Reigning Big Wave Tour World Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) has won the Quiksilver Ceremonial in pumping surf at Punta de Lobos, Chile. The win solidifies the Hawaiian's spot at the top of the BWT rankings. Making his success there all the sweeter, Rothman was presented the Tour Championship trophy in Chile and will be honored again at the Big Wave Awards in Anaheim, Calif., Friday night.
As part of the World Surf League's core commitment to putting the world's best big wave surfers in the world's best big waves, Round 1 ran Thursday afternoon in pumping conditions. Wave size at Punta de Lobos was predicted to build throughout the day, but unfortunately the swell arrived later than initially projected. In an effort to run heats in optimal conditions, the WSL extended the event to run the Semifinals and Final Friday morning, local time.
The Quiksilver Ceremonial hadn't run since 2011, and was the first of the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour (BWT) season. Rothman arrived in Chile as the leader of the field of 24 as they battled for the first title of the new season.
Beyond the heroics unfolding in Chile, it's a busy week for big wave surfing. Friday, May 1, the 15th Big Wave Awards Show will see honors for the year's best performances in big waves -- from tubes to wipeouts, and more. The Awards will stream LIVE here and on the WSL app starting at 8 p.m. PST.