Pawa Tube Fest Delivers on Day 1

THE Pawa Tube Fest, as the name suggests, aims to get surfers in the three best days of barrels between July 30th and August 11th at Pascuales in Mexico.

This invite only contest has a unique and experimental scoring system. Take deep breath. Everyone surfs Rounds 1 and 2, taking a day to complete each round and keeping their top two scores from each of these rounds, plus, double their 'largest score' added as an additional number (making 5 scores in total). This determines their final day ranking and the top 12 will get to surf in the semifinals. After which they take their top two scores, add them to their previous scores and determine who's made the top six. These lucky final six get to stick their calculators in their boardies and surf the final with their two top scores counting and the largest one doubled. The winner is the one with the most points overall and gets the additional bonus of a Mensa membership.

Such is the consistency of the Southern Hemisphere swell machine at this time of year, not getting swell would have been a surprise. However this event isn't about reasonably-sized swells, it is searching for the largest possible swell on a beach which can deliver barrels on a scale to match Puerto Escondido. Sadly, looking at the forecast it wasn't going to be all-time 20ft man caves, in fact the forecast was a bit average for the season with tricky 10 footers to kick-off the event. More than enough to send the average backpacker scurrying for a cerveza and lime under the shade of the palm fronds but sadly not a huge bump anywhere in the holding period.

"The first day of the Pawa Tube Fest 2013 saw some challenging conditions for all invitees." Said Vitto, event organiser. "A solid south-south west swell produced waves about 10 to 12ft on the face ruffled by side winds and some junk sea that made pretty difficult to the surfers to pull in some tubes. Head Judge, Wade Sharp, concurred, saying that, "The conditions were pretty challenging and we will be looking for more consistent tube rides to run Round 2. This first day was effectively a training run for those competitors unfamiliar with the lineup."

Pascuales legend Brian Conley (My Eyes Wont Dry) took home the highest heat score of the day, immediately followed by Peruvian charger Gabriel Villaran and Australian talent Nathan Hedge.

Local boy Marcos "Chivito" Hootman displayed his deep knowledge of the break at only 17-years-old sinking the highest wave score of the day, an 8.3. "Some solid bomb sets came in today." Said Nic von Rupp "It was a bit shifty which made it hard to be at the right spot at the right time. Best barrel of the day went out to Hootman with an absolutely insane barrel."

Some of the heaviest wipeouts of the day were suffered by Peruvian Sebastian "Toto" de Romana, who fell from one of the biggest sets and by Californian, Brian Weisbecker, who replaced an injured Joao De Macedo at the last minute.

Forecast-wise we are expecting a new pulse on Friday and Saturday, a primary swell of 3ft at 19 with a smaller swell of 2.5ft at 13 running alongside it from a slightly more westerly direction than they had for the start of the comp.

Brian Conley (US)
Rusty Long (US)
Ricky Whitlock (US)
Kyle Burthman (US)
Bradley Domke (US)
Greg Russ (US)
Nils Schweizer (US)
Shannon “Hopper” Eichstaedt (US)
Brett Barley (US)
Balaram Stack (US)
Diego Cadena (MEX)
Marcos Hootman (MEX)
Margaro Ramos (MEX)
Oscar Moncada (MEX)
Coco Nogales (MEX
Hector Soto (MEX)
Makua Rothman (HAW)
Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Ezra Sitt (HAW)
Koa Smith (HAW)
Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Aritz Aramburu (SPA)
Nic Von Rupp (POR)
Joao De Macedo (POR) replaced by Brian Weisbecker (US)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Sebastian De Romana (PER)
Pedro Aguiar (BRA)
Diego Silva (BRA)
Alejandro Moreda (PRC)
Tommy Bursian (PRC)

Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley