Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (Durban) won the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational presented by GoPro in giant waves with faces that exceeded 40 feet at Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay, California.
Competing against 23 of the world’s best big wave chargers in the fourth stop on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour, Baker gave a clinic in high performance big wave surfing throughout the event, winning his Round 1 heat, finishing second in the semis and dominating the final. The 40 year-old Durbanite caught the most waves, taking off in the perfect position, manoeuvring his way around the bone-crushing white-water and pulling into and emerging from a gaping tube.
He posted two perfect 10 point rides on the day, the first in Round 1 and the other in the final, where he finished with a near perfect tally of 29.33 out of 30. “I’m feeling pretty good – amazing in fact!” said Baker on the headquarters boat after the final. “Two of my favourite surfers in the world, Shane Dorian and Greg Long, were in the final so to win Mavericks is the greatest feeling in the world!”
“The waves were pretty big – there were some 20 foot sets (40 foot on the face) in the final. The wind made it choppy and it looked like there was no way you could make it. We just put our heads down and had to go because it was the final. I just got lucky that I didn’t hit a bump halfway down and get catapulted.”
“I’d like to thank everyone in South Africa for their support. This is it, we are the best.” Baker said after being chaired around the boat by Capetonians Frank Solomon (an alternate competitor for the event) and Chris Bertish, the 2010 Mavericks champion who was eliminated in Round 1 today after a 36 hour flight from his hometown, leaving on Wednesday and arriving in Santa Cruz on Thursday evening.
The victory was Baker’s second at Mavericks after his triumph in 2006 and also his second in succession on the BWWT following his win in the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Spain in December. He now holds a substantial lead in the 2013/14 rankings.
Shane Dorian (Hawaii) finished runner-up despite only arriving at the event venue at 5am on Friday after spending eight hours on Thursday paddling into enormous waves at Jaws on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The huge waves and tricky wind conditions produced some spectacular wipeouts including Mark Healy’s two wave-hold down, Anthony Tashnick’s upside down over-the-falls tumble and Shawn Dollar’s death defying dive when he was catapulted off his board.
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1. Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) – 29.33 pts
2. Shane Dorian (Hawaii) - 25.53
3. Ryan Augenstein (California) - 16.66
4. Tyler Fox (California) - 12.66
5. Greg Long (California) - 12.00
6. Anthony Tashnick (California) – 0.0