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
Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry
"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."
Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters
3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.
‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’
RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!
What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?
Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.
Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT
After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…
An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties
A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.
Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl
And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.
Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden
Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.
Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’
Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4
The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.
‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California
Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.
The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023
Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?
What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?
The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.
Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?
Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.
After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow
"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay
Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel
No Contest does Tel Aviv!