Grant “Twig” Baker Wins The Puerto Escondido Challenge With A Perfect Ten
Makua Rothman exits final due to injury.
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.”
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:
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 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
Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More
A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.
“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”
Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…
Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different
With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…
WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’
Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?
Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners
Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence
Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth
A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.
Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video
He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.
Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions
They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.
The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5
Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.
Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise
Can you guess who?
Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson
Because it's the right thing to do, of course.
Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content.
A toast to ‘Toasted.’
Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela
Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…
“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”
How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…
A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…
Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event
Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.