World’s Best Big Wave Surfers Take on Massive Waves in the Basque Country
podium shot of the 2014 Punta Galea Challenge Image: ASP/Poullenot
Punta Galea CHallenge Stop No.4 of 6 on the 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT)
|Location:||Punta Galea, Getxo, Basque Country|
|Date:||Thursday, December 11, 2014|
|Call:||Congratulations Nic Lamb|
Punta Galea, Getxo / Basque Country (Thursday, December 11, 2014): Nic Lamb (USA) has won the Punta Galea Challenge in a moving 30-to-40-foot lineup ahead of Makuakai Rothman (HAW) and Nathan Fletcher (USA) to complete the podium.
The exciting six-men final saw the lead change hands numerous times before Lamb could settle in first and take the event win.
California’s big wave ambassador Lamb opened his wave account with an incredible 9.77 out of 10, for a long ride all the way from the outside on a 40-foot bomb. Taking control of the heat early on, Lamb managed to back-up his highest scoring ride with a bold move, dropping late on a lefthander heading straight into the rocks for a 7.00 point ride.
“I’m stoked, over the moon right now,” Lamb said. “I was in the lead in the beginning then Makua fought back with his two nines. I knew I needed a high-nine and tried to remain cold as ice and wait for the wave and it came through and paid off.”
Sitting in second after Rothman surfed two excellent waves, Lamb needed a strong statement to claim back the pole position. The Santa Cruz local selected another huge lefthander and survived a jaw-dropping late take-off to score the only perfect 10 point ride of the final and take the win.
“We had enough time, so it was just a matter of positioning myself right and wait for the wave to come,” Lamb continued. “Punta Galea is a sick wave, I love this place. There’s multiple take-off spots so it’s a little tricky. The playing field is pretty large. We still got two more events to go, my goal is to win the title and I’ll try my best to do so.”
Despite an unusually slow first half of the final, Makuakai Rothman came back firing when he charged on a massive righthander to net an excellent 9.70. Building confidence instantly, Rothman went straight into another bomb to defend his highest scoring ride with a 9.20 and jump into the lead.
“It was great, we had a good battle,” Rothman said. “I had two nines and he had one and the 10. I just want to say thank’s to all the people here today that cheered us on.”
Rothman waited patiently for another wave with high-scoring potential, but it was Lamb who found the gem in a moving lineup. Relegated to second place at Punta Galea, Rothman however solidifes his rankings lead heading into the final two events of the BWWT season.
“Nick is the man for today but I’m still leading the tour and I increased my total so that’s good,” Rothman continued. “That’s my goal to win the World Title this year. My whole life I’ve dedicated myself to big waves and I looked forward to hopefully compete on home soil in Hawaii.”
Nathan Fletcher waited for the final moments of the final to drop into a big left of his own, belting a 8.90 to jump on the podium in third place.
Local favorite Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) started his final campaign at the halfway mark, but on his backhand unfortunately couldn’t produce enough speed to escape a white-water avalanche coming at him. The risk-taking and difficulty of the ride was rewarded with an 8.00 and put Gonzalez right back in the mix for the event title. Gonzalez was left scouring the lineup searching for a back-up score but only found an excellent righthander right after the buzzer sounded the end of the final. With a fifth place in Punta Galea today, Gonzalez confirmed he’s the strongest big-wave surfer hailing from the Basque Country.
“It was pretty hard today with mushy conditions in the morning and it’s a really meaty wave,” Gonzalez commented. “You had to be a little lucky to get the right waves. In the semis I got two sick ones and I’m stoked with my result today.”
Gabriel Villaran (PER) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA) complete the final, placing 4th and 6th respectively.
The Punta Galea Challenge is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Nick Lamb (USA) 29.77
2- Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 28.60
3- Nathan Fletcher (USA) 25.67
4- Gabriel Villaran (PER) 23.69
5- Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 16.00
6- Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.00
PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 19.33, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 26.37, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.19, Kohl Christensen (HAW) 14.53, Greg Long (USA) 11.34, Ken Collins (USA) 3.66
SF 2: Nathan Fletcher (USA) 24.99, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 22.27, Nic Lamb (USA) 21.21, Shawn Dollar (USA) 19.17, Will Skudin (USA) 12.00, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 0.00
PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ken Collins (USA) 16.50, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.36, Greg Long (USA) 13.84, Tyler Fox (USA) 9.34, David Bustamente (EUK) 1.66, Jaime Fernandez (EUK) 0.00
Heat 2: Kohl Christensen (HAW) 22.50, Pat Gudauskas (USA) 21.51, Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.00, Aritza Saratxaga (EUK) 12.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 7.86, Grant Baker (ZAF) 0.00
Heat 3: Nic Lamb (USA) 26.69, Nathan Fletcher (USA) 19.37, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 18.27, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 13.49, Jon Garay (EUK) 11.34, Joao De Macedo (PRT) 4.14
Heat 4: Shawn Dollar (USA) 22.83, Makua Rothman (HAW) 16.80, Will Skudin (USA) 14.26, Grant Washburn (USA) 12.61, Indar Unanue (EUK) 10.84, Ramon Navarro (CHL) 6.66