11 December, 2012 11 December, 2012

Big Wave World Tour Launches First Qualifying Event in Punta Galea, Spain

With the announcement last month of the Red Bull Jaws Peahi Paddle Event and the opening ceremony of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, big wave surfing is a hot topic right now, so it comes as little surprise that the official Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) has announced the first of what could be many qualifying events around the world. The aim is to ensure the hardest charging surfers are at each stop of the BWWT, regardless of who they know or how many covers they’ve got. The first qualifying event will take place in Punta Galea, Spain.

“Big wave surfing is not limited to the actual size of the waves but rather the philosophy of riding the biggest waves that come on any particular day at any surf spot in the World.”

“Of course some locations have the enormous waves that we view in awe, the photos. It is in these locations that the Big Wave World Tour has established it’s premier events that determine the World Champion.”

“The most frequently asked question then is how does one get selected to compete at this level? The answer has always been that ones proficiency must be demonstrated at the event venue, insuring that ones ability matches or exceeds the best surfers of the day. It is a long process that was in need of a more direct route.”

“Therefore the BWWT is proud to announce the first Qualifying Event in its history: The Arnette Punta Galea Challenge 2012/2013 will be held in the challenging surf of Punta Galea (Spain) and will provide an opportunity for European surfers to qualify the winner for a slot in one of the Southern Hemisphere events in the following season.”

“The importance of the Qualifying series is monumental for the growth of the sport and culture, the two major goals of the BWWT. Starting at the outside of the big wave circle riding the biggest waves possible at ones local region will gradually spiral to the core. This is the vision of the BWWT and we hope to be announcing more qualifying events around the World as we continue to grow. Watch for them and prepare to see the next generation as they make the leap forward, one wave at a time.”

Gary Linden, Big Wave World Tour Director



Punta Galea is located 15 kilometres from Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain in a small city area called Getxo. This is the birthplace of some of the best European surfers such as Axi Muniain, Adur Letamendia, Indar Unanue, Pablo Solar, Pilou Ducalme, Jaime Fernández, etc.

This Qualifying event will pit top local surfers along side some of the best European big wave riders for a prize purse offered by presenting sponsor Arnette and a wild card spot in one of the BWWT southern hemisphere main events.

The wave at Punta Galea breaks at the bottom of a 60-meter cliff, on the right-hand side of the Abra bay opposite Bilbao Commercial Harbor. Easily reached by boat, the spot is located less than three miles away from the Puerto Deportivo of Getxo (Getxo sports port).

The contest format for the one-day event will consist of two 1hr15m Semi Final heats of eight surfers each. The top two scores during that time will be counted with the best wave being doubled. Risk equals reward.  The final will be 1hr30m and made up of the top four riders from each Semi Final heat battling it out for the top prize, the coveted wild card spot and €3,000.00 Euros.

The prize money will be divided as follows:
1st place: €3,000.00 + BWWT Wild Card in one of the Main Events
2nd place: €2,000.00
3rd place: €1,000.00.

Joao De Macedo – POR
Eric Rebiere – FRA
Andrew Cotton – IRE
Pilou Ducalme – FRA
Al Mennie – RE
Alex Bothelo – POR
Francisco Porcella – ITA
Axi Muniain – SPA
Indar Unanue – SPA
Aritz Aranburu – SPA
Jon Garai – SPA
Eneko Acero – SPA
Pablo Solar – SPA
Natxo González – SPA
Adur Letamendia – SPA

Tom Buttler –  ENG
Tom Lowe – ENG
Benjamin Sanchis – FRA
Jaime Fernández – SPA
Luis Rodríguez – SPA

For more information about the event please visit www.3sesenta.tv

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