Jamie Sterling Wins Big Wave Invitational at Pico Alto, Peru

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.

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Jamie Sterling at the Big Wave Invitational in Chile

The Quiksilver Ceremonial, Big Wave Invitational at Punto de Lobos is ON! Watch it live here!

Check out Jamie Sterling's massive air drop in heat two...

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Jamie Sterling Helps Save the Waves with the Relief Efforts in Chile

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Jamie at Lobos

While in Chile I was given the opportunity to help the people whose lives were interrupted from the huge 8.8 earthquake and tsunami that hit in February. I joined Save the Waves foundation down in the city of Constitution. This town was severely damaged and was a mess. It looked way worse then what we were seeing on the news back in the states. Quiksilver and Cliff Bar sent clothes and energy bars down to Chile and we distributed them to school kids, the Red Cross, and the police. It was nice to see the people still smiling after what they all are going through. My heart goes out to the People of Chile.

We even scored some good waves down near the city of Constitution. Small but fun little waves.

Aloha,

Jamie

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Destruction at sea level

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Handing out Clif bars

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Ramon Navarro surfing down south in the worst hit city by the tsunami, Constitucion.  At least Chile still  has its beautiful left tubes...

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Make shift boat engine repair shop

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This fisherman has been out of work for two months because he lost his motor to the tsunami

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Ramon again, displaying local knowledge...

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Jamie in the thick of it

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Jamie Sterling Checks in From Pichilemu, Chile #2

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It's my 7th time to Chile. I guess you could say I'm a fan of the cold water Indonesia, as I like to call it. Why do I call it that?  Well, its waves are 80% lefts and yes it's cold and chilly. Chile is one the places where I can find every type of wave that there is to surf: slabs, point breaks, beach breaks, reefs, and "almost waves" (i.e. if we could only blow that one rock up it would be rideable). Not only does the variety of waves allure me, but the minimal crowds and consistency of the coastline is also a main draw. Oh yea being a goofy foot and surrounded by endless lefts with practically no one out makes this place a dream situation. Add to that the culture, the friends I have here, the food and Its all good!

I'm based in Pichilemu right now an am staying in my friend Diego Medina's guest cabana with my girlfriend Sheila. It sits on the beach in front of Punta de Lobos, one of Chile's premier big wave spots. It's a left hand point break and can hold waves as big as 7 meters= 25 ft+.

My main purpose here in Chile is to compete in the Quiksilver Ceremonial: Punta De Lobos big wave invitational. We are in the middle of the 2 month waiting period.  Event organizers want to wait for a 5-7 meter = 15-25 ft swell. It will be my first time competing at this surf spot so I thought it was a good idea to come down here early and practice at Lobos. I've also been surfing some other amazing waves in the local area.

Diego Medina has been a great host. I've been able to tag along with him and get the inside scoop on where to surf as well as where to eat. I have 31 more days in Chile so I'm sure there will be some adventures to write about along with some cool point of view photos that my girlfriend and I'll be taking.

Aloha,
Jamie

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Jamie Sterling Checks in From Pichilemu, Chile #1

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Jamie Sterling stopped by the Rusty Surfboards factory, when he was in town for the XXL Awards, to pick up his new custom Rusty big wave boards. Wasting no time, Sterling was on a plane the day after the awards ceremony heading to Pichilemu, Chile where he will be competing in the 2010 Quiksilver Ceremonial at the notorious Punta De Lobos. Sterling is one of 24 big wave surfers hand picked form across the globe to compete in this prestigious (and insane!) event...

MORE ABOUT THE 2010 QUIKSILVER CEREMONIAL:

The holding period for the Ceremonial began on April 2 and runs through May 31, 2010, to be held on the biggest single day of surf. The event launches the 2010-2011 Big Wave World Tour and features 24 of the world’s best big wave riders.

“Laying the groundwork for a live webcast out of Pichilemu was no easy feat, given the extensive damage to the area sustained during the February 27 earthquake and tsunami,” said contest director Gary Linden. “But with great support from the locals, and the determination of all involved to keep moving forward, the website is launched and the live webcast is set to go at a moment’s notice.

“The Southern Hemisphere is in non-stop swell mode at present, lining up back-to-back pulses. We will wait for the one that hits our window with full force. The surfers want it big and challenging, so our goal is to make sure that happens.”

The impetus to push forward with the event was to bring the famous surf region of Pichilemu into the spotlight, thereby helping to bring emotional and material recovery to the area. All 24 invitees have pledged 50% of their winnings towards local relief efforts.

Chile’s top big wave rider, Ramon Navarro, lives in Pichilemu and is excited to see the event go ahead. When it does, he will be wearing the ‘hats’ of both competitor and local resident. Ramon hopes for record surf to boost spirits and recovery in his hometown.

“It’s uncommon to see so much activity this early in the season,” said Ramon. “The 2010 Quiksilver Ceremonial may see the biggest waves in the history of the event. That’s what we’re hoping for!”

To view the list of invitees, learn more about the event and follow surf forecasts for the region, click here!

FLASHBACK TO STERLING'S CHILE TRIP LAST YEAR:

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Jamie Sterling Gets the Shot

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Jamie Sterling has been having a lot of fun and capturing some breath taking point of view images with his Go Pro Camera. Click here for more about the Go Pro Camera on Surfline.com

Check out the point of view perspective of Jamie towing into two mean waves in Hawaii; he takes a pretty good flogging on the second one...

Jamie Sterling - Tow Surfing Hawaii with GoPro Surf HERO cam from GoPro on Vimeo.

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Chilean Big Wave Surfing with Jamie Sterling – Parts 2 and 3

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Jamie Sterling: Roaming the South Pacific

Jamie Sterling finds himself in the spotlight once again as his South Pacific conquests draw global attention! Surfline.com is currently featuring the photo journal of photographer, Tyler Cuddy, who followed Sterling around the Tahitian islands in search of swell and shenanigans...

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Click here to see the full feature...

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Sterling Charges Chile!

Here's a few images from a point in Southern Chile. I have GoPro video footage, but that will be sent out later. This wave was so fun. It's in a little old world town. Super pretty place! I'm amping for the 20ft+ swell about to hit the Chile coast on Sunday!

I'll be in touch after the swell episode. My plan is to tow surf with Ramon Navarro on Sunday and then trek it to Santiago, catch a red eye up to Arica Northern Chile and surf the same swell up there.  Stoked.

Thank you all for the support!
- Jamie Sterling

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Jamie Sterling Located?

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Jamie Sterling   Photo: Cuddy

Jamie Sterling returned from Tahiti after only a few short weeks, where he scored massive tubes before the WCT event began, and once again- he is off the charts chasing perfect waves.

A few clues to his whereabouts have trickled out through Tyler Cuddy's blog and it appears he may be in Chile for the time being; although you can never be too sure...

Cuddy is the photographer who is traveling with Sterling; the two traveled together in Tahiti and came back with some amazing images! Keep your eyes peeled for more of  Tyler Cuddy's photography and I am sure we will be seeing some more GoPro Camera images provided by Sterling himself!

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Santiago, Chile   Photo: Cuddy