WATCH: World’s best big wave rider charge ‘epic’ conditions


Puerto Escondido, Mexico (CBS News) — Kai Lenny of Hawaii claimed victory on Monday at the 2017 Puerto Escondido Challenge after besting a competitive field of 24 of the world’s best big wave surfers in epic 20-to-25 foot surf at Puerto Escondido.

The first event of the 2017 World Surf League Big Wave Tour, the Puerto Escondido Challenge, saw no shortage of excitement as Lenny took on the towering conditions to collect his first Big Wave Tour victory.

The hour-long final witnessed multiple lead changes as Lenny, Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Tom Lowe (GBR), Billy Kemper (HAW), Trevor Carlson (HAW) and Alex Botelho (PRT) navigated the heavy beachbreak conditions.

Mitchell charged out the gates to lock in two massive waves, but his incomplete rides only garnered low scores.

Lenny took advantage of a solid set to earn a 6.33 (out of a possible 10) and gain the lead heading into the halfway mark. Under pressure in the second position, Mitchell flew down a steep barrel for a 7.22 to surpass Lenny’s score.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Lowe and Kemper had also posted solid attempts, but still trailed behind Lenny and Mitchell. The dramatic final continued all the way to the dying minutes of the heat. Lenny, still in second place, found the exit on a massive barrel for an excellent 8.60 and the win.

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