The ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) is maintaining the Billabong Pico Alto's Yellow Alert status with a projected 30-foot ocean swell heading towards the region. The Quiksilver Ceremonial in Punta de Lobos, Chile, was also on Yellow Alert, but now all eyes have turned to Peru, and the Chilean event is back on standby. Event organizers are monitoring conditions closely. If things continue as expected, they'll declare a Green Alert 48 hours prior to commencement of the BWWT season opener.
"The system is moving northeast from Antarctica and expected to land in the region by July 2nd," said Peter Mel, ASP Deputy Commissioner. "If the elements continue to align, we'll declare a start to this year's first Big Wave competition."
The 2014/2015 BWWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components, hosting three possible events within each. The Southern Hemisphere window runs from April 15 to August 31, 2014 with event options in Chile, Peru and South Africa. The Northern Hemisphere window runs from October 15, 2014 to February 28, 2015 with event options in Mexico, the Basque Region of Spain, and Maui. A stellar lineup of chargers has been assembled to compete in the various events.
In recent history, the Brazilian chargers have solidified ownership of the big wave arena. Brazilians Marcos Monteiro and Carlos Burle will be looking for repeat victories at Punta de Lobos and Pico Alto, respectively, if they run. Monteiro won the Chilean event the last time it was ran, in 2011. Burle will be defending the title in Peru, where he won in 2012.
"We're halfway through the Southern Hemisphere window and we're very excited at the possibility of getting the season underway," Mel said. "The Brazilians have had a lock on the South American events lately and we have a great field heading into these opening events for 2014. We'll be closely monitoring all the charts and data in the coming days."
A team of experts track swell systems all over the world waiting for those that will produce waves 30 feet or bigger for one of the six world-class big wave venues.
Surfline, official forecaster for the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, is reporting the following:
We're currently monitoring the development of a major storm in the southeast Pacific off the coast of Chile. If this storm behaves as forecast in the next few days, Chile and Peru will see the largest swell of the season, thus far, and one of the more impressive swells of the last couple years.
The current thinking is that this swell will rapidly build into central Chile late on Tuesday the 1st, with peak day at Punta de Lobos on Wednesday the 2nd with face sizes easily exceeding the minimum requirements to run a BWWT event (30') if the storm behaves as forecast. The big wildcard will be local wind conditions which could prove to be problematic and will need to be closely monitored over the next couple days.
Pico Alto, Peru would see a peak day of swell on Thursday the 3rd and local wind conditions look manageable at this point.
The 24-man field for the Billabong Pico Alto will be comprised of the ASP BWWT Top 12, led by reigning world champion Grant 'Twiggy' Baker, as well as six ASP wildcards and six local wildcards:
ASP Top 12:
1. Grant Baker (ZAF)
2. Ken Collins (USA)
3. Nic Lamb (USA)
4. Shawn Dollar (USA)
5. Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6. Alex Gray (USA) (INJ)
7. Greg Long (USA)
8. Ryan Augenstein (USA)
9. Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10. Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12. Tyler Fox (USA)
The ASP will provide updates as they become available.
and when the BWWT events run, they will stream LIVE at aspworldtour dot com.