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Despite the wind squalls and inconsistent swell, many perfect kegs rolled through during Round 2. Hector Soto (Mexico) was one of the lucky ones.© 2014 Justin Smith
Basque Country's Aritz Aranburu posted the highest combined heat score of Round 2, seeking out some deep pits in the notoriously shifty Pascuales lineup.© 2014 Justin Smith
Hector Soto sharing the peak.© 2014 Justin Smith
Local talent, Marcos "Chivito" Hootman, scored the second highest combined heat score, leaving him with a good chance to qualify for the Semi-Finals.© 2014 Justin Smith
"Chivito" looking stoked.© 2014 Justin Smith
Unknown.© 2014 Justin Smith
Kalani Chapman (Hawaii) relishing some serious oceanic juice while his home waters lie dormant.© 2014 Justin Smith
Oscar Moncada© 2014 Justin Smith
"Just tried to surf out front and got pounded by a 6 ft shorebreak all the way back to the sand," Ezra Sitt posts on Facebook. He clearly made it out in the end.© 2014 Justin Smith
Ale Moreda racing.© 2014 Justin Smith
Koa Smith making the most of a rare turn opportunity.© 2014 Justin Smith
Hector Soto.© 2014 Justin Smith
The heaving pits of Pascuales are a volatile stage to hold a surf contest. A perfect peak at one moment can be a torrential rip the next, and wind squalls are a constant threat to a glassy mid-morning session. This is all too apparent at the Pawa Tube Fest, which, in two days of competition, has seen conditions fluctuate from pristine beachbreak barrels, to wind ravaged closeouts, with little in-between.
After a testing first day, Round 2 started with the best barrels of the contest period to date. Solid lines thronged in from the Pacific, unloading on the shallow sandbanks in the form of 6 to 8 foot spitting barrels. This gave the early morning heats ample opportunity to slot themselves into some formidable pits, with Basque surfing legend, Aritz Aranburu, taking the highest total heat score. Local grom charger, Marcos “Chivito” Hootman, claimed the second highest score, with one stand-out tube which had spectators howling. Unfortunately, after only an hour and twenty minutes of competition, a savage wind squall arrived from the West Pacific, leaving even organisers little option but to call the event off.
The next day of competition started with sluggish, smaller conditions, together with the occasional looming set which kept competitors on edge. Puerto Escondido local Oscar Moncada and Hawaiian charger Kalani Chapman completed their second heat, but it was the Puerto Rican, Alejandro Moreda, who picked off the wave of the morning, scoring a 7.33. After more than twenty minutes with no waves caught, the event was put on hold and then called off. However, the action was not over; moments before a gusting southerly rendered the waves useless, Rusty Long (California) and Nick Von Rupp(Portugal) dropped consecutively into two perfect 6 foot a-frame barrels and burst out clean. No points, but a big smile for the two riders.
The finals are set to start with flawless 6 foot conditions, how long it will last is another matter.
Welcome to the plateau. It's where we gather to watch Yago Dora soar above our heads.
These are the fortunate few. Many epic sessions have fallen by the wayside, victims to our ruthless monthly culls, but the results are wondrous to behold.
Patagonia is a challenging lover, said the English novelist, Bruce Chatwin. It haunts you, it bewitches you, it wraps you in its arms and does not let you go.
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith