After five months of competition for the second annual Striped Horse Challenge in association with RVCA and Hurricane Surf – a big wave competition open exclusively to Saffas – a winner has been decided.
Before the announcement, let’s have a look at some of the big drops and heavy barrels in contention for the R30 000 cash prize sponsored by Striped Horse, a return air ticket to Hawaii courtesy of RVCA, plus two big wave guns and accessories from Hurricane Surf.
From the 14 entries received in 2016, the judging panel that included former ISA Big Wave World Champion Ian Armstrong, as well as Australian big wave surf filmmaker Tim Bonython and his South African counterpart Neil Webster, have unanimously decided that Grant Baker’s monster barrel at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, trumps all the other rides and earns the current BWWT ratings leader the win in this year’s Striped Horse Challenge.
“Twiggy’s wave was in a class of its own,” claimed Ian Armstrong – a man of few words who generally lets his surfing do the talking.
“A big thank you to all involved in the Striped Horse Challenge for 2016,” said a clearly stoked Twig when we broke the news. “I’m really happy to have won, especially up against Matt Bromley’s wave. I saw Bromdog’s wave from the beach while preparing for my heat at the Puerto Escondido Challenge. It was incredible and I knew I would have to do something special to beat that. So ja, I am really stoked to have won.”
And his winning ride was something special indeed. This deep, spitting pit at the Mexican Pipeline earned Twiggy a perfect ten, victory at the Puerto Escondido Challenge, and the massive prize for the 2016 Striped Horse Challenge.
“I would like to thank the sponsors for their continued support of big wave surfing in South Africa – Striped Horse, RVCA and Hurricane Surf. Thank you so much for the amazing prizes,” continued Twiggy. “I’m busy travelling in Hawaii, the USA and Europe for five months at the moment and it is really expensive here with the Rand/Dollar exchange, so a prize like this goes a long way in helping my career and big wave surfing in South Africa.”
Twiggy, of course, is on his way to Nazare, Portugal, where he’ll look to maintain his lead on top of the BWWT ratings at the Nazare Challenge, which is set to run tomorrow (Tuesday, 19 December). Should he retain the top spot with just the waiting period for the Todos Santos Challenge still open, it’ll be a good Christmas indeed for the South African big wave charger.
Featured photo © WSL / Edwin Morales