Puerto Escondido Challenge

WSL Green Alert: Puerto Escondido Challenge to Run

The Puerto Escondido Challenge
A look at the BWT's Southern Hemisphere event in Mexico.

The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) has put the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, on Green Alert with a projected 30-foot-plus swell heading toward the region. The contest will run Friday, June 24, and potentially Saturday, June 25.

"The swell we've been tracking from the South Pacific has intensified and we've called the Puerto Escondido Challenge 'on' for a Friday start," said Peter Mel, WSL BWT Commissioner. "We're looking at 30-foot-plus waves projected for the day with favorable winds and tides."

This is the first world-class big wave event to ever be called on at this legendary break. Mainland Mexico's Puerto Escondido is home to one of the most monstrous and unruly waves on earth. With a volatile sandbar bottom, the world-renowned beach break requires technical mastery, extreme physical endurance, and boundless courage from all who accept the challenge.

Puerto Escondido barrel Puerto Escondido. - WSL / Danny Ecker

"We are very excited to the get the 2016/2017 BWT season underway," continued Mel. "We have the best big wave surfers on the planet traveling to Mexico from all over the world in anticipation of the event. Puerto Escondido is a heavy and challenging break that will test the competitors and set the tone for this season. We're excited. It's on."

The WSL BWT spans six unique potential venues, all anticipating waves in excess of 25-feet to run. The Southern Hemisphere window runs from April 27 through August 31, 216 with three potential venues, Chile, Peru and Mexico, that can run if conditions allow.

The Puerto Escondido Challenge will be contested by big wave icons including 2015/2016 BWT Champion Greg Long (USA), 2015/2016 BWT runner-up Makuakai Rothman (HAW) and Billy Kemper (HAW), among others, as they battle one another on the biggest surf on the planet.

Puerto Escondido Paddling over the ledge. The furious paddle. - WSL

Surfline, official forecasters for the 2016/2017 WSL BWT season, is predicting the following:

Overlapping, large, long period SSW swells will impact Puerto Escondido on Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th, thanks to a pair of back-to-back storms that recently plowed through the central South Pacific. We recorded satellite verified wind of 35-55 knots and seas of 40-45 feet in these storms and continue to track the swells as they propagate north. At this point we expect to see a building trend of surf throughout the day on Friday; slower, but strong, surf in the morning with face size in the 15-25'+ range, with larger sets to 30' at times. Look for the surf to build for the afternoon with the very largest sets up to 35-40' on the face. By Saturday the surf will likely gradually trend down, but we can still expect face size in the 20-30' range, with a few lingering 35' sets early.

Puerto Escondido Takeoff Classic Puerto Escondido conditions are predicted for the Big Wave Tour kickoff event. - WSL / Danny Ecker

The 24-man field for the Puerto Escondido Challenge will be comprised of the Top 10 finishers on the 2015/2016 BWT season, led by reigning BWT Champion Greg Long (USA), 6 event wildcards, 3 BWT wildcards, 1 injury wildcard and the Top 4 Surfline Overall Performance of the Year Performance Award recipients. (See complete invite list below.)

The Puerto Escondido Challenge will stream live on the WSL website and mobile apps. Tune in to Dawn Patrol at 7:30 a.m. local time for a possible 7:45 a.m. start.

Puerto Escondido Challenge Invite List: Greg Long (USA)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Cristian Merello (CHL)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Trevor Carlson (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Pedro Calado (BRA)
Will Skudin (USA)
Rusty Long (USA)
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Tom Lowe (GRB)
Coco Nogales (MEX)
Oscar Moncada (MEX)
Jose Ramirez (MEX)
Angelo Lozano (MEX)
Rogercin Ramirez Jr. (MEX)
Jimel Corzo (MEX)