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Dorian and Dollar Dominate at Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards 2013

May 5th, 2013 No comments
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii) won the Pacifico Tube and Ride of the Year titles.

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii) won the Pacifico Tube and Ride of the Year titles.

Anaheim, CA, USA — (Saturday, May 4, 2013) — Hawaiian surfer Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) has walked away with one of the sport’s most-prized accolades, the 40 year old winning the Ride of the Year award at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards ceremony, held at The Grove theatre in Anaheim, California last night.

Dorian received USD$50,000 for the monumental wave he successfully paddled into and surfed at Jaws, Maui, last October. Dorian’s wave also included a gigantic tube ride, which earned him an additional $5,000 and the award for Pacifico Tube.

Dorian’s feat edged out other Billabong XXL Ride of the Year nominees; rides by Californian surfers Shawn Dollar at huge Cortes Bank, CA., Greg Long at Jaws, Maui, and fellow Hawaiians Dave Wassel and Reef McIntosh who both surfed memorable waves during an historic swell at Cloudbreak in Fiji, June 2012.

It was a special night that highlighted a breakthrough year for Dorian, he made XXL history by becoming the first surfer in a single year to be nominated in five categories; Ride of the Year, Pacifico Paddle, Pacifico Tube, XXL Biggest Wave and Surfline Men’s Performance.

Dorian, who is already a multiple XXL Award winner, (he is previous two-time winner of the Surfline Men’s Performance award 2011 & 2004, Ride of the Year winner 2008, Tube 2006) accepted his awards on stage in front of nearly 2,000 industry VIPs, invited guests and peers at the gala show considered the Oscars of surfing.

“I had such anxiety heading up onto the stage, all the boys were up there and all the rides were so incredible, it must have been so difficult to choose between them. It was an amazing year, to win Ride of the Year is huge for me,” said Dorian.

“For Shawn Dollar to paddle into the biggest wave, tow or paddle, all year is absolutely incredible. We’re seeing a change, we’re seeing the best big wave surfing we’ve ever seen. I’m pretty psyched still, I feel like a grom at heart,” he added.

NEW WORLD RECORD
While Dorian’s ride was exceptional, it was not considered the Biggest. Ride of the Year runner-up, Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA), scooped that honor to win the XXL Biggest Wave Award as well as the Pacifico Paddle Award for a Cortes Bank behemoth.

XXL1305050 - XXLPaddleWinnerShawnDollarCrop - 600

Dollar’s history-making wave was estimated by experts to be 61 feet in height, a new paddle world record. Cortes Bank is the legendary seamount and mega-wave magnet located 100 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

Dollar previously set the world paddle-in record of 57 feet at Maverick’s in Northern California in 2010, only to have Dorian snatch the spot in the record books in 2011 with a 58 footer at Jaws.

This is the first time in the event’s 13-year history that any waves caught by paddle power have been nominated in the XXL Biggest Wave division, until now that division had been only accessed by surfers using tow-in assists by personal watercraft.

“Is this really happening? Are we really paddling into waves bigger than what we used to tow?” exclaimed Dollar. “It’s surreal, it’s such an honor. This is what I’m passionate about, I’m as big a fan as anyone – to be the guy that set the record? Phenomenal. Stoked. Over the moon. 61 feet? It’s hard to put numbers on those things, but it was the biggest wave I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Dollar.

“When I first saw it, I was absolutely scared to death. I thought I was toasted, I thought it was going to break on my head … 100 miles out to sea … it was worst case scenario type stuff. But the thing backed off and I turned my board around and whipped it and I went from a situation where I thought I wasn’t going to make it, to a situation where I went ‘Fu#k! I just rode the wave of my life!'” explained Dollar.

Dollar dedicated his wave to fallen big wave surfer and friend, Sion Milosky, who drowned at Mavericks in March 2011.

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA) captured both the Pacifico Paddle and XXL Biggest Wave Awards.
“Death and drowning are absolutely prevalent. I’ve seen people die out there with me. It’s the real deal out there. I’ve kissed the ground when I’ve come in,” said Dollar.

