Skudin (USA) 12.00, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 0.00

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ken Collins (USA) 16.50, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.36, Greg Long (USA) 13.84, Tyler Fox (USA) 9.34, David Bustamente (EUK) 1.66, Jaime Fernandez (EUK) 0.00
Heat 2: Kohl Christensen (HAW) 22.50, Pat Gudauskas (USA) 21.51, Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.00, Aritza Saratxaga (EUK) 12.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 7.86, Grant Baker (ZAF) 0.00
Heat 3: Nic Lamb (USA) 26.69, Nathan Fletcher (USA) 19.37, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 18.27, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 13.49, Jon Garay (EUK) 11.34, Joao De Macedo (PRT) 4.14
Heat 4: Shawn Dollar (USA) 22.83, Makua Rothman (HAW) 16.80, Will Skudin (USA) 14.26, Grant Washburn (USA) 12.61, Indar Unanue (EUK) 10.84, Ramon Navarro (CHL) 6.66

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@aspworldtour.com

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