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WSL issues yellow alert for the Pico Alto event

Makuakai Rothman © WSL/Gonzalez



Big Wave Updates

Athletes on standby for Billabong Pico Alto event in Peru

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 July, 2015 - The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) has placed the Billabong Pico Alto in Peru on Yellow Alert with a projected 20 - 30’ -plus swell heading towards the region with the expected arrival on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Event organizers are closely monitoring a system that is travelling towards the area and the WSL will issue a Green Alert 72 hours prior to commencement if the event is called on.

"After watching a somewhat dormant South Pacific for the last few weeks, things have come alive again," said Big Wave Tour VP, Gary Linden. "A strong swell is heading for Pico Alto, Peru and the timing could not be better for the event with the swell peaking mid-day on the low tide. These conditions should produce the best possible waves for a tremendous Final."

The Billabong Pico Alto in Peru along with the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico and the Quiksilver Ceremonial in Chile, which has already run, comprise the Southern Hemisphere (swells generated off of Antarctica) half of the 2015/2016 BWT season. Commencing in October and November will be the Northern Hemisphere (swells produced in the Northern Hemisphere) half of the season that includes Lincoln City, Punta Galea, Pe’ahi and Todos Santos.

The Billabong Pico Alto was the only Southern Hemisphere event last season to experience the required wave size, taking place on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in 40-foot waves where reigning WSL BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) claimed his maiden victory.

Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for: The primary swell of interest will be for early next week. Current model guidance has solid SSW/S swell building in quickly on Tuesday and peaking through the afternoon with 9-10' of deepwater swell at 16-18 seconds. That would produce breaking waves in the 20-30'+ range on the face, with the largest sets of the day potentially up to 35-40' faces.

The 24-man field for the Billabong Pico Alto will be comprised of the top 10 finishers on the 2014/2015 BWT season,  six BWT wildcards, six event wildcards and two of six qualifiers from last season’s Video Qualification Challenge:

Top 10 finishers on the 2014/2015 BWT:
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Shawn Dollar (USA)
Anthony Tashnick (USA)
Greg Long (USA)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Natxo Gonzalez (EUK)
Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

BWT Wildcards:
Alex Gray (USA) (injury wildcard)
Josh Kerr (AUS)
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Jamie Sterling (HAW)
Ben Wilkinson (AUS)

Event Wildcards:
Miguel Tudela (PER)
Sebastian Correa (PER)
Alejo Loret De Mola (PER)
Sebastian De Romana (PER)
Luis Gomez de la Torre (PER)
Cristian Merello (CHL)

Video Qualifiers:
James Taylor (ZAF)
Trevor Sven Carlson (HAW)

2015/2015 WSL Big Wave Tour:
Quiksilver Ceremonial: Punta de Lobos, Chile (April 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015) - won by M. Rothman (HAW) $50,000

Billabong Pico Alto: Pico Alto, Peru (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015) $50,000

Puerto Escondido Challenge: Puerto Escondido, Mexico (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015) $75,000

Oregon Challenge: Lincoln City, Oregon (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016) $50,000

Punta Galea Challenge: Punta Galea, Basque Country Spain (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016) $50,000

Pea’hi Challenge: Haiku, Hawaii (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016) $100,000

Todos Santos Challenge: Todos Santo, Mexico (November 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016) $75,000

Dave Prodan

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