San Clemente surfer, Greg Long, 29, cemented his reputation as a bona fide living legend when he was awarded the Surfline Men’s Performance Award.

XXL130505 - PerformanceWinnerGregLong - 600

Long’s season has included standout performances right round the globe. He distinguished himself during landmark sessions at Jaws, Mavericks, Pico Alto, Mexico, Fiji and Cortes Bank, where nearly lost his life.

After a three-wave hold down, Long was resuscitated at sea before being airlifted 100 miles to the mainland by US Coast Guard helicopter. Long walked the red carpet at the XXL awards with three of his rescuers – Pilot Lt. Joseph Plunkett, Rescue Swimmer Michael Linehan and Flight Mechanic Kevin Bates.

“Simply put, at Cortes, I drowned. Had I not had a water safety team near right there in that very moment I wouldn’t be here today. That’s just a reality of what we do out there. We’re dealing with forces of nature that are far greater than you. You can train and prepare and I do, intensively. But I found myself in a situation that I personally couldn’t get myself out of,” said Long.

“I’m so glad it happened. It forced me to open my eyes, to not just the surfing world, but the safety aspect and it has helped others too. We’re here to learn and grow and share that information with others. I took life lessons from that moment.”

While Long lost consciousness, his heart did not actually stop.

“There was a very surreal, spiritual moment where I wasn’t present in the physical body that I know and I was actually looking alongside it. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It was intense while it was happening, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time mentally I was always okay with what was happening, as strange as that sounds,” Long said.

Long is one of the most regular nominees in the XXL’s 13 year history, having won numerous Awards including Ride of the Year 2009, Monster Paddle and Best Overall performer 2008 and Biggest Wave 2007.

Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Hawaii) claimed her second Billabong Girls Performance award. The unmistakable, hard charging goofy-foot has come close on numerous occasions, putting in do-or-die performances at venues she has become synonymous such as Teahupo’o in Tahiti and of course her native Hawaii.

“Big wave surfing is something I’m passionate about and I’d do it if there were no awards. But it was an incredible year and some crazy big wave surfing went down so it’s nice to be recognized,” said Kennelly.

“I think people have a preconception about what women can do in the water so I like to shatter the s#!t out of that and always try and do better and inspire. I’d also like to dedicate this award to my son,” added Kennelly.

Australian Chris Shanahan (Denmark, WA, AUS) accepted his award for XXL Wipeout of the Year over the phone, all the way from the Land Down Under.

Shanahan’s attempt to abort one of the ugliest, meanest below-sea-level slabs very nearly brought the house down. The Aussie natural footer mistimed his entry into the wave, tried to pull out and was forced to hit the eject button and ended up freefalling into the abyss without his board, making for a truly memorable and gut-wrenching XXL moment.

The wipeout eclipsed other horrifying entries from Hawaii, Portugal, California and West Australia.

In all, over $120,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this the 13th edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Pacifico.

A truly global event, this year’s Billabong XXL entries included hundreds of images and video clips of scores of surfers in action in dozens of countries spanning all the world’s oceans.

The competition window closed on March 20, the start of spring, with every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in the previous 12 months in contention.

The show was webcast live via BillabongXXL.com, and will be broadcast as a one-hour program on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 9 at Noon PT.

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards is presented by Pacifico Beer. Pelican Products is the official provider of waterproof cases. Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecaster of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine and Air Tahiti Nui Airlines.

RESULTS:

2013 BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS
Presented by Pacifico

RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD
WINNER: Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 9, 2012 ($50,000) Video by Elliot Leboe ($5,000)
Second place: Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 ($5,000)
Third place: Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 10, 2012 ($1,500)
Fourth place: Dave Wassel (Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji June 8, 2012 ($1,500)
Fifth place: Reef McIntosh (Kauai, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji June 8, 2012 ($1,500)

PACIFICO PADDLE AWARD
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 (Wave was 61ft, new paddle world record) ($20,000)
Photographed by Frank Quirarte ($4,000)

XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 (First time a paddle surfer has won this category) ($10,000)
Photographed by Rob Keith ($4,000)

