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Punta Galea Challenge gets greenlight for Thursday

 

 

Punta Galea Challenge

Big Wave World Tour
Punta Galea, Basque Country
1 December - 1 March 2013

Very solid swell headed for Basque Country

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 December, 2014 - The ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) is greenlighting the Punta Galea Challenge, Basque Country, Spain for a 9 a.m. start (local time) this Thursday, December 11, with the possibility of running into Friday, December 12. Watch the world’s best big wave surfers riding giant waves live at ASPWorldTour.com as a projected 30-to-40-foot swell descends upon the region. 

“We are very excited to get the Northern Hemisphere season underway with the Punta Galea Challenge," said Peter Mel, ASP Big Wave Commissioner. “This event is fairly new to the schedule, but has been very consistent the past few years. It delivered some of the best rides on last year’s BWWT and saw reigning champion Grant “Twiggy” Baker win the event.”

The 2014/2015 BWWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components, each hosting three possible events. The Punta Galea Challenge together with the Todos Santos Challenge in Mexico and the Pe’ahi Challenge in Maui, Hawaii comprise the Northern Hemisphere half of the season.

“The best big wave surfers from around the world are making their way to the Basque Country, Spain in preparation for the second event of the 2014/15 ASP BWWT season," Mel continued. “After closely monitoring the forecast over the past couple of days the swell we have forming for Thursday’s event looks set to provide an incredible platform for these watermen to test and showcase their skills.”

The Southern Hemisphere season ran from April 15 to August 31, 2014 with event options in Chile, Peru and South Africa. The Billabong Pico Alto was the only event to run, and on Thursday, July 3, 2014 Makua Rothman (HAW) claimed his maiden ASP BWWT victory. With one event complete the Hawaiian sits atop the BWWT rankings heading into the Punta Galea Challenge, the second BWWT event of the season.

This year’s Punta Galea Challenge will see its prize purse increased to $75,000 after the $100,000 combined prize money from the Dungeons Challenge and the Quiksilver Ceremonial Chile has been rolled over to the upcoming contests. Should any of the three remaining BWWT events not be held the prize money will be distributed among the Top 10 finishers at the end of the 2014/2015 season.

Surfline, official forecaster for the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, are calling for: We remain on track for a monster storm and what should be one of the largest swells of the year for the region, very comparable to some of the biggest storms/swells we saw during last year’s historic winter. 

Thursday will see a NW swell (300-320) 15-17’ deepwater/offshore swell at 20 seconds for face size in the 30-40’+ range with larger max sets very possible pushing 45’ faces. 

Friday will see NW swell trending down slowly (not dropping) and still very good size with 12-13’ deepwater swell at 17 seconds all day (latest model run has this down just a bit from yesterday). Face sizes down from Thursday peak but still running in the 20-30’ range on the sets, biggest waves of the morning maybe another 5’ bigger on the face. We’re still looking at the possibility of better local wind as flow shifts back to the SSW for most of the day around 8-15 knots. 

The 24-man field for the Punta Galea Challenge will be comprised of the ASP BWWT Top 12, led by reigning world champion Grant 'Twiggy' Baker, as well as six ASP BWWT wildcards and six local wildcards. ASP BWWT wildcard Kelly Slater (USA) is competing in the Billabong Pipe Masters and therefore unable to attend the Punta Galea Challenge. Alternate Will Skudin (USA) will compete in his place.

Top 12 ASP BWWT Surfers:

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)

ASP BWWT Wildcards:
1 - Billy Kemper (HAW)
2 - Makua Rothman (HAW)
3 - Ian Walsh (HAW)
4 - Nathan Fletcher (USA)
5 - Gabriel Villaran (PER)
6 - Will Skudin (USA)

Punta Galea Local Wildcards:
1 - Adur Letamendia (ESP)
2 - David Bustamente (ESP)
3 - Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
4 - Natxo Gonzalez (ESP)
5 - Indar Unaune (ESP)
6 - Jon Garay (ESP)

Author: 
Dave Prodan
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