10 November, 2016 10 November, 2016

SA’s Twiggy & Tammy To Surf In Pe’ahi Challenge

The Pe’ahi Challenge in Haiku, Hawaii is on Green Alert for a potential start tomorrow, Friday the 11th November. With a massive swell heading toward the region, an additional women’s division and another Saffa in the mix, we can expect some big things (pun intended). Current Big Wave Tour rankings leader is our own Grant ‘Twig’ Baker after he claimed victory at the Puerto Escondido Challenge in June.
“I think it will be a great contest in the 15-20ft range with the swell out of the North and clean conditions, which should make it a high performance big wave event,” said Twig. “Late drops, deep barrels and swooping turns rather then balls to the wall charging. I like it either way and I’m feeling great after a week of bombing Mavericks. I plan to channel the Puerto event and try to do the same again. Saying that the field for Jaws is strong and to win in Hawaii is difficult, so I’m just going over to enjoy myself, get some waves and hope for the best.”

Twiggy on the wave that scored him a perfect ten at the Puerto Escondido Challenge. © WSL

Twig won’t be the only Saffa representing at Jaws. This year, for the first time ever, a women’s event is set to run at Pe’ahi and KZN local Tammy-Lee Smith has been awarded a wildcard. Tammy was sitting on the alternate list for the event for a while before getting the last minute call to say that she is in the main event if she can make it in time. She has long been one of South Africa’s best female surfers, causing damage on both the local scene and the international WQS. She has since qualified with a BBA in Environmental Management and works full time to save the planet. Relatively a newbie, Tammy is showing some serious gees to head to Hawaii to charge the big wave scene. 

Tammy-Lee Smith takes a drop at Sunset earlier this year. © Mike Wrankmore

“I have been wanting to ride big waves for a long time now,” said Tammy Lee-Smith. “Growing up on the North Coast which has some punch and barrels helped me to be naturally comfortable. This year I had the intention of fulfilling some desires to ride bigger waves. I gave Twig a call, ordered a board from him and asked advice. He let me know when there were some swells in CT. I am going to Hawaii to get in the mix and hopefully get some more swells under my belt.

Tammy finding her stance in the big stuff. © Mike Wrankmore

“I think its great that the woman are getting a chance,” says Twig. “Some of them are good friends of mine and have been shoulder-to-shoulder with the men for many years and deserve a chance. I also believe that Tammy Smith might get into the event and it will be amazing to have another Saffa on the tour with me. This event will be a chance for her to change her life if she can win it!”
* Featured Image By: WSL / Surfer: Grant Baker 

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