PACIFICO TUBE AWARD
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 9, 2012 ($5,000)
Photographed by Fred Pompermayer ($2,000)

SURFLINE MEN’S PERFORMANCE AWARD
Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) ($5,000)

BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE
Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Hawaii, USA) ($5,000)

XXL WIPEOUT AWARD
Chris Shanahan (Denmark, WA, Australia) at The Right, West Australia ($2,000)
Video by Darren McCagh ($1,000)

**********************

For more information contact
Bill Sharp
surfnewsed@aol.com
949-230-6162

Career best result for Travis Logie at Billabong Pro Tahiti – Jordy Smith retains No. 2 ranking

August 30th, 2011 No comments

Durban’s Travis Logie recorded his career best result in an ASP World Title Series event when he placed third in the Billabong Pro Tahiti which was won by reigning and 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in classic two metre waves at Teahupoo in French Polynesia yesterday (Monday).

Meanwhile fellow South African Jordy Smith retained his ASP No. 2 ranking despite being eliminated by Logie in a re-run Round 3 heat after Smith suffered a dislocated rib in powerful three metre surf on Sunday.

Logie, 32, ranked No. 44 prior to the event and desperate to make the top 32 cut-off before 15 September that would enable him to compete in the World Title race for the last five events of the year, received a late call-up following the withdrawal of Bobby Martinez (USA).

Encouraged by his wife, Logie flew from Europe, where he was competing in the Star and Prime rated events, to Tahiti, arriving without surfboards and riding, and breaking, several of good friend Alan Riou’s boards as he progressed through the event .

Logie’s fairytale run to the semifinals saw him win his Round 1 heat over fourth seed Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Jadson Andre (BRA) to advance directly to Round 3. There he lost in the injury affected heat against Smith which the ASP decided to re-run and Logie, himself suffering from cuts, bruises and a strained AC shoulder joint resulting from a wipe-out during the heat, won through to Round 4.

Victory over Brett Simpson (USA) and Chris Davidson (AUS) in the three-man ‘demo’ round heat saw Logie skip Round 5 and progress directly to the quarterfinals. On the final day of the event he again defeated Simpson to reach the first semifinal of his five year career in ASP Title Race events, before meeting his match against in form Australian Owen Wright.

“It’s been an unbelievable week for me,” Logie said. “I don’t think it has all sunk in yet. I was in Europe, I barely made it here in time, I’ve been on borrowed equipment, I’ve been banged up on the reef, I had a re-surf with my good mate Jordy (Smith) and I’ve also scored the best result of my career. It’s all happened very fast. So yeah, I’m happy with how everything’s worked out, but would have liked to have made that Final.”

Logie is now ranked No. 34 and right on the cusp of re-qualifying for the elite tour when the ASP mid season rotation is implemented after the Quiksilver Pro New York, surfing’s first event to offer US $1 million in prize-money, which runs from 4-15 September. He will be hoping that the carnage suffered by the top 32 surfers in the phenomenal surf in Tahiti will enable him to get an injury-replacement spot in that event and to force his way into the top 32.

Smith entered Tahiti ranked No. 2 and briefly held the No. 1 spot in the 2011 ASP World Title rankings when the then No. 1, Joel Parkinson (AUS), was eliminated from the event in Round 2. However, the controversial re-run of his Round 3 heat against Logie robbed the 23 year-old, who now lives in Cape Town, of the opportunity to extend his rankings lead and he was ultimately overtaken when Slater won the event.

Smith is reportedly in America for diagnosis on his rib injury. Similar injuries can take four to six weeks to recover which would see him miss the next two events in New York and at Trestles in California during September

Slater, ranked No. 6 before Tahiti, benefited from the early elimination of Parkinson, Smith, Taj Burrow (AUS) and Flores to leapfrog them all into the rankings lead thanks to his haul of 10 000 precious points for the victory.

“It’s one of those weird events where you have to scramble through the early rounds,” Slater said. “Every year at this event, there are few of the top guys that lose in the early rounds and you have to scramble if you want a result here. You have to be in tune with the tides, swell direction and everything to make sure you get those waves that get you the score.”
 
