The new Mundaka Challenge kicks off in 2012

Alex Dick-Read

2012 BILLABONG MUNDAKA CHALLENGE
The inaugural Billabong Mundaka Challenge is set to bring back the world”s best tuberiders to Mundaka, one of the world”s best waves. A three-month waiting period starting from 15th January 2012 has been put in place to ensure the one-day event will score flawless conditions and a minimum wave size of 6 to 8 feet. Video highlights of what should be an historic day of surfing will be available on www.themundakachallenge.com

The innovative event brings a welcome return of world-class surfing back to the town of Mundaka, a venue that holds a special place in European surfing folklore. Known as one of the most perfect and picturesque waves in the world, the Basque town hosted the Billabong Pro, an elite pro surfing competition for a decade up until 2009.

“Billabong in collaboration with the Mundaka Surf Club wanted to run an event that would show the true potential of what the Mundaka wave has to offer,” said Sam Carrier, the Billabong Europe Mens Marketing Manager. “The town is a magical place and the wave is one of the best lefts in the world. We can wait for that perfect day and show the world some of the crazy tuberides that Mundaka is famous for.”

The invitee only event will see six international and six European tuberiding specialists competing against six Basque surfers, two of which will be chosen by the Mundaka Surf Club. An innovative format is in place with surfers initially competing in hour-long six man heats. Depending on conditions, a six man final will then either be held on the primary event day or the following day with the winner pocketing €15,000 in prize money.

With competitors judged solely on their best two tube rides, the invite list is made up of a who’s who of barrel riders, Mundaka specialists and previous Billabong Pro winners. One surfer who falls into all those categories is Mark “Occy” Occhilupo. Occy won the Mundaka Billabong Pro in 1999 on his way to the world title and has a special affinity with the wave.

“When you are standing in the barrel at Mundaka looking out at the mountains it”s like time stands still. It definitely has to be one of the best barrels in the world,” said Occy. “To have it back with the Mundaka Challenge is absolutely epic.”

Video clips and highlights of the event will be available on www.themundakachallenge.com. Photo galleries, latest news, full surfer biographies and local surfers highlight videos will also be available on the site.

The Billabong Mundaka Challenge is supported by Monster Energy, the town and surf club of Mundaka and the Basque Surfing Federation (EHSF).

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