The Puerto Escondido Challenge Was Better Than Drying Paint And Kai Lenny Won
Jamie Mitchell slides into second with a fractured sternum!
The greatest waterman to ever grow gills won the Puerto Escondido Challenge today. Yes, Kai Lenny! The Laird reincarnate, the foil-resurrector, who stands at a booming 5’8 and rode a 16-foot canoe with a GoPro mount into deadly closeouts was this morning’s champion.
The real hero of the event, however, was Jamie Mitchell. A mere 23 days ago, at Puerto, Jamie fractured his sternum pulling into a closeout after his board came back and slapped him in the chest. He was carted away in an ambulance, shipped off to Los Angeles for X-Rays, scans and a rehab process so good he could surf the event - with aplomb! Jamie showed the hunger of a Mexican dog; he swallowed as many closeouts as his broken breastbone could stomach and, now, has a second place medal to put on ice and hold over his (presumably) sore chest.
As for the rest of the event? How many times can we use the word "closeout" in the same article? Most rounds were won by five-point rides (there wasn't much else on offer) bringing such headlines on the WSL highlight section as Oscar Moncada’s Backside Bottom Turn, Nic Lamb Gets Pinched, and Jamie Mitchell Takes Early Lead. The best wave ridden was Billy Kemper’s nine-point tube that kicked off the event; he bodysurfed it to completion.
But don't let us suck the air from your balloon, at least it was hollow - there’s nothing interesting about watching a big wave event that doesn't barrel. Plus, a place where Greg Long notoriously waits over three hours for one good wave makes for a shifty playing field; the competitive effort over the past two days was admirable.
So go ahead, view the highlights, the wipeouts, the angry closeouts (5) and ponder the sanity of Sir Mitchell above.
On a side note: Should the BWT be plugging that inflatable vest so feverishly? Are they about to become a normal sight in the everyday lineup? Ah, whatever, I guess it's safer than marketing booze to children...
1 - Kai Lenny 23.53
2 - Jamie Mitchell 18.64
3 - Tom Lowe 12.23
4 - Billy Kemper 8.50
5 - Alex Botelho 4.43
6 - Trevor Carlson 2.46
SF 1: Billy Kemper 16.89, Trevor Carlson 12.27, Alex Botelho 8.07, Makuakai Rothman 7.94, Jimel Corzo 7.13, Nathan Florence 6.73
SF 2: Tom Lowe 15.34, Jamie Mitchell 12.54, Kai Lenny 11.27, Nic Lamb 10.77, Oscar Moncada 6.00, Rogercin Ramirez 1.64
Round one results:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper 24.17, Trevor Carlson 17.60, Nathan Florence 16.34, Grant Baker 11.53, Angelo Lozano 8.64, Cristian Merello 2.16
Heat 2: Jimel Corzo 12.77, Alex Botelho 11.74, Makuakai Rothman 10.37, Coco Nogales 8.07, Peter Mel 6.83, Will Skudin 3.13
Heat 3: Tom Lowe 18.06, Kai Lenny 16.54, Nic Lamb 13.97, Rusty Long 13.51, Pedro Calado 10.86, Jose Ramirez 7.77
Heat 4: Oscar Moncado 12.66, Jamie Mitchell 10.31, Rogercin Ramirez 8.10, Francisco Porcella 7.66, Damien Hobgood 6.53, João de Macedo 5.63