On April 5 the wait officially began for the first event of the 2012-2103 Big Wave World Tour, to be held at Chile’s most famous surf spot: Punta de Lobos, in Pichilemu.
Twenty-seven of the best surfers around the world now have their cell phones at hand, waiting for the call to tell them that conditions are perfect, at which point they will have 48 hours to get on a plane to South America.
“Like any other big wave event, patience is key. When you have the best surfers in the world waiting by the phone, you better make the right call,” said competition director, Gary Linden.
But for surfing fans and adrenaline junkies, the Chilean event will be worth the wait.
“One of the most consistent spots in the world for big wave surfing, Punta de Lobos has yet to disappoint, in the history of the event,” Linden said.
“The wave is spectacular … it has consistent waves over seven meters high (23 feet) and a natural amphitheater perfect for spectators,” official event spokesperson Carlos Ferrer told The Santiago Times.
Sunny skies, perfect offshore winds and flawless waves over 40 feet (12 mt) marked last year’s event and a series of large storm systems in the southern Pacific indicate that this year should see a repeat of those monster swells.
Ratcheting up the intensity of the event is the fact that in addition to its renown as a home to consistent, big waves, Punta de Lobos is also infamous for having some of the most dangerous breaks in the word.
“Punta de Lobos is a very dangerous wave, as the initial drop is directly behind the rocks known as Los Morros,” Ferrer said. “If you don’t make the drop you can smashed against the rock platform. For this eventuality we have a professional rescue team coming from the USA, trained jet ski operators, and a helicopter supplied by the Chilean Navy.”
The event must be held before May 31, at which point it will head to its next destinations, in Hawaii, Perú, México, California and South Africa.