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.