- 22 December 2013 | Surfing
Grant Baker has conquered the 2013 Punta Galea Challenge, near Getxo, in Spanish Basque Country.
The first event on the Big Wave World Tour got underway under beautiful sunny skies and perfect swell conditions, in the 15-30 feet plus range.
The South African big wave rider collected two 9.67-point scores to clinch the European contest, ahead of Nic Lamb, Ken Collins, Adur Letamendia, Ramon Navarro and David Bustamante.
"What a day for me, it just got better each heat and in the final I felt like I actually peaked and it just worked out perfectly. This wave surprised us. It is a legitimate big wave in the world of big wave surfing and we all really enjoyed the challenge", says Baker.
"It's the aim to try and win the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour Title and today's win certainly has me well placed but there's three event to go and I really have to focus on each event and be ready for when they might run."
The cliffs of Punta Galea provided the ideal stands for 10,000 spectators who didn't want to miss the show, as wave lines traveled in from out in the horizon.
The water safety team were kept extremely busy all day with numerous snapped leashes and a particularly dangerous inside rocky section to the break where many surfers had to be towed from.
One such incident saw rider and ski come to grief on the rocky point.
Grant "Twiggy" Baker, a former Mavericks champion and winner of multiple XXL Awards, has recently lost his sponsorship deal with Billabong due to poor results.
2013 Punta Galea Challenge Results:
1. Grant Baker (South Africa/Durban) 29.01
2. Nic Lamb (USA/Santa Cruz) 28.21
3. Ken Collins (USA/Santa Cruz) 24.87
4. Adur Latamendia (Spain/Zarautz) 23.57
5. Ramon Navarro (Chile) 14.34
6. David Bustamante (Spain) 0.00