South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker achieves 5th place behind winner Hawaiian Makua Rothman in the Billabong Pico Alto event in Peru yesterday, 3 July 2014.
Participating surfers battled 40-foot seas and a field of 24 of the world’s best watermen in the first event of the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season .
Baker displayed the consistency that saw him reach the final in all the BWWT events last season, winning two of them, by again advancing through Round 1 and the semi-finals held in heaving 25 to 40 foot (8 to 13 metres) surf to reach the last six in the final at Peru’s renowned big wave venue of Pico Alto, 60 kms South of Lima.
Baker was fortunate to get through his opening encounter when the heat was extended by 30 minutes after only one ride, by Baker, was recorded in the initial 45 minutes. A flurry of sets during the extension saw him overtaken by Rafael Velarde (PER) and Jamie Sterling (HAW) but the Saffa held onto third place
He also finished third in his semi-final, behind Rothman and Long, progressing to the final where he waited patiently and caught arguably the biggest wave of the entire event. However Baker could not find a second score and placed fifth overall.