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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Pico Alto Invitational set to run Thursday

Greg Long, nothing but a speck against the backdrop of Peru's most famous big wave.

The Billabong Pico Alto Invitacional has been given the green light for Thursday, August 19. After a two-month break since the last event of the 2010/11 Big Wave World Tour at Punta Lobos, Chile, the second stop of the season will take place at Peru's famous deepwater break located in the town of Punta Hermosa, one hour to the south of Lima. 12 of the top international big-wave surfers will join 12 local chargers to compete in the eighth running of this prestigious big-wave paddle event.

2009/10 BWWT world champ, Carlos Burle will have his work cut out for him as he tries to make up ground after missing his first final in over a year at Punta Lobos. Defending event winner Greg Long arrives tomorrow night along with Mark Healey, Ramon Navarro and Grant "Twiggy" Baker. Other notables include Peter Mel, Dave Wassel, Grant Washburn and Diego Medina. Peru will be represented in part by Gabriel "Peru" Villaran, Jose Gomez, Javier Swayne and Rafael Velarde. With current BWWT ratings leader Cristian Merello out with a knee injury, Villaran has an incredible opportunity to distance himself from the rest of the competition. With a respectable second place performance at the first event of the year, Villaran hopes to go one better in his native waters.

Tour Director Gary Linden just landed in Lima and is helping the event team prepare for battle. "Driving along the coast from the airport, we could see the surf was up. Anticipation is high for some of the biggest waves of the season. The swell is here, the tides are right and the winds are calm, a perfect recipe."

Tune in Thursday morning to watch the event live on