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Wildcard Makua Rothman wins first event of the 2014/2015 Big Wave World Tour

As predicted by Surfline, Makua Rothman charges on a nearly 40 foot wave.
As predicted by Surfline, Makua Rothman charges on a nearly 40 foot wave.
ASP/ Robertson

On July 3, 2014, Makua Rothman, the Hawaiian waterman regarded for his loyalty with a jet ski in big waves, won the Billabong Pico Alto event in Peru, kicking off the start of the 2014/2015 Big Wave World Tour (BWWT). Not only was this the first event of the year, it was Makua Rothman’s first time competing on the BWWT. Surfline predicted SW conditions ranging from 25-40 foot swells; what a start! During the Final, Rothman merited the highest scores of the entire event in 30-40 foot surf.

Rothman had a humble response to his high scoring 9.40 ride:

I didn’t even know what was going on during that wave. I thought I was going over the falls, but I figured I’d just try and hang on. I’m just stoked to be here and stoked to win. This is my first event ever on the Big Wave Word Tour, and I can’t put into words what this means.”

Rothman, albeit a rookie to the tour, held his own against top big wave competitors like Shawn Dollar, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, and Greg Long in the six-man final. On the BWWT, there is a 24-man playing field. The Billabong Pico Alto event compromised of a top twelve, six ASP wildcards, and six local wildcards. Kelly Slater, Alex Gray, Kohl Christenson, and Renzo Zazzali withdrew from the event and were replaced by Will Skudin, Sebastian de Romana, Adur Letamendia, and Grant Washburn.

In one fail swoop, Rothman experienced many firsts, including being a new father. Rothman gave a heartfelt shout out to his newborn daughter after winning his first event on the BWWT at the first event of the year! USA was well represented in Peru (seemingly appropriate considering that Independence Day was fast approaching), illuminating the familial yet pioneer nature and independent spirit of American big wave surfers.

Highlights from the Billabong Pico Alto.

Billabong Pico Alto Final Results:
1. Makua Rothman (HAW) 27.33
2. Anthony Tashnick (USA) 22.00
3. Shawn Dollar (USA) 20.26
4. Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.80
5. Grant Baker (ZAF) 16.00
6. Greg Long (USA) 7.00

ASP BWWT Top 12:
1. Grant Baker (ZAF)
2. Ken Collins (USA)
3. Nic Lamb (USA)
4. Shawn Dollar (USA)
5. Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6. Alex Gray (USA)
7. Greg Long (USA)
8. Ryan Augestein (USA)
9. Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10. Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12. Tyler Fox (USA)

ASP BWWT Peru Wildcards:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Ben Wilkinson (AUS)
3. Makua Rothman (HAW)
4. Jamie Sterling (HAW)
5. Carlos Burle (BRA)
6. Gabriel Villaran (PER)

Local Peru Wildcards:
1. Miguel Tudela
2. Rafael Velarde
3. Kodiak Semsch
4. Tamil Martino
5. Alejo Loret del Mola
6. Renzo Zazzali