Monster Energy Surfer Ramon Navarro
Waimea Bay, HAWAII - In what was quite possibly the most epic surf competition of all-time, the 25th annual Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy, an amazing heat battle for the inaugural $10,000 Monster Energy Drop award between Chile's Ramon Navarro and Californian Greg Long quickly became the stuff of legend in the monstrous surf of Hawaii's Waimea Bay.
Surfing head-to-head in the third heat of the second and final round, both Long and Navarro made history by putting up the second and third perfect 100-point scores, respectively, in the eight events that have been run in the past quarter century. Long opened with a massive four-story elevator drop, standing on the tail of his 12-foot board all the way through the bottom before getting detonated in a 60-foot wall of white water.
The crowd and announcers were on their feet in amazement. At the time, Long looked to have the Monster Energy Drop award in the bag. Then it was Navarro's turn in the all-star big wave lineup.
The son of a Chilean fisherman, Navarro dropped down the face of a wave equal to that of Long's, in an arguably more difficult goofy foot stance (right foot forward) and, avoiding the nuclear explosion at the wave's base, rode the giant out through the middle of a churning Waimea Bay. So big was the three wave set that encased Navarro, fans on the beach and those on the Live Webcast weren't able to grasp the scope of what had just happened as Navarro literally disappeared behind another wave in the middle of the bay.
"It was a tough call, one which could have gone either way, but in the end our resident big wave expert Barry Kanaipuni gave Ramon the nod," said Monster Energy's Vipe Desai. "Big Wave surfing accelerated its path to a bright future and the level of surfing at this years event would have made Eddie very proud. A big congratulations to Ramon for winning this years inaugural Monster Energy Drop Award!"
Interviewed on the beach, Navarro, not knowing what to say in the pump of the moment, let out a celebratory scream, then bounced back and forth between his native Spanish and English in speaking with a reporter. Upon learning he'd topped Long, Navarro's speech on the podium in front of thousands of fans was equally as animated. "I'm so happy just to be invited here with all of my friends muchos gracias, viva la Chile!," he beamed.
Several other Monster Energy Drop efforts worth noting included:
* Kelly Slater's first heat charger on a board that's sat on the side of a nearby house for four years with yellowed-out Fiberglass and one of the rails fixed with tape.
* Monster Energy's own Makuakai Rothman tip-toeing down the face of a massive 25-plus footer, toe nails and board wax the only thing holding him in place on his board.
* 60-year-old (that's not a typo) Clyde Aikau, brother of Eddie Aikau, bomb dropping down the face of a rolling water mountain, in the classic wide stance of yesteryear.
* Hawaiian Mark Healey charging and going left, the first guy to do so since fellow Hawaiian Marvin Foster pulled the feat in the early days of the Eddie.
"Again, congratulations to all of the competitors for their courage in tackling one of the biggest competition days on record at Waimea," added Desai. "And to Quiksilver for putting on such a memorable event and the Aikau Family for all they do for the north shore community."
Held in honor of the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy, gathers the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the globe. It is the world's longest running and most prestigious big-wave invitational and is the only one sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.
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