Makua Rothman

Makua Rothman

While there wasn't much scope for turns or barrels, 40-foot straight-hander drops provided plenty breath-taking drama at Pico Alto yesterday. Hawaii's Makua Rothman charged his way to victory with one giant freakish free-fall drop. Watch the highlight reel below for footage. Image: ASP / Robertson

Hawaiian Makua Rothman claimed victory at the Billabong Pico Alto big wave event in Peru yesterday, battling 40-foot seas and a field of the world’s best watermen to take out the first event of the season.

Rothman’s “go-for-broke" approach in the final saw the young Hawaiian net the highest scores of the entire event, including an insane free-fall drop in the shifting 30’-40’ foot seas.

“I didn’t even know what was going on during that wave (his 9.40 out of a possible 10)," Rothman said. “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 World Tour and I can’t put into words what this means."

The six-man final featured other big wave greats including reigning world champion Grant “Twiggy" Baker, Greg Long, local charger Gabriel Villaran, Shawn Dollar, and Anthony Tashnick, but it was newcomer Rothman that came out on top, announcing himself as a major threat on the BWWT.

“This was so great to have waves here in Peru," Rothman said. “I went on the ‘QS for years and just struggled, but this is where I belong. I am so honoured to surf with Greg Long and Twiggy and Dollar and everyone who steps up and takes off on big waves. You are all the reason I’m here today."

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

Billabong Pico Alto Semifinal Results:

SF 1: Makua Rothman (HAW) 18.99, Greg Long (USA) 13.00, Grant Baker (ZAF) 12.84, Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.13, Jamie Sterling (HAW) 6.73, Rafael Velarde (PER) 5.86

SF 2: Gabriel Villaran (PER) 23.76, Shawn Dollar (USA) 21.87, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 21.44, Carlos Burle (BRA) 19.57, Ben Wilkinson (AUS) 19.21, Nick Lamb (USA) 17.03

Billabong Pico Alto Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Miguel Tudela (PER) 21.99, Makua Rothman (HAW) 17.54, Greg Long (USA) 16.51, Ken Collins (USA) 13.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 11.66, A. Loret de Mola (PER) N/S

Heat 2: Rafael Velarde (PER) 21.73, Jamie Sterling (HAW) 18.51, Grant Baker (ZAF) 16.49, Sebastian de Romana (PER) 11.66, Ramon Navarro (CHL) 8.34, Kohl Christenson (HAW) 6.34

Heat 3: Gabriel Villaran (PER) 20.67, Nic Lamb (USA) 14.33, Ben Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00, Tyler Fox (USA) 9.16, Ryan Augestein (USA) N/S, Tamil Martino (PER) N/S

Heat 4: Carlos Burle (BRA) 19.56, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 17.46, Shawn Dollar (USA) 16.87, Grant Washburn (USA), Kodiak Semsch (EUK) 12.33, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 11.34