After standing out in a few sessions at Mavericks prior to the event, Saffa former big wave world champ, Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker knuckled down in the howling wind and charged his way through three heats of 10 metre plus surf to finish third in the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii. This achievement has seen him retain his number one spot on the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour rankings (woo hoo!). We caught up with Twiggy to hear more…
Congratulations on the third place finish! You’re still leading the BWT rankings, how are you feeling?
I feel great thanks, I scraped through some heats and am stoked with the result. Jaws isn’t my strongest wave and to get a 3rd against that field felt good.
Tell us more about the contest and conditions?
It was a good paddle size for us and maybe a little inconsistent in the early heats but the final came alive and we where able to catch some big waves without the normal howling trade winds. Good fun!!
How was it to see the women charging?
It was a historic day for the girls and I’m stoked for them. Paige rode some bombs in the final and she’s a force out there and a deserving winner.
You were injured last year for the event, did you see this as a comeback? Did you feel the pressure being the rankings leader?
It’s good to feel healthy and fit and be able to give my best, last year was tough for me at the Jaws and Eddie events but that’s the nature of competing in events that sometimes you are injured and you need to deal with it.
You were charging Mavericks just before the event, how did that prepare you for the event?
Getting some big waves under my belt at Mavericks was great preparation for the event and the timing was good after a slow season in South Africa.
Jaws is a difficult spot to gain ground and get a solid result, what is your experience and relationship with Hawaii?
Hawaii is a competitive place to surf and even tougher to compete, there are so many great surfers and if I’m honest I’m pretty low down on the totem pole and couldn’t be happier with my result.
Nazare and Todos, waiting for swells to hit!