2018 Punta Galea Challenge: all podium places were filled with European surfers | Photo: PGL

Pierre Rollet has taken out the 2018 Punta Galea Challenge, near Bilbao, in the Basque Country.

The 13th edition of the oldest big wave invitational event held in Europe got underway in splendid conditions, with 20-foot waves breaking in front of a steep cliff.

Andrew Cotton was forced to pull out of the event in the semifinals after being hit by the lip of a wave and suffering a torn ligament in his knee. He will fly back to the United Kingdom for further scans.

Defending event title holder, Nick Lamb, was extraordinarily consistent but had to settle with fourth place because European riders ended up filling the podium spots.

Rollet, from Bayonne, stole the show and was followed by World Surf League veteran, Aritz Aranburu, and by the Portuguese Big Wave Tour campaigner, Alex Botelho.

"It was an amazing day - beautiful waves, a great atmosphere, and just perfect logistics! I was already happy to participate in this competition, so you can imagine how it feels for me to win it," expressed Rollet.

2018 Punta Galea Challenge | Final

1. Pierre Rollet (FRA) 17.74
2. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 15.70
3. Alex Botelho (POR) 15.69
4. Nic Lamb (USA) 14.91
5. Zac Haynes-Love (AUS) 14.6
6. Iker Muñoz (EUK) 12.61

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