May 2, 20012 – Oceanside, CA – Peter Mel was officially awarded the Big Wave World Tour Title in Newport Beach, CA on Sunday, April 29th 2012. The ceremony was held aboard the Eternity, a 140ft luxury yacht, and featured music by local band The Barnwell Shift. Approximately 150 people were in attendance including, 2x ASP Champ Tom Carroll, 10x Molokai to Oahu Paddle Champ Jamie Mitchell, Dana Rohrabacher, U.S. Representative for the California 46th Congressional District and Guest of honor, Dick Brewer, who was acknowledged for his lifetime achievement of big wave surfboard design.
Four generations of Peter's family joined him in celebrating his first World Title. While Rep. Rohrabacher presented he and Gary Linden with a special commemorative coin, "Freedom Surf Team," for Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun. Linden also asked the large crowd for a moment of silence while he honored the passing of longtime friend and swell confidant Sean Collins, founder of Surfline.
BWWT Runner-up, Ben Wilkinson said, “The evening was a gathering of the big wave tribe, positive vibes, great personalities, legends of all ages! It is truly an honor to represent Australia on the Big Wave World Tour! It is also a huge honor to place second behind Peter Mel, one of my heroes! He has set the benchmark in competitive big wave surfing and deserves to be World Champ! I am looking forward to this year's competition and the up coming Quiksilver Punta de Lobos event in Chile. Yeeeeeewwwww!”
Outgoing BWWT Champion, Jamie Sterling said, “Thanks Gary. He built the platform for us, and here we are celebrating what we do at a competitive level, the Big Wave World Tour.”
The BWWT would like to thank all those who helped to support the event including: Quiksilver – Dick Brewer Surfboards – Solraiz Organics Maca -Surfline / BWWT Official Forecaster – Longboard Vineyard – Freeline Surfshop, Santa Cruz – Electra Cruises – Meridian Graphics – Linden Surfboards – The Barnwell Shift