Rafael Velarde: photo courtesy of Billabong
Sterling and Chris Bertish both endure two wave hold-downs
Today the wave at Pico Alto showed why it deserves to be part of the Big Wave World Tour. The Billabong Pico Alto Invitational 2010 presented by Sony, went off in fantastic, huge surf.
The atmosphere surrounding the competitors was filled with energy and adrenaline. The grandstand full of spectators was shocked by the size of the waves. The generous force of nature gave us waves of more than 35 feet high, peaking during the semi final heats where the wave of the contest, a perfect 10 by Grant Baker from South Africa, was scored.
The local surfers demonstrated a high level of performance as well. Gonzalo Velasco, Billabong team rider and Sebastian De Romaña arrived to the semi finals competing along side twelve of best international big wave riders, including current world champion Carlos Burle from Brazil and defending Billabong Pico Alto 2009, winner Greg Long from the USA.
Various surfers experienced extreme moments, the Peruvian Rafael Velarde lived through the intensity of Pico Alto in his first heat, when a wave of 24 feet high broke the board that he ridden to two previous Billabong Pico Alto finals (2006 and 2009).
The eventual winner, Hawaiian Jamie Sterling and South African Chris Bertish, both endured two wave hold-downs, Bertish coughing up blood and unable to finish the heat.
Water Patrol provided by Ocean Riders, the local Peruvian team and Tim West from the Big Wave World Tour, insured not only the surfers security in these huge waves but also provided them transport from the beach to the line up with the use of PWC´s.
The grand final was highly contested between Anthony Tashnick (USA), Carlos Burle (BRA) and Jamie Sterling (HI) with Jamie taking the title. “I’m very emotional since this is the first time I have won a Big Wave World Tour event” expressed the smiling Hawaiian.
The collaborated effort of our fellow sponsors: Sony, Burn, Powerade, Cosas Hombre, Lan, Von Zipper and Nixon made the realization of the event possible for everyone.