Home > Big waves > O’Neill South Africa announce contenders for 2009/10 Raw Courage Big Wave Awards

O’Neill South Africa announce contenders for 2009/10 Raw Courage Big Wave Awards

May 12th, 2010

Raw Courage Awards

O’Neill South Africa is proud to announce the contenders for the 2009/10 O’Neill Raw Courage Big Wave Awards, an annual event to honour and reward the courage, passion and commitment of South African watermen who take on the country’s biggest waves using only paddling power.

Founded in 2008 by big wave legend and O’Neill ambassador, Chris Bertish, the Raw Courage Awards are presented in five categories including the Biggest Paddle Wave, Biggest Barrel, Balls to the Wall, PsychoFreak and Grom Charger with a total of over R40 000 at stake.

After evaluating all the entries submitted during the waiting period that ran from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2010, the top contenders in each category have been determined and the winners will be announced at dual awards ceremonies at Long Beach and Rioja in Kommetjie, Cape Town on Wednesday 19 May.

Amongst those in the running for the 2009/10 Biggest Paddle Wave are Mike Baleta, James Taylor, Chris Bertish  and Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, with the winner of this, the most prestigious of the awards, pocketing R20 000.

The hard charging Mike Baleta is also one of the favourites for the Biggest Barrel award, along with Andy Marr and Sean Holmes, while Holmes, Frank Solomon and Twiggy Baker are in contention for the PsychoFreak title that goes to the surfer producing the WOW factor on a big wave, which could be a wipe-out or any other super-radical, heavy situation.

Rising junior big wave stars Matt Bromley and Kane Bennewith are the finalists for the Grom Charger category and the Balls to the Wall award will be decided by a peer poll amongst the surfers in the event.

Photographic and video evidence of all the rides submitted for the 2009/10 O’Neill Raw Courage Awards can be found on the website www.thebombsurf.com where anyone wanting to meet and mingle with SA’s big wave surfing elite at Rioja needs to complete an online RSVP to gain entrance.

The awards ceremony will start at Long Beach at 5pm when the finalists, interested spectators and the presenters – Ross Lindsay, Jonathan Paarman and Tich Paul – will paddle out and form a circle at sea where the winners of the various categories will be announced.

Everyone then moves to the Barocca Lounge at Rioja for the Corona ‘Happy Hour’ between 6 & 7pm before the formalities commence with multiple World Kneeboard champion Gigs Celliers the MC. Along with a slideshow featuring all the top rides, there will be lucky draws and give-aways with over R10 000 in prizes, including a top of the line O’Neill Psycho 2 wetsuit.

The O’Neill Raw Courage Awards has its roots in paddle-in surfing and while all awards besides the Biggest Paddle Wave also accepted tow-in rides, the judging criteria favours paddling as the method of catching the wave. It takes more courage to paddle into and ride an 18 foot wave than it does to tow into a 25 footer.

For more information on the O’Neill Raw Courage Big Wave Awards, including the Rules and Judging Criteria, please visit http://www.thebombsurf.com/pages/258/about-the-oneill-raw-courage-awards 

O’Neill Raw Courage Awards

Biggest Paddle Wave Award – Surfer:   R20 000 + Photographer:   R2 500

Biggest Barrel Award – Surfer:    R5 000 + Photographer:     R2 000

Balls to the Wall Award – Surfer: R5 000

PsychoFreak Award – Surfer:      R5 000 + Photographer:     R2 000

Grom Charger Award – Surfer:    R2 000 + Photographer:     R1 000


Issued on behalf of;

O’Neill South Africa
Paul Canning
Tel:       031 313 1400
Email:   paul.c@oneill.co.za

Compiled & distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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