Durban’s Baker crowned big wave world champion

2014-04-03 00:00

DURBAN has another world champion. This time it’s big wave rider Grant “Twiggy” Baker who has been crowned the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) World Champion, thanks to accumulating more than double the points of any of his competitors during the 2013/14 season.

It’s not surprising Baker was so dominant as, by his own admission, he gave it everything this year. “I put my personal life on hold and went for it,” he said. “I only surfed big waves for almost nine months, looking for the most testing and biggest conditions I could find,” he said. “Being physically and mentally prepared was another key area of focus and I ensured I was in the best possible condition to compete.”

Baker started his campaign in fine fashion, winning the opening two events of the tour at Punta Galea in Spain (December) and Mavericks in California (January). He secured third at Nelscott Reef in Oregon last month to virtually seal his title.

A proud South African champion, Baker said, “It means a lot to have put in all the work and been rewarded for it but the best part is bringing the title back to SA. Surfing in South Africa is in a strong place right now, with Bianca Buitendag and Jordy Smith doing so well. We can build the next generation from the base we have.”

Making Baker’s achievement more worthwhile is the fact he went into the season as a privateer, having lost his sponsorship. But since winning in California he has signed deals with new sponsors. “This is just what I needed and will allow me to defend my title next year and continue surfing for the next three years,” he said.

The 2014/15 BWWT starts on April 15 with the Southern Hemisphere hosts three events, including the Dungeons in Cape Town for the first time.

ASP BWWT final points standings

Grant Baker (SA) 2 459,00 points

Ken Collins (USA) 1 140,13 points

Nic Lamb (USA) 1 117,50 points

Shawn Dollar (USA) 938,50 points

Kohl Christensen (Haw) 864,88 points.

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