The third BWT event to run in the 2015/2016 season, the Todos Santos Challenge attracted the marquee big wave surfers on the planet to the remote location of “Killers” off of Isla Todos Santos in Baja California. A solid West Northwest (WNW) swell tracking from north of the Hawaiian Islands delivered surf in the 30-to-40-foot-plus range on Sunday, building throughout the morning before climaxing for the six-man Final.
Photo: © WSL/ Rowland
Kerr, who finished 11th on last year’s elite Championship Tour, put his big wave skills to the test, resulting in one of the biggest wins of his career. Consistently navigating massive set waves from the opening round, Kerr opened the Final strong and stayed busy in this afternoon’s six-man bout, posting an impressive 7.87 and an 8.20 to collect his first Big Wave victory.
“I have so much respect for the guys on this tour and those that regularly commit themselves to surfing big waves,” Kerr said. “I have had the biggest smile on my face all day just getting to surf big waves with them. I’ve felt great all day and had complete confidence in my board. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to surf here.”
“The goal was to have fun,” Kerr continued. “I’m going through the Green Card immigration process right now and had a one-day leave pass to come down here and do this event. I didn’t have any expectations and just wanted to surf the wave with all these guys. To walk away with a win - I feel like one of those dogs with his head out the car window, I was smiling the whole time I was paddling around in the Final.”
Greg Long, a former Big Wave Tour Champion, put his decades of experience at the venue to use and consistently netted high scores en route to his Runner-Up finish.
Todos Santos Challenge 2016 Final Results:
1 - Josh Kerr (AUS) 24.27
2 - Greg Long (USA) 18.84
3 - Carlos Burle (BRA) 18.33
2015/2016 WSL BWT Top 5 (after Todos Santos Challenge):
1 - Greg Long (USA) 21,266 pts
2 - Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 16,994 pts
3 - Billy Kemper (HAW) 16,714 pts
4 - Nic Lamb (USA) 16,594 pts
5 - Josh Kerr (AUS) 13,589 pts
Photos: © WSL/ Hallman unless otherwise stated