Today’s win marked Slater’s 47th elite tour victory (out of 67 Finals appearances).

The Billabong Pro Tahiti experienced what is being called the best surf in the 14 year-history of the event. Pristine two metre waves set the scene for Round 1 before huge and unruly waves provided a stiff test for Round 2.

The French Government then issued a Code Red alert for Saturday, keeping all commercial craft in the harbour, which resulted in some of the biggest waves ever seen at Teahupoo being surfed by specialist tow-in teams who had jetted into the South Pacific island specifically for the occasion.

Sunday saw Rounds 3, 4 and 5 being held in what Slater called “…probably the best I’ve ever surfed it – it’s just so big and perfect.” Windless conditions bright sunshine and incredibly hollow two to three metre (6 – 10 foot) waves provided the world’s best competitive surfers with ideal conditions.

The final day was held in still perfect but slightly smaller 2.0 to 2.5 metre waves that continued to pump all day.

Flores, who became just the third surfer at elite tour level to record a perfect heat of 20 points out of a possible 20 on Sunday morning, collected the coveted Andy Irons Award for most committed performance of the event. This is the inaugural year for the award which honours the late Andy irons (HAW), the three-time ASP World Champion and last year’s Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion.

Every ride from the Billabong Pro Tahiti can be viewed at www.billabongpro.com, along with news, images and results from each day’s action, including the tow-in sessions.

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.43
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.10
 
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.60
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.40
 
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.17
QF 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.07 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.14
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.10
 
ASP WORLD TITLE RANKINGS TOP 5 (After Billabong Pro Tahiti)
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 26,950 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,500 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 26,200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,750 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 21,900 pts

ENDS

PLEASE NOTE: Broadcast quality and web quality footage of the Billabong Pro Tahiti is available for Media outlets. Contact Life’s a Beach Communications for download details.

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact:            Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel:                   021 534 5738
Email:               colin@aspafrica.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships.
The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Do Great Things Trust launched and fund raising events announced

November 1st, 2010 No comments

CAN SUP 110 Poster

The Do Great Things Trust, an NPO founded by Cape Town based businessman, world renowned big-wave rider and Mavericks contest winner, Chris Bertish, has the philosophy that it is the little gestures in life that mean the most to people and every little gesture, every kind act, no matter how small, helps in making a positive difference to someone’s life.

“I have been very fortunate over the last couple of years to be able to achieve most of my goals, aspirations and life long dreams,” Bertish explained. “I just felt that it was time to give back and that’s where the idea to start the charity began.”

Bertish says it starts by just giving a little back to less fortunate people and supporting other charities like the Cancer Association, Reach for a Dream Foundation, Doctors without Borders and My Life Project.

“We feel that these charities are also ‘doing great things’ for others and making a positive difference in people’s lives,” Bertish commented. “We are also looking at launching and assisting development projects and helping various upliftment projects we can get involved with going forward.”

The first Fundraiser for the ‘Do Great Things Trust’ will be a party on Friday 26 November followed by Bertish’s CANSUP110 event on the Saturday and the Sunday, where he will be attempting to become the first person to paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town along the coastline to Langebaan on the West Coast.

This mammoth undertaking, covering a total of over 110km, will raise additional funds and generate awareness for the abovementioned charities. The Water Safety for the paddle expedition will be kindly handled by Marine Scene and supported by Texies Seafoods.

The exciting charity party on Friday 26 November will held at the legendary location of Trench Town in Observatory, Cape Town, featuring an inspirational snowboarding film, three top bands, a raffle and a charity auction with unique items up for grabs.

Organised by The Do Great things Trust, in conjunction with CMB Agencies, and sponsored by Corona and Vitamin Water, the doors open at 6.00pm and R110 gets you in with a free complimentary drink and a raffle ticket for prizes sponsored by O’Neill, Fox, Ocean Minded, Hurricane, CMB Agencies and Naish.
 
The event kicks off with the premiere of the long awaited and inspirational O’Neill / James Jones snowboard film, “Deeper”, at 6.30pm, followed by reggae rockers, The Little Kings.

