1 May, 2015 1 May, 2015

Twiggy Into Semi-Finals at Quiksilver Ceremonial

Round 1 of the Quiksilver Ceremonial was completed in lumpy 12 to 15-foot waves at Punta de Lobos, Chile, yesterday, and Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker has booked himself a spot in the semi-finals at the first event of the 2015/16 WSL Big Wave Tour season.

Twiggy charged his way to first place in Heat 1.

“Bru, it was so tricky out there,” Frank Solomon told Zag after competing in Heat 1. It was the first time the Hout Bay local was charging big surf since he broke his back in Ireland last year, and he started strongly along with fellow countryman, Twiggy, in the first heat.

“I only got here at 4:00am so only got two hours of sleep before the event,” Frank continued. “My boards hadn’t arrived and I was in the first heat, so had to beg borrow and steal to get some gear. We were supposed to start at 10:00am and the waves weren’t big enough yet, so they told us 11:00am. The waves didn’t really get big and we were just sitting there in our suits out the back waiting for a call. After about an hour or so they told us to come in and get warm. So we all jumped into the jucuzzi and waited.”

Waiting for the call…

“While we were in the jacuzzi, one big set came through,” said Frank. “So they told us they would start at 3:00pm and we got back in our suits and headed out. The waves were so lumpy and bumpy – maybe about 12 to 15-foot on the sets – but it was so epic to be competing again.”

“I knew I needed to get some waves early and managed to get one of the first waves in the heat. Twiggy went out the back and waited for the biggest ones, which ended up working for him and he won the heat. My second wave was probably my biggest one and most of the guys hadn’t got any yet, so I was feeling super confident. I knew if I could just hold position and get one more I would be through. Then Koa Rothman got a good one and there wasn’t much time left, so him and I were in a paddle battle because he knew he just needed one wave and so did I. So we paddled each other up and down the point, which was actually super fun. Then in the last minute he was able to get a wave that I just couldn’t catch. He had paddled me all the way out and then sprinted in. Anyway, I’m stoked Twiggy made it through and I’m just happy to be in the water surfing big waves again.”

Frank started strong in Heat 1, but was pipped at the end.

Three more heats were contested in Round 1 to decide the semi-finalists, with Mark Healey (HAW), Nick Lamb (USA) and Diego Medina (CHL) joining Twiggy in the semis as heat winners. Defending Quiksilver Ceremonial champ, Marcos Monteiro (BRA), as well as Koa Rothman (HAW), Cristian Merello (CHL), Makua Rothman (HAW), Mark Mathews (AUS), Ramon Navarro (CHL), Carlos Burle (BRA) and Damien Hobgood (USA) also advanced to the semi-finals by finishing in the top 3 of their respective heats.

Because of the late start to the event they weren’t able to contest the semi-finals on Thursday, but organisers are expecting the swell to stick around for the semis and finals to be completed on Friday morning.

Highlights from Twiggy and Frank’s heat:

Go to worldsurfleague.com for all the results, photos and some highlights from the Quiksilver Ceremonial at Punta de Lobos.


1st – Grant Baker (ZAF) 25.99pts
2nd – Marcos Monteiro (BRA) 25.21pts
3rd – Koa Rothman (HAW) 25.00pts
4th – Frank Solomon (ZAF) 19.54pts
5th – Federico Mekis (CHL) 15.57pts
6th – Gabriel Villaran (PER) 8.34pts

1st – Mark Healey (HAW) 26.83pts
2nd – Cristian Merello (CHL) 24.47pts
3rd – Makua Rothman (HAW) 24.23pts
4th – Renialdo Ibarra (CHL) 21.40pts
5th – Nathan Fletcher (USA) 18.87pts
6th – Miguel Tudela (PER) 10.27pts

1st – Nic Lamb (USA) 27.49pts
2nd – Mark Mathews (AUS) 24.00pts
3rd – Ramon Navarro (CHL) 22.37pts
4th – Fernando Zegers (CHL) 20.67pts
5th – Alex Gray (USA) 20.16pts
6th – Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.06pts

1st – Diego Medina (CHL) 23.31pts
2nd – Carlos Burle (BRA) 20.21pts
3rd – Damien Hobgood (USA) 19.63pts
4th – Josh Kerr (USA) 17.97pts
5th – Jamie Sterling (HAW) 12.34pts
6th – Anthony Tashnick (USA) 3.66pts

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