Updated: Nov 21, 2018
On Monday April 27th, with mother nature sounding the alarm, the 2015 Quiksilver Ceremonial, the first stop on the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT), was given the green light by the World Surf League (WSL). This gives professional big wave surfers from all over the world 72 hours to get to Chile. If you had shown up to Punta de Lobos, on April 30th, the world renowned left-hand point break located in Pichilemu, Chile, you would have seen thirty foot walls of water, surging from the ocean and breaking behind the iconic Morros, two rock tours that define the wave. Punta de Lobos is known for its wave consistency and quality, although swells that bring monsters like these do not happen all that often.
The level of skill and knowledge that these competitors bring to the table is remarkable. Competitors in the final included Makuakai Rothman (Hawaii), Nic Lamb (USA), Grant Baker (South Africa), Mark Mathews (AUS), Cristian Merello (Chile), and Punta de Lobos native Ramon Navarro (Chile). The Valpo Surf Project staff watched from cliffs which form a perfect amphitheater, as board member Juan Pablo Barrientos, announcer for the event, narrated each heat. The competition ran over the course of Thursday and Friday, Hawaiian Makuakai Rothman took the title with Cristian Merello placing second, and Ramon Navarro placing third.
It was extremely incredible to be able to witness this event, not only because of the level of talent present but because of the spectacle of the waves and the natural beauty of the place. Seeing the power of waves rising almost to the top of the Morros really brings certain mysticism to the area. Punta de Lobos has drawn attention recently due to the documentary The Fisherman's Son, featuring Ramon Navarro and his fight, along with NGO Save the Waves to conserve Punta de Lobos and its natural environment and maintain public access for future generations. The importance of caring for Punta de Lobos was certainly conveyed as a necessity during the competition, raising even more awareness about Lobos Por Siempre amongst international surfers, the crowd present, and followers of the event all around the world.
Congratulations to all competitors, the water assist teams, medics, and sponsors.
Check out some more photos from the event below!