Surfer and comedian extraordinaire Mark Sampson will then MC the charity auction which includes one-of-a-kind memorabilia items autographed by Mavericks winner Chris Bertish, along with block-mounted posters signed by O’Neill sponsored South African Jordy Smith, the current World No. 2 ranked surfer.

The winners of the awesome prizes in the raffle will be announced before Seventh Son and Brazilian drum & rockers Napalma take us on a journey of rock and jungle drumming for the rest of the evening with local DJ’s spinning us through until after 11pm.

All proceeds generated on the evening will be presented to the Cancer Association, Reach for a Dream Foundation, Doctors without Borders and My Life Project after Seventh Son has rocked the crowd.

For more information on the party and CANSUP110 please go to www.dogreatthingstrust.com/picsvideos. Donations can be made by SMS’ing ‘CANSUP110’ to 40131 (R20/per SMS) and you can also donate funds via EFT or PayPal. Visit www.dogreatthingstrust.com for details.

So come and unite with us at Trench Town on the evening of Friday 26 November and thump the night away by doing one great thing and making a small difference in someone else’s life.

And keep an eye on the media for Bertish’s latest exploits as he left on Sunday on a whirlwind journey to Oregon, on the West coast of the USA, to compete in the Nelscott Reef paddle-in big wave contest, an event where he finished third last year and became the first to ride the wave on a SUP.

The sixth edition of the Nelscott Reef event has been given the green light to run on Tuesday 2 November in what are forecast to be the biggest waves in its history. See www.nelscottreef.com for more.

After finishing 2009 ranked third in the inaugural Big Wave World Tour standings, Bertish is also honoured to have received his first invitation as an Alternate competitor in the Eddie Aikau in Hawaii. The world’s longest running big-wave event has a waiting period that runs from the beginning of December 2010 to the end of February 2011 and the contest is only held when Waimea Bay is over 20 foot.

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

Do Great Things Trust
Contact: Chris Bertish
Mobile:  079 524 8344
Email:  info@dogreatthingstrust.com

In conjunction with CMB Agencies
www.cmbagencies.co.za
www.chrisbertish.com 
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

South Africa’s Dale Staples invited to Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupo’o

August 4th, 2010 No comments

 

Pictured: Tahitian Manoa Drollet in action at  Teahupoo, Tahiti, where  South Africa’s Dale Staple will face Surfing’s ultimate challenge in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials Photo: Stacey / Billabong 

 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TEAHUPO’O

32 TRIALS INVITEES PREPARE FOR THE RIDES OF THEIR LIVES! 

in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

(Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010) South African surfer Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) is among an elite field of 32 internationals who have been invited to contest the prestigious Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials scheduled to take place at the notorious break of “Teahupo’o” in Tahiti over four days beginning August 16th.

The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials is a precursor to stop 5 on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro, Tahiti and only the winner is guaranteed a wildcard seed direct into the Billabong Pro’s elite main event. A second position is open to the highest placed local Tahitian surfer.

All surfers have been chosen based on previous performances at either Teahupo’o or abroad, and for their dedication to riding the world’s most intimidating surf spots.

The nature of the Teahupo’o break and the intensity of competition make the competition like no other. In surfing circles, the trials winner is lauded as a minor hero – required to put his life on the line inside the huge barrels that break across dangerously shallow, tropical reef – and the respect earned from his peers is on par with the eventual champion of the main event.

From there, further glory lies in overcoming one of the Billabong Pro’s top three seeds in Round 1 of the main event. In 2010 those seeds include current world ranked no. 1, Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), world ranked no. 2 Taj Burrow (WA, AUS) and world ranked no. 3 Kelly Slater (Fl, USA).

Historically, the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials champions have a habit of putting a dent in the world title campaigns of their top-seeded rivals. Most notably in 2007 when relative unknown Brazilian Bruno Santos and local wildcard Manoa Drollet went all the way to the final, finishing first and second respectively.

Drollet is a two-time trials winner at Teahupo’o and sits at the top of the wildcard heap. As a result, the 34 year-old has earned a seed direct into the main event in 2010.

