Saturday 24 February 2018 / 08:52 PM

Yellow Alert: BIG swell for South America

Location: Punta de Lobos, Chile

Holding period: April 15 – August 31, 2015

Call: Yellow Alert and Monitoring Storm Activity

Conditions: Potential 20-Foot-Plus 

The WSL Big Wave Tour (BWT) is placing the Quiksilver Ceremonial in Punta de Lobos, Chile on Yellow Alert with a projected 20-foot-plus swell heading towards the region. Event organizers will monitor conditions closely and declare a Green Alert 48 hours prior to the commencement of the event, conditions permitting.

“The system is moving northeast from Antarctica and expected to land in the region around April 30th,” said Peter Mel, WSL Big Wave Commissioner. “If the elements continue to align, we’ll declare a start to this year’s first big-wave competition. Our goal is always to put the world’s best big wave surfers in the world’s best big waves and Mother Nature ultimately makes this call.”

With a seven-event tour spanning Chile, Peru, Mainland Mexico, Baja California, Hawaii, the Basque Country and the Pacific Northwest, the 2015/2016 WSL Big Wave Tour features big wave icons such as Grant Baker (ZAF), Greg Long (USA), reigning world champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) amongst others as they battle one another in the biggest surf on the planet.

“We’re only a week into the 2015/2016 season so to be calling a Yellow Alert already is very promising,” Mel continued. “Our goal this season is to run as many events as possible in the biggest surf of the year so we’ll closely track this Chilean swell in the coming days. We have a great team behind us and will provide updates as they become available.”

A team of experts track swell systems all over the world waiting for those that will produce waves in the 20-foot-and-larger range for one of the six world-class big wave venues.

Surfline, official forecasters for the 2015/2016 WSL BWT season are calling for:

Over the next several days we’ll be tracking the development of a very significant storm that should produce XXL surf for Chile, Peru and beyond.

Looking at the forecast charts this storm checks off just about all of the boxes for an XXL swell: very intense, with model guidance indicating central low pressure will drop to between 928-936mb, with adjacent 1024mb high; extra large and especially wide fetch; takes an excellent track toward central Chile; and good agreement amongst our more trusted global weather models that this will be a monster storm that will generate a vast area of 40-50’++ seas within 2000 miles of Lobos.

Assuming this storm behaves as forecast model guidance indicates, we will see an XXL, long period SW swell (215-235) build in all day on Thursday the 30th, likely peak in the afternoon, and then slowly wind down on Friday the 1st. This would very easily meet the minimum standards for the event to run and could very well produce solid 20’+ swell. On paper it one of the more impressive storms/swells I have seen in a while, we just need it to come to fruition in the real world.

The 24-man fields for the Quiksilver Ceremonial Chile will be comprised of the WSL BWT Top 10, lead by reigning world champion Makuakai Rothman, as well as six WSL wildcards, six event wildcards and two qualifiers from the 2014/2015 season.

The WSL will provide updates as they become available.

The Quiksilver Ceremonial Chile will have live scoring and content updates available at

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