Punta de Lobos, Chile event kicks off '15/16 WSL Big Wave Tour
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 April, 2015 - Los Angeles, California - Today the World Surf League announced the schedule for the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour (BWT), showcasing the world’s premiere big wave surfers, the planet’s most harrowing venues and an unparalleled display of adventure, competitive drama and athleticism.
Each featuring competitive fields of the 24 best big wave surfers in the world, the WSL BWT events cover seven different potential venues across three continents all anticipating waves in excess of 25-feet to run. With a global forecasting partner in Surfline, event organizers have allocated the following windows for the various events, only requiring one day of extraordinary surf to run:
Quiksilver Ceremonial: Punta de Lobos, Chile (April 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
Billabong Pico Alto: Pico Alto, Peru (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
Puerto Escondido Challenge: Puerto Escondido, Mexico (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
Oregon Challenge: Lincoln City, Oregon (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
Punta Galea Challenge: Punta Galea, Basque Country Spain (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
Pea’hi Challenge: Haiku, Hawaii (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
Todos Santos Challenge: Todos Santo, Mexico (November 15, 2015 - March 31, 2016)
“The Big Wave Tour is entering into its second full year under the WSL banner and the enhancements made to this upcoming season are designed with one goal in mind - run as many events as possible in the largest surf on offer,” Peter Mel, former BWT Champion and WSL BWT Commissioner, said.
“The schedule is designed with this in mind and we’re excited about the addition of Puerto Escondido and Lincoln City as full-fledged members of the 2015/2016 BWT season. It’s never been a more exciting time for big wave surfing.”
The 24 man fields will be comprised of the Top 10 finishers on the 2014/2015 BWT season, six event wildcards, six BWT wildcards and the two of six qualifiers from last season’s #ProveIt Challenge including Trevor Carlson (HAW), Nick Vaughan (USA), Mark Mathews (AUS), James Taylor (ZAF), Jamie Sterling (HAW) and Derek Dunfee (USA).
Founded by renowned big wave legend Gary Linden in 2009, the BWT was acquired by the WSL in 2013 with the goal of bringing the planet’s best big wave surfers and some of the most treacherous big wave venues in the world to the largest audience possible.
“Last year was an excellent year in which we saw two BWT events run in Peru and the Basque Country and the emergence of a new World Champion in Makua Rothman,” Linden said. “The platform to which big wave surfing has been raised has been fantastic and we’re all committed to running the most events possible this upcoming season in the best surf possible.”
The acquisition of the BWT by the WSL will allow for top WSL surfers such as 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), Hawaiian phenom John John Florence (HAW), amongst others to potentially join respected BWT surfers like Greg Long (USA), Grant Baker (ZAF), Gabriel Villaran (PER), Nic Lamb (USA) and Makua Rothman (HAW) in competition with waves in the 25-foot-and-above range.
The BWT complements the WSL properties of the men’s and women’s Championship Tours, the Qualifying Series, Longboard and Junior Championships as well as the Big Wave Awards on May 1.
The Quiksilver Ceremonial at Punta Lobos in Chile is one week out from commencing its window on April 15.