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pica alto awardsA couple of weeks ago, Carlos and Ligia tied the knot, amongst the flurry of wedding preparations, family etc, Carlos had a little time to nip off to west coast of South America – Peru to be exact and compete in South America’s most prestigous big wave event – the Pico Alto Invitational.

The event is also a bit closer to our heart then most, being that we’ve got Finisterre’s own Debbie, who just recently married Jackson, a Peruvian and Ernie’s mothers side also hail from Lima.

Six of the world`s elite Big Wave surfers arrived in Perú to compete in the Billabong Pico Alto Invitacional 2009- the Big Wave Tour’s second stop. The Billabong International Big-Wave World Championship wrapped up Monday, July 6th in glassy, contestable 15-foot surf. The event, held at Peru’s famed Pico Alto, started out partly cloudy in the morning and with little wind, and held decent shape and size throughout the day.

Although up-and-coming Peruvian surfer Javier Swayne placed second to Jose Gomez in the ‘06 event, Javier managed a fifth place this year. In the semis, Javier broke his board and ended up surfing the finals on a borrowed board from Peter Mel. “It was a very good gesture on behalf of Peter,” said Javier. “Nevertheless he’s a lot bigger than me, so the board was very wide for me.”

carlospaddlinginThe other Peruvian that make it into Finals was Rafael Velarde, who scored the second best wave of the event after Peter Mel.

It wasn’t to anyone’s surprise that Greg Long dominated the final. Though, Carlos Burle of Brazil also deserves recognition for pulling out a strong second place finish, while another Californian, Peter Mel, finished third and Hawaiian Mark Healy received fourth.

“The best memories I have are of the friends I made in Peru and the moments shared in the water. There are not many big-wave championships in the world, but this is one of the best championships I have been in. I never thought that Pico Alto had so much power.” — Greg Long

“The wave surprised me. It has a lot of power and is top-level. Pico Alto has entered the world map of big-wave surfing.” — Peter Mel

“To participate in this championship was exciting. I’ve learned a lot from the big-wave competitors in this championship.” — Javier Swayne

1. Greg Long
2. Carlos Burle – not bad at all Carlos, now get back home to Ligia!
3. Peter Mel
4. Mark Healy
5. Javier Swayne
6. Rafael Velarde

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