Stab Magazine | Grant "Twig" Baker Wins The Puerto Escondido Challenge With A Perfect Ten

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Grant “Twig” Baker Wins The Puerto Escondido Challenge With A Perfect Ten

Makua Rothman exits final due to injury. 

news // Jun 26, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This morning, Puerto was smaller, cleaner and slightly more makable. The death closeout section was still ever so apparent, but there were plenty of corners offering hope for the BWT semis and finals. Today was all Twiggy; he’s been surfing Puerto for 20 years and along with Greg Long his knowledge of the break was illuminant. “Yesterday was pretty difficult out there so I didn’t have a great heat but I made it through,” Twig told the WSL. “This morning when I woke up, I saw it was my favourite size for Puerto and I was so happy.”

Mr Baker came into the event as an injury wildcard and his winning result will kick off his big wave season. One win goes a long way towards the BWT title, typically no more than three or four events run each year. Last year Greg Long took the title with just a second and third place finish. In the final, Twig found perfection at the Mexi Pipeline and finished with a combined score of 27.50 out of the possible 30. “The waves are amazing and I want to thank all the locals for being so hospitable and making us feel so welcome,” he said after the event. “To my wife and baby at home, this one’s for you.”

Greg Long finished second. In the closing minutes of the semis he found an impossible one that shot him into the finals. Greg’s one of the best ever out at Puerto. He spends the majority of his summer in Oaxaca with his brother Rusty, and knows the wave as good as anyone. “I am happy with my result here in Puerto Escondido,” he said. “I had a couple of really fun waves. I had to work hard for them, but it was worth it. I have a special place in my heart for Puerto Escondido. I came down here for the first time when I was 17-years-old and I am 33 now and I have literally not missed a big swell. This event was pretty spectacular by all accounts and one of the top days I’ve ever surfed.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bozOJ2jO3J8

Twenty minutes into the final, former BWT Champ, Makuakai Rothman suffered an injury and was forced to exit the heat. He took off deep on a proper Mexican screamer, the wave clamped and he went down in an exploding ball of sand and white-wash. After striding through his first round and semifinal heats with wins, Mr Rothman was remorseful of having to pull out of the final. “I just want to apologize for not being able to put on a show for all the folks at home,” he said. “I did my best and I was trying to represent Hawaii. I just went up and over the falls, and my ten-foot-board his me in the ribs. Thank you to all the fans out there who make this possible for us and make it possible for us to live our dreams.” Ahh, such sentiment!

Anyways, here are the results:
Finals:
1 – Grant Baker 27.50
2 – Greg Long 25.03
3 – Pedro Calado 24.77
4 – Carlos Burle 16.87
5 – Will Skudin 12.97
6 – Makuakai Rothman 7.66

Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Grant Baker 26.34, Will Skudin 16.07, Greg Long 16.00, Kai Lenny 14.74, Albee Layer 13.41, Rogercin Ramirez 10.83
Semifinal 2: Makuakai Rothman 22.33, Pedro Calado 21.01, Carlos Burle 13.63, Jimel Corzo 14.83, Jamie Mitchell 13.74, Rusty Long 11.46

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