Billabong Pro, Tahiti competition director and former world no. 2, Luke Egan (Gold Coast, AUS) says Drollet’s performances at the infamous break surpass anything he has witnessed during his career as a competitor and previous four years as Contest Director.

“Manoa’s surfing over the years at Teahupo’o is regularly above and beyond anything I have seen from any of the Top 45 rated men,” said Egan.

“There is not one world rated surfer in the competition, from Kelly Slater down, who will risk holding back when Manoa is in the water. He is the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons at Teahupo’o. It’s very probable that by having him in the competition he could knock out one of the top guys and it will affect the world title race.”

Along with 32 internationals, an additional field of 32 local Tahitian surfers make up the total trials field of 64.

The VonZipper Air Tahiti Nui trials begins from August 16th.

A series of pre-event webisodes will be made available over coming days and weeks for websites. Stand by for further info.

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

2010 Official International Invitees

HAWAII
Jon Florence
Conan Hayes
Bruce Irons
Danny Fuller
Sion Miloski
Kamalei Alexander
Reef McIntosh
Ian Walsh
Kalani Chapman
Marcus Hickman
Steven Koehene
Gavin Gillette
Jamie Sterling
Hank Gaskell
Clay Marzo

USA
Dane Ward

AUSTRALIA
Wade Goodall
Ryan Callinan
Laurie Towner
Nick Vasicek
Anthony Walsh
Koby Abberton
Mark Matthews
Damien Wills
Ryan Hipwood

PERU
Alvaro Malpartida
Gabriel Villaran

BRAZIL
Ricardo Do Santos

Puerto Rico  
Alejandro Moreda

JAPAN 
Takayuki Wakita

FRANCE
Ben Sanchez

New Zealand
Blair Stewart

South Africa 
Dale Staples

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials 

Former Champions

2009 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2008 Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
2007 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2006 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2005 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2004 Heimata Carroll (PFY)
2003 Alain Riou (PFY)

2002 Vetea David (PFY)

2001 Bruce Irons (HAW)

 Celebrating 10 years of the Billabong Pro, Tahiti!

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT INFO:

Trials highlights and TV newsfeed will be made available, contact:

“JJ” – Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Mob: +61 (0) 421 384 431
johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au

Rights free digital photos and full press release will also be made available via ASP Australasia contact:

Steve Robertson
+61 (0) 407 706874
steve@surfingaustralia.com 

Please Note: High resolution versions of the above images are available to South African MEDIA outlets from Life’s a Beach Communications – see contact details below.

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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

May 12th, 2010 No comments

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

Ends

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

2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Results are in:

April 25th, 2010 No comments

 

XXL1004 - BillabongXXL10WinnerBigSteudtnerSM - Framed mr

South African Grant “Twiggy” Baker Claims Ride of the Year, German Surfer Sebastian Steudtner Wins XXL Biggest Wave,

California’s Shawn Dollar Breaks Biggest Paddle-in Wave Record, Aussie Brooke Phillips wins Wipeout of the Year

ANAHEIM, CA — (April 24, 2010) — Grant “Twiggy” Baker from Durban, South Africa took top Ride of the Year honors in the premier category of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, at a glittering function in Anaheim, California last night.

Baker, 36, pocketed US $50,000 for his incredible ride on an enormous wave which he paddled into during the Maverick’s Surf Contest at Half Moon Bay in Northern California on February 13, 2010.

“This is for my country, South Africa! We have the FIFA (soccer) World Cup later this year and we’re a proud nation,” Baker said in his victory speech after thanking the El Nino weather conditions for producing an amazing year of big waves around the planet, his fellow nominees for their incredible performances and confessing that he did not have a speech prepared as he did not expect to win.

“Thanks to all the guys back at Dungeons (in Cape Town) and everyone here tonight. Drinks are on me!” Baker added as he celebrated on stage with the giant check.

Regarded as the Oscars of big wave surfing, the Tenth Annual XXL Awards recognize the biggest and heaviest waves ridden and documented over the past twelve months anywhere in the world.

