Brazilian surfer wins world championship in Pichilemu, Chile

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Promotional poster of the world championship.
Image: Quiksilver.
Attendants to the Quiksilver ceremonial, looking forwards to the Punta de Lobos rocks.
Image: Diego Grez.

The fourteenth Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos Big Wave Invitational surf championship took place on Saturday in the Chilean city of Pichilemu, often called the "Capital of the Surf." In this year's competition, 24 surfers from countries such as South Africa, Peru, Chile, the United States, and Argentina participated in the championship, including Pichileminians Ramón Navarro and Cristian Merelló, and Hawaiian Köhl Christensen. The surfers competed for a US$20,000 prize.

Background

The Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos has been a tradition since 1998. Christensen won that championship, and has regularly participated in it since then, according to La Tercera. "If [the Chilean waves] weren't that good, I wouldn't come back. They're powerful, that's what makes of Chile a great place to train," Christensen told La Tercera.

The competition was scheduled to take place sometime between April 1 and May 31; it was confirmed to take place on May 28 by Gary Linden, the Big Wave World Tour Contest Director. "We are excited to kick off the 2011 Big Wave World Tour with the third annual Quiksilver Ceremonial. [...] It looks like patience is going to pay off as we are expecting surf in the 30 to 40 foot range with light winds and good lighting making for the perfect start to season," Linden said.

"The Quiksilver Ceremonial is one of the world's most anticipated big wave events, featuring some of the best waves and skilled surfers from around the globe," Hawaiian media Aloha Update reported. Carlos Ferrer, marketing manager of Quiksilver Chile, said: "This championship has managed to put itself as one of the great dates of the worldwide surfing scene. It is of international class."

Mayor of Pichilemu Roberto Córdova with the championship organizers on Thursday.
Image: Pichilemu city hall.

On Thursday, Mayor of Pichilemu Roberto Córdova reunited with organizers of the ceremonial, Carlos Ferrer, Gary Linden, and Ricardo Parot from Wetfly Productions, at the Pichilemu city hall. "The mayor reiterates his commitment to the community with these kinds of events in the low-season as they are great attractions that help support Pichilemu's tourism industry," city hall representatives said on its Facebook profile.

Many people visited Punta de Lobos on Friday, as the surfers were practicing. "There was great expectation in Punta de Lobos yesterday [on Friday]," La Tercera reported. "It has arrived the same amount of people coming a long holiday weekend to Pichilemu, but this time, only to see the championship," director of surf magazine Glass.cl Rodrigo Farías told the newspaper. Farías also told La Tercera that during last year's ceremonial there were waves eight-meters high, and "[Saturday]'s waves are expected to be more ordained." He predicted that it would be "a bit cloudy, and there will be more time between one wave and another, so there could be more tubes, which will be much better visually."

The championship

Video footage of the first stage of the semi finals of the Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos.
Image: Diego Grez.

The surfers dropped into the sea to begin the championship at 07:30 local time (11:30 UTC). It is estimated that least two thousand people from Chile and other countries attended the event throughout the day. A helicopter flew overhead at Punta de Lobos, recording and photographing the surfers and attendants. The attendants were given free fruit juice, fruits, as well as Red Bull drinks at the end of the day.

The 24 competing surfers were: Köhl Christensen, Carlos Burle, Marcos Monteiro, Peter Mel, Chris Bertish, Ramón Navarro, Diego Medina, Cristian Merello, Rusty Long, Grant "Twiggy" Baker, Fernando Zegers, Reinaldo Ibarra, Greg Long, Gabriel Villarán, Jamie Sterling, Anthony Taschnick, Mark Healey, Kealii Mamala, Jaimie Mitchell, Danilo Couto, Sebastian de Romana, León Vicuña, and Matías López.

The Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos was broadcasted live in HD quality for the first time in the championship's history through its official website. The footage included underwater shots.

The championship lasted until 17:30 local time (21:30 UTC), and the results were as follows:

# Name Country Score
1 Marcos Monteiro Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil 21.17
2 Ramón Navarro Flag of Chile.svg Chile 19.32
3 Gabriel Villarán Flag of Peru.svg Peru 14.81
4 Köhl Christiensen Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg USA 2.00
5 Cristián Merelló Flag of Chile.svg Chile 0.00
5 Greg Long Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg USA 0.00

"Viva Brazil! Firstly I want to thank God, because everyone's okay and nobody got injured. I also want to thank the residents of Pichilemu for giving us good vibes and to the jet-skis pilots, who worked hard all day. I knew this day was going to come," Marcos Monteiro, the winning surfer said shortly after the championship ended during a press conference.

The Big World Tour's next stop is Pico Alto, Peru, on July 1.

Photographs

It is estimated that at least two thousand people visited Pichilemu and Punta de Lobos to watch the Quiksilver championship. Image: Diego Grez.It is estimated that at least two thousand people visited Pichilemu and Punta de Lobos to watch the Quiksilver championship.
Image: Diego Grez.

People arriving at Punta de Lobos to watch the championship. Image: Diego Grez.People arriving at Punta de Lobos to watch the championship.
Image: Diego Grez.

There were several rescuers at sea. Image: Diego Grez.There were several rescuers at sea.
Image: Diego Grez.
Partial view of the Punta de Lobos beach. Image: Diego Grez.Partial view of the Punta de Lobos beach.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Billowing flags of several countries, representing the competing surfers. Image: Diego Grez.Billowing flags of several countries, representing the competing surfers.
Image: Diego Grez.
There was a skate ramp, where local skaters could play. In the picture, from left to right, local skaters Demetrio Vidueira, Matías Herman, and Jacob Soto. Image: Diego Grez.There was a skate ramp, where local skaters could play. In the picture, from left to right, local skaters Demetrio Vidueira, Matías Herman, and Jacob Soto.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.
Image: Diego Grez.



Sources

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