Just edging out Australian Jamie Mitchell in the final.
You might know Hawaiian Kai Lenny. He’s the kid with the million-watt smile that does airs at Jaws, hydrofoils across the Pacific and models Tag Heuer watches?
Well, anyway, overnight he just added another notable achievement to his waterman CV, by claiming his first Big Wave Tour victory at Puerto Escondido.
In 20-25 foot cavernous beachbreak tubes he edged out courageous Australian Jamie Mitchell for the win, who remarkably surfed the event with a fractured sternum – the result of a wipeout at Puerto in the lead up to the event.
Last year’s winner Grant “Twiggy’ Baker was an early casualty, bowing out in the first heat after tricky conditions robbed him of scoring opportunities. When you’re playing in such long interval swell, that’s just all part of the game.
Back-to-back Jaws event winner Billy Kemper had a blinding start however, bagging two perfect caverns in the first ten minutes of his heat, and then went on to ride one of the waves of the event in his Semi. His luck would not hold in the final.
The conditions were tricky at the business end of proceedings, and it was Kai Lenny who found a diamond in the rough, and rode it to victory.
"I remember coming here last year and being super terrified because the waves were huge," announced Lenny from the stage. "My goal this year was to come back and make the Final...to not hold back...I was getting pounded most of the day, and I felt like I was waiting for that one wave that was going to let me out all day. I stuck to my lineup this year. I was just going to wait for it. I didn't think it was going to come, but that's what makes it that much sweeter."
Australian Jamie Mitchell must get special mention for taking on those conditions three times with a fractured sternum.
"To be honest, there are so many good guys wishing they could be where we are right now and, they're animals, so you just go into beast mode and numb the pain," He told the WSL of his maniacal approach.
Whether you’re a fan of the Big Wave Tour or not, you can’t deny the stones on these guys, and god bless them for entertaining us with their ridiculous charging.