2,300 surf-stoked fans packed the Grove Theater in Anaheim to witness mind-blowing rides from Chile, South Africa, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, California and French Polynesia.  In what proved to be one of the best years in big wave surfing history, over 1000 images and videos were submitted for judging.  The awards are decided by a panel of 400 surfers, selected surf media and big wave aficionados.

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) finished first in the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave division for a giant tow-in ride at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on a monster wave that took everyone by surprise for its size and speed.  It was the first time a German surfer had appeared on the XXL stage.

“It feels good; it’s what I live for,” said Steudtner. “I moved to Hawaii when I was 16; a Hawaiian family took me in and taught me how to surf. I am honored to win this thing.”

Shawn Dollar officially surfed into the record books for riding a paddle-in wave judged to be 55 feet on the face to win the Monster Paddle Award.  The previous Guinness Book best was held by Californian Taylor Knox for a 52-foot wave ridden at Todos Santos, Mexico in 1998.

“It’s like winning a Gold Medal or winning the World Series,” said Dollar.  “It’s been the most important thing in my life for many years and I’ve accomplished it – phenomenal!”

The 2010 Billabong XXL Awards were webcast in over a dozen countries with a worldwide audience that broke records for a surfing awards event.  The awards ceremony was webcast live on BillabongXXL.com and simulcast on EXPN.com.  The event will be broadcast on the ESPN networks starting May 18.

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this edition of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

FINAL RESULTS:

BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD

1st: Grant Baker  (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.     (Video by Noel Robinson)

     (Surfer prize $50,000  –  Video prize $5,000)

2nd: Ramon Navarro  (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 8, 2009.  

      (Surfer prize $5,000)

3rd: Shane Dorian (Kona, Kauai, Hawaii) Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010. 

     (Surfer prize $1,500)

4th: Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010.

     (Surfer prize $1,500) 

5th: Mark Healey/Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009. 

     (Surfer prize $1,500)

WINNER BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremburg, Germany) at Jaws, Maui on December 7th, 2009.    (Photo by Batel Shimi)

     (Surfer prize $15,000 and a Honda Aquatrax watercraft with HSA sled – Photo/video prize $4,000)

WINNER MONSTER PADDLE AWARD

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Mavericks, California on February 13th, 2010   (Photo by Fred Pompermayer)

     (Surfer prize $15,000  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

WINNER MONSTER TUBE PHOTO AWARD

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17th, 2010.  (Photo by Ben Thouard)

     (Surfer prize $5,000 – Photography prize $2,000)

WINNER BEST MALE OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii)

     (Surfer prize $5,000)

WINNER BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD

Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

     (Surfer prize $5,000)

WINNER VERIZON WIRELESS WIPEOUT AWARD

Brook Phillips Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania, Australia on October 19th, 2009.

For more details see the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com

*************************************

MEDIA CONTACT:  BILL SHARP

SurfNewsEd@aol.com    949-548-6740

************************************* 

 MEDIA RESOURCES (do not publish)

 HIGH RES PHOTOS FOR MEDIA DOWNLOAD (ACTION AND AWARDS):                                                                          

 http://billabongxxl.com/xxl_media/                                        

 News video:

https://www.box.net/shared/shl9stoaca

Highlight webclip on Youtube for embedding on your website:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcbhFDA-jDw

Webclip File:

https://www.box.net/shared/nvtfgvs65c

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Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

NEWSFLASH – Billabong’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker wins Ride of the Year at Oscars of Big Wave surfing

April 24th, 2010 No comments

Grant 'Twiggy' Baker

NEWSFLASH – Billabong’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker wins Ride of the Year at Oscars of Big Wave surfing

Billabong team rider Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker from Durban, South Africa, won the Ride of the Year, the premier category in the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, at a glittering function attended by 2 250 people in Anaheim, California last night.

Baker, 36, pocketed US $50 000 (approx. R375 000) for his incredible ride on an enormous wave that he paddled into during the Mavericks Surf Contest at Half Moon Bay in California on 13 February 2010.

“This is for my country, South Africa! We have the FIFA World Cup later this year and we’re a proud nation,” Baker said in his victory speech after thanking the El Nino weather conditions for producing the most amazing year of big waves around the planet, his fellow nominees for their incredible performances and confessing that he did not have a speech prepared as he did not expect to win.

