Back in the big stuff

Held in pristine 20-foot Chilean surf, Marcos Monteiro has won the 2011 Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos. In a final packed with big-wave all-stars, Monteiro's win is proof further that Brazil has hands down arrived as the most powerful surf nation on the planet.

Given the green light to run earlier in the week, the first event of the 2011 Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) drew notables such as Greg and Rusty Long, Peter Mel, Gabriel Villaran, and Ramon Navarro (who took "Drop of the Day" honors). Also making the trek to desolate Punta de Lobos were two former BWWT champs in Jamie Sterling and Carlos Burle.

"We are excited to kick off the 2011 Big Wave World Tour with the third annual Quiksilver Ceremonial," said Big Wave World Tour Contest Director, Gary Linden. "It looks like patience is going to pay off as we're seeing solid 20- to 25-foot faces with light winds and good lighting making for the perfect start to the season."

Three years in and you can probably drop "fledgling" from the list of adjectives used to describe the BWWT. It's taken a couple years to get their feet under them, but as evidence by today's success in Peru, things are coming together. The lineup of surfers is less random and more recognizable, and with the exception of an uncooperative webcast, the infrastructure also seems to be coalescing. And financially speaking -- because you're only as strong as your available capital -- there is word of a significant sponsorship deal in the works. BWWT CEO Pierre Camoin confirms that talks are underway, and that should thing work out the BWWT's status and visibility will be drastically enhanced, but he also is quick to note that nothing has been signed or made official yet.

As for Brazil and Monteiro's win, when you consider that Danilo Couto won the XXL Awards this year and there are slew of small-wave specialists lining up to jump on the ASP World Tour come mid-season adjustment, the rest of the world has their work cut out for them.

2011 Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos Results:
1. Marcos Monteiro
2. Ramon Navarro
3. Gabriel Villaran
4. Kohl Christianson
=5. Greg Long, Cristian Merello