PUERTO ESCONDIDO, Mexico (Sunday, July 30, 2017) - The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) Puerto Escondido Challenge in Puerto Escondido, Mexico will start on Monday, July 31 at 7:00 a.m. CST (5 AM PST / 9 AM BRT / 1 PM GMT). With projected 20-25 foot wave faces on offer for Monday, the world's best big wave surfers will battle in the first BWT stop of the season.

"We have made the official call and will start on Monday, July 31 at 7:00 a.m. local time," said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. "We have been closely tracking the conditions and have determined that Monday will be the peak of swell and when we will see the biggest surf. We have ruled out Sunday as we are seeing an increase in size for Monday in the 20-to-25 foot range. We are excited for a great event."

This will be the second BWT event at Mainland Mexico's Puerto Escondido, which is home to one of the most monstrous and demanding waves on earth. With a volatile sandbar bottom, the world-renowned beachbreak requires technical mastery, extreme physical endurance, and boundless courage from all who accept the challenge.

Twiggy Talks Puerto Triumph
Big Wave Tour Champ Grant "Twiggy" Baker looks back at his win at the 2016 Puerto Escondido Challenge.

The 2017 Puerto Escondido Challenge will be contested by 24 of the world's best big wave surfers, led by Grant "Twiggy" Baker (ZAF), defending Puerto Escondido Challenge winner and 2017 BWT Champion. Two-time Pe'ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper (HAW) will also charge the notorious beachbreak, alongside up-and-comers Pedro Calado (BRA) and Jimel Corzo (MEX).

Mainland Mexico Puerto Escondido is already showing size as of Saturday, July 29, and the forecast is calling for it to get bigger. - WSL / Tony Heff

Surfline, Official Forecasters for the 2017 WSL BWT season are calling for:

Based on the latest satellite and buoy data, we expect to see a building trend in surf through the morning on Monday, with a peak in swell around mid day for Puerto Escondido. For the early morning hours we'll look for the better sets to be in the 15-20' range on the face, with the very largest waves pushing up to 25' on the face. As the swell fills in through the morning and peaks into the early afternoon we expect to see larger 18-25' faces on the better sets, with max sets of the day up to 28' faces. Offshore wind in the early morning should give way to a light+ seabreeze from the SW over the later morning and afternoon.

Puerto Escondido Grant Baker was testing out his favorite Puerto peak on Saturday morning in preparation for this week's event. The 2016 BWT World Champion and defending event champion is the favorite heading in. - WSL / Tony Heff

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook Live via the WSL's Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.

2017 Puerto Escondido Challenge Round 1 Match-Ups

Heat 1: Grant Baker (ZAF), Billy Kemper (HAW), Cristian Merello (CHL), Trevor Carlson (HAW), Nathan Florence (HAW), Angelo Lozano (MEX)

Heat 2: Alex Botelho (PRT), Will Skudin (USA), Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Peter Mel (USA), Jimel Corzo (MEX), Coco Nogales (MEX)

Heat 3: Pedro Calado (BRA), Nic Lamb (USA), Kai Lenny (HAW), Tom Lowe (GBR), Rusty Long (USA), Jose Ramirez (MEX)

Heat 4: Jamie Mitchell (AUS), João de Macedo (PRT), Francisco Porcella (ITA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Rogercin Ramirez (MEX), Oscar Moncado (MEX)

UPDATE: Greg Long has pulled out of the competition due to his nagging knee injury. However, the former BWT World Champion will be joining the commentary team in Mexico, adding his valuable insight to the broadcast. Long is being replaced in Heat 2 by Portugal's Alex Botelho.

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