7 February 2006
An accomplished short board surfer with a fondness for tube-riding, Grant Baker from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal became the first surfer from outside Santa Cruz, California to win the Mavericks Surf Contest Presented by Verizon Wireless on 8 February 2006. Baker had beaten a world-class 24-man field in epic surf with 10 to 13 metre faces at Half Moon Bay. The 32 year-old Billabong KwaZulu-Natal rep and self confessed adrenaline junkie whose slight frame and skinny legs have earned him the nickname 'Twiggy', pocketed the US $30 000 (approx R195 000) winner's pay-cheque and a one of a kind Reactor watch. He finished in front of Santa Cruz local Tyler Smith, Hawaiian legend Brock Little, long-time Mavericks standouts Matt Ambrose and Grant Washburn and Southern Californian Evan Slater in the six-man final.  Baker started his charge to victory in style by scoring a great 10 point ride which helped him win his opening heat, progressing to the semi-finals along with Danilo Couto (Brazil) and Ambrose. A former flow-board champion was rated third in the world kite-board ratings in 2003; he won both the Best Tube award (2004) and the Biggest Wave accolade (2005) at the annual Big Wave Africa event at Dungeons in Cape Town.
  1. Anon, (2006), 'South Africa's Grant Baker wins Mavericks Surf Contest in giant surf' ,from BBC News, 08 February [online], Available at www.bbc.co.uk[Accessed on 22 December 2010]