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South Africa backs Twiggy as he sights on The Eddie

Grant Twiggy Baker winning the Mavericks event in 2014 © Body Glove

 

 

Team Updates

Baker will be up against Slater and Hawaiian Dave Wassel

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 February, 2016 - Durban’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is jetting to Hawaii after receiving the call up for The Eddie Aikau on Sunday. An invitee for the past eight years, he is the only South African to have competed in the event (2009) and is again the only one from this country in the elite 28 man invitational field this year.

The 42 year-old who recently became a father for the first time, returned to the country three weeks ago to rehabilitate a nagging back injury after charging the massive El Nino swells in California, Mexico and Hawaii during December and January where he competed in the Big Wave Tour event at Jaws on the island of Maui.

However, the lure of joining the world’s best exponents in the most prestigious big wave event on the planet was strong enough for Baker to pack his bags and boards and head back halfway around the world to compete at Waimea Bay.

"It has taken us six years to pull the trigger, but this is the first swell we have seen that is truly lining up as an Eddie swell," said Event Director Glen Moncata.

Moncata and the organizing team continue to confer with event patriarch George Downing, who has made the call on every event since its inception.

"As George has famously said, 'The Bay Calls the Day' and that will be Wednesday," added Moncata.

The Eddie will be contested by 28 invitees, including BWT current rankings’ leader and 2009 Eddie winner Greg Long (USA); Clyde Aikau (HAW), Eddie’s brother and winner of the second Eddie event; and 11-time World Champion and 2001/2002 Eddie winner Kelly Slater (USA).

Baker will be up against Slater and experienced Hawaiian Dave Wassel in both his heats, along with four other competitors.

The format sees everyone in the field compete twice with their best four rides from the two heats totalled to determine the winner. This makes the event difficult to run as it is imperative that the wave faces remain in the13 metre plus range throughout the day so competitors in all the heats, from the first to the last, have an equal opportunity to impress the judges.

This WSL Specialty Big-Wave event is named for native Hawaiian, champion big wave surfer and life-saving Waimea Bay lifeguard, Eddie Aikau. The event honours Aikau’s legendary courage.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app starting at approximately 8pm South African time. The event will be carried by our LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CNS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brazil, Globosat, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV, Canal + Deportes, Channel Nine, MCS, and Starhub.

 

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Heat Draw:

Round 1/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassel (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Round 1/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makua Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Round 2/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassel (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Round 2/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makua Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Author: 
Paul Botha
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