“I’d like to thank all my sponsors, particularly Billabong and my aunt Cheron (Kraak) back in Jeffreys Bay. Thanks to all the guys back at Dungeons (in Cape Town) and everyone here tonight. Drinks are on me!” Baker added as he celebrated on stage with the giant cheque.

A full release with details of all the awards follows shortly

Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Results

1. Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (Durban, South Africa)
2. Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile)
3. Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA)
4. Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia)  
5. Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Ends

Pictured: Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on the ride at Mavericks that won him us $50 000 for the Ride of the Year in the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Photo: Frank Quirarte / BillabongXXL.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS SURGE TOWARD FRIDAY NIGHT’S CLIMAX IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA;TENTH ANNUAL EVENT FEATURES GREATEST RIDES OF YEAR, $130,000 IN PRIZES AND LIVE WEBCAST

April 23rd, 2010 No comments

Manoa Drollet of French Polynesia in barrel at Teahupoo 

 NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (April 22, 2010) — The countdown is underway as the elite of the big wave surfing world converge on Southern California for Friday night’s Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  The Oscars-style ceremony at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim will pay tribute to the greatest achievements in high surf during the last year with a red carpet gala and a star-studded array of nominees and presenters.  Over 2,200 surf industry VIPs will attend the invitation-only event which will be carried via a live webcast on BillabongXXL.com

The tenth annual XXL Awards have shaped up as the most spectacular in the event’s history, thanks to an extraordinary year of El Nino-fueled swells spanning the Seven Seas.  Over $130,000 in prizes will be distributed to the champions in an array of categories including the Ride of the Year, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and Surfline Overall Performance Awards.  The top female surfers of the year will contend for the Billabong Girls Performance crown and the greatest mishaps of 2009/10 will be celebrated with the crowd-pleasing Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year Award.

Nominees are flying in from all over the world, including Ride of the Year finalists Grant “Twiggy” Baker of South Africa, Shane Dorian and Mark Healey of Hawaii, Ramon Navarro of Chile and Raimana Van Bastolaer of French Polynesia.  Contending for biggest wave of the year caught by any means are Ian Walsh and Makua Rothman of Hawaii, Ross Clarke-Jones of Australia, Danilo Couto of Brazil and Sebastian Steudtner of Germany.

The year-long competition covers every day of high surf at every surf break around the world, and is based on the photographic evidence.  Drawing from over a thousand entries, a panel of expert judges has analyzed the photos and video of the biggest waves and best moments to determine which were the greatest of all.

The webcast begins at 7:30 P.M. Pacific Time, this Friday, April 23rd.  Times in other zones are shown below.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards are fuelled by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

A high resolution version of the image below may be downloaded from:

https://secure.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8971668e5b6376b4a369

Nominee video available to news outlets for immediate download on request.  A news feed and release will be issued immediately upon completion of Friday night’s awards ceremony.

BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS WEBCAST INTERNATIONAL START TIMES:

Honolulu   4:30 PM   Fri
Los Angeles   7:30 PM   Fri
New York   10:30 PM   Fri
Rio de Janeiro  11:30 PM Fr
London   Sat  3:30 AM
Paris   Sat 4:30 AM

Cape Town   Sat   4:30 AM

Perth    Sat 10:30 AM
Sydney   Sat 12:30 PM

**************************

MEDIA CONTACT:

Bill Sharp  surfnewsed@aol.com

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Billabong’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker nominated for a record five Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards

April 13th, 2010 No comments

XXL1003 - BillabongXXL10BakerMavericks - Framed - MR

 South African Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker has set a record by being nominated for five different categories in the 10th annual edition of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, the Oscars of big wave surfing.

 Baker, 36, who hails from Durban, has been selected as one of five finalists in each of the categories for the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year, the Monster Paddle, the Monster Tube, the Surfline Best Overall Performance and the Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Baker, who won the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave and the Surfline Best Overall Performance awards last year.

“The Ride of the Year is where the biggest cash is, the Overall Performance is judged by your peers, I love barrels