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Thursday, 20 May 2010

Home Win for Chile in 30ft Punta De Lobos waves

Local big wave rider Cristian Merello, 28, has won the Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos Big Wave Invitational, staged in waves of up to 30 feet yesterday. The event launched the 2010-2011 Big Wave World Tour that Merello now leads.

Merello employed patience, local knowldege and a determined effort to ride the biggest waves to overcome his more experienced challengers. Being a goofy-footer on the reeling lefts was no handicap, either.

Runner-up was Peru's Gabriel Villaran, whose performances throughout the competition were nothing short of spirited. Villaran only added to his reputation of being one of the most well rounded surfers on the planet, doling out many high-risk maneuvers that are typically reserved for flamboyant small wave surfing.

Third place went to California's Peter Mel (Santa Cruz), followed by Jamie Sterling (Hawaii), Mark Healey (Hawaii), and Greg Long (San Clemente, Ca.) in that order. En-route to the final, Merello also accounted for the eliminations of Grant 'Twiggy' Baker (South Africa) and Carlos Burle (Brazil).

Adding to the moment, all of the surfers competing today came together to present a total of $15,000 to local fishermen from the village who lost their homes during the February 8.8 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

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