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Josh Kerr Wins The Todos Santos Challenge in Dangerous Conditions

1 year ago
Surfing
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Josh Kerr Wins The Todos Santos Challenge in Dangerous Conditions
Having ran events in Chile and Maui so far, the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour has already produced some exceptional moments so when the Todos Santos Challenge got called on this Sunday, all eyes were set on the world’s best big wave surfers, who had gathered off the coast of Baja, California to take on a monstrous 30-to-40-foot surf. The event was contested by 24 men, led by current rankings’ leader Billy Kemper of Hawaii and his fellow countryman and reigning BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman. Both suffered an early elimination though, leaving the chance to score a win to others. In the end, it was a longtime competitor Josh Kerr of Australia to claim the victory.

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.

Two events, the Oregon Challenge at Lincoln City’s Nelscott Reef and the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque Region, remain on the 2015/2016 WSL BWT season with the potential to run, conditions permitting, before the February 28th close of the window.

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


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