Pico Alto: critical drops, heavy wipeouts

The Billabong Pico Alto 2014 is on green alert, and will be run on the 3rd July, in Peru.

The 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) will kick off with a 35-to-40-foot ocean swell hitting South America. It's time to paddle out.

"The system has intensified off of Antarctica and is heading towards South America with ideal conditions projected for Peru," says Peter Mel, ASP Big Wave Commissioner.

"We had initially placed both Chile and Peru on Yellow Alert, but after closely monitoring the data and charts over the past couple of days, we have determined that Peru will have the ideal elements necessary for this particular swell. We're excited. It's on."

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.

"We have the best big wave surfers on the planet traveling to Peru from all over the world in anticipation of this swell and the event," Mel continued.

"The last time we ran the event in Peru was in 2012 and Carlos Burle, of Brazil, was victorious and the swell we have forming for Thursday's event will provide an incredible platform upon which these watermen will test their skills."

There's a large, slow-moving storm taking a favorable track towards Peru and Chile, producing satellite-confirmed wind of 40-55 knots over a wide fetch and seas in excess of 45 feet. Strong high pressure on the storm's northwestern flank greatly aids the consistency of wind in the storm.

The 24-man field for the Billabong Pico Alto will be comprised of the ASP BWWT Top 12, lead by reigning world champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker, as well as six ASP wildcards and six local wildcards.

ASP BWWT 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)
7. Greg Long (USA)
8. Ryan Augestein (USA)
9. Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10. Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12. Tyler Fox (USA)

ASP BWWT Peru Wildcards:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Ben Wilkinson (AUS)
3. Makua Rothman (HAW)
4. Jamie Sterling (HAW)
5. Carlos Burle (BRA)
6. Gabriel Villaran (PER)

Local Peru Wildcards:
1. Miguel Tudela
2. Rafael Velarde
3. Kodiak Semsch
4. Tamil Martino
5. Alejo Loret del Mola
6. Renzo Zazzali