The crowd cheered and whistled as one of the biggest waves of the day rolled in. Makuakai Rothman paddled in, made the drop, and rode the wave seemingly effortlessly pulling a final score of 8.03 that pushed him to the top of the final heat. Surf fans scattered along the bluffs overlooking Punta de Lobos cheered as they announced the winners of Quicksilver's Ceremonial Big Wave Invitational.
The Quicksilver Ceremonial drew a crowd from both all over Chile's extensive landscape and all over the world. Surf lovers from far and wide gathered to watch 24 incredibly brave, and slightly insane, men paddle in on Chile's biggest wave breaks. After two days of heats, Makuakai took the title, and while the competition was not broadcasted due to technical issues, The Quicksilver Ceremonial reaffirmed the intensity and beauty Chile's Punta de Lobos.
While Chile only became a popular surf destination in 1980, the surf tourism industry has cultivated hundreds of little beachside cities stretching all along the 2,500 miles of Chile's coastline. Surfing dominates the culture of Chile's costal towns like Punta de Lobos and its neighbor Pichilemu, creating a unique haven for cohorts of surfers from around the world. Whether determined to surf their way up the Chilean coastline, bomb the incredibly massive waves of Punta de Lobos, or even just stand up on a baby wave for the first time, travelers and locals alike gather to these coastal cities to enjoy the new "cowabunga" culture of the chilean coast.
Quicksilver Ceremonial Big Wave Tour 2015