The fourth season of the Big Wave World Tour has come to a close, and Greg Long has been crowned World Champion. As one of the most focused, dedicated, and well trained surfers on the Big Wave circuit, Long’s consistency this year saw him sitting nearly 1000 points ahead of the other competitors.
After a second place finish at Billabong’s Pico Alto event in Peru, Greg moved on to place third at Mavericks, then second in Oregon at the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic.
The Big Wave World Tour had an exciting year. After the Quiksilver Ceremonial in Punta de Lobos, Chile failed to run due to wave size, the Pico Alto event in Punta Hermosa, Peru turned on with waves exceeding the 30 foot mark. In a contest that broke Ken Collins’ nose and cut open Rafael Velarde’s face, Carlos Burle edged out Greg Long in the final in huge, consistent surf.
Then the tour moved on to Mavericks, which ran in less than optimal conditions. The waves were not as big as they have been in previous years, and many thought the event shouldn’t have been given the green light. When it was, riders used the rarely surfed lefts to their advantage, showing a more technical side of big wave surfing. In the end, it was 2011/2012 BWWT Champion, Peter Mel, who earned his first Mavericks victory with Zach Wormhoudt and Greg Long finishing second and third.
Then came the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge, the first ever qualifying event in the tour’s history. After a day of heavy wipeouts and amazing rides, it was seventeen year-old Naxto Gonzalez who took the victory, obtaining a BWWT Wildcard spot in the next BWWT Southern Hemisphere Event (Chile or Peru).
In February, Oregon’s Nelscott Reef contest ran, where the cold, deep water reef created waves in the thirty foot range. Hawaiian Jamie Sterling took the win, with Greg Long placing second.
The final stop on the tour, Todos Santos, wasn’t held this year due to a lack in waves.
Greg Long’s crowning comes on the heels of a near-drowning incident on the tail end of 2012, where he was hospitalized after suffering a three-wave hold down at Cortes Bank.
Long was the star of The Inertia’s first documentary, Sine Qua Non: The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing with Greg Long, and surfed some of the most impressive waves ever documented at Jaws this fall.
FINAL BWWT STANDINGS 2012/2013
1st Greg Long (USA) 2155.5
2nd Jamie Sterling (HAW) 1160.7
3rd Carlos Burle (BRA) 1150
4th Peter Mel (USA) 1148.7
5th Ken Collins (USA) 826.5
6th Gabriel Villaran (PERU) 823
7th Zach Wormhoudt (USA) 688.5
8th Ben Wilkinson (AUS) 674.25
9th Jose Gomez (PERU) 621
10th Joao De Macedo (PT) 555
11th Ramon Navarro (CL) 517.5
12th Jeff Rowley (AUS) 494.75