Big Wave Updates
Massive swell announced for Punta Galea Challenge
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 December, 2014 - The ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) has placed the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque Country of Spain on Yellow Alert with a projected 15 - 40’-plus swell heading towards the region with the expected arrival on Thursday the 11th or Friday the 12th.
Event organizers are closely monitoring a system that is travelling towards Punta Galea and the ASP will issue a Green Alert 72 hours prior to commencement if the event is called on.
“Plenty of swell activity all over the map this coming week and our team has been closely monitoring all variables in making our decision,” Pete Mel, ASP Big Wave Commissioner, said. “Taking into account the various swell intensities as well as projected winds, we have opted to call a Yellow Alert for the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque Country.
We’ll continue to review all available data in the coming days to determine whether or not we Greenlight the event.”
The 2014/2015 BWWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components hosting three possible events within each. The Northern Hemisphere window runs from October 15, 2014 to February 28, 2015 with event options in Mexico, the Basque Region of Spain and Maui.
The first event of the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, the Billabong Pico Alto, ran on Thursday, July 3, 2014 and saw Hawaiian Makua Rothman (HAW) claim his first ASP BWWT victory. The ASP wildcard defeated reigning World Champion, Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on route to victory, announcing himself as a major threat on the BWWT.
A team of experts track swell systems all over the world waiting for those that will produce waves in the 30-foot-and-larger range for one of the six world-class big wave venues. Surfline, official forecasters for the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, are reporting the following:
The Punta Galea/Europe forecast is straightforward as we watch just a single storm/swell develop in the next few days, impacting Punta Galea on on Thursday the 11th. And, although what we see in the NPAC is pretty strong and especially long-lasting, this single storm will be far more impressive if it behaves as forecast.
The thing that really stands out is that not only will the storm itself be intense (forecast to bottom out around 936-940mb), but it will also have great support from exceptionally strong high pressure on its southwest flank (1036-1040mb high). This ~100mb pressure difference will set up a very large, very strong fetch of 50-65kt++ wind with widespread seas of 45-55 feet.
This is certainly comparable to some of the most intense storms that we saw last winter in the North Atlantic. Swell size and timing look good for an all day run of solid surf on Thursday the 11th with 15-17’ of deepwater swell at 18-20 seconds. That would set up face sizes in the 25-40’+ range, with some larger max sets certainly possible.
Overall this looks similar to the swell the event was run on last year. The 24-man fields for the Punta Galea Challenge will be comprised of the ASP BWWT Top 12, lead by the World
Champion, as well as six ASP wildcards and six local wildcards:
ASP BWWT Top 12:
1. Grant Baker (ZAF)
2. Ken Collins (USA)
3. Nic Lamb (USA)
4. Shawn Dollar (USA)
5. Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6. Alex Gray (USA)
7. Greg Long (USA)
8. Ryan Augenstein (USA)
9. Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10. Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12. Tyler Fox (USA)
Punta Galea ASP BWWT Wildcards:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Billy Kemper (HAW)
3. Makua Rothman (HAW)
4. Ian Walsh (HAW)
5. Nathan Fletcher (USA)
6. Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Punta Galea Local Wildcards:
1. Adur Letamendia (EUK)
2. David Bustamente (EUK)
3. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
4. Natxo Gonzalez (EUK)
5. Indar Unaune (EUK)
6. Jon Garay (EUK)