- WSL / Damien Poullenot/ Aquashot

After a day of big rides and broken boards, Nic Lamb (USA) has won the Punta Galea Challenge, the first event of the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) Northern Hemisphere window.

Conditions on the northern coast of Spain proved challenging in the early stages, resulting in some cringe-worthy wipeouts. But when the sun broke through and the tide drained out for the Semifinals, big scores started to drop. With the home crowd behind him, Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) won his Semifinal heat with a near-perfect heat total of 29.33 out of a possible 30 thanks, in part, to a 10-point ride.

Gonzalez Perfect Ride
Natxo Gonzalez earns a 10 for a near-perfect Semifinal heat total.

Drama continued in the second Semifinal, with surfers having to wait until long after the horn for the final results. Standout Qualification Series (QS) competitor and BWWT wildcard Patrick Gudauskas (USA) earned a 9.27 mid-heat, but was unable to replace a 2-point bottom score. The scores left the door open for fellow Americans Will Skudin and Shawn Dollar to overtake the remaining spot in the Final. Skudin found a medium size wave in the dying moments of the heat but came up fractions of a point shy of the requirement.

Gudauskas' Semifinal Nine
With conditions improving, Pat Gudauskas rides out a massive wave for a 9.27.

The fireworks had only begun and the Punta Galea Final did not disappoint. A back-and-forth as Lamb and current BWWT No. 1 Makuakai Rothman (HAW) traded nine-point rides through the majority of the hourlong battle. After Rothman earned two nines, he seemed to be well on his way to his second event win of the season -- Rothman won the only other BWWT event thus far this season, the Billabong Pico Alto. But Lamb, in an impressive display of acrobatics, earned the event's second 10-point ride and took the come-from-behind win with the highest heat total of the event -- a near-perfect 29.77.

Lamb's Perfect Score in Final
In a high-scoring Final, Nic Lamb earns a 10-point ride to regain the lead.

With this event win, Lamb moves up the BWWT rankings. Two events remain in the Northern Hemisphere -- the Pe'ahi Challenge and the Todos Santos Challenge.

Until the next BWWT event, get your big waves on with ASP XXL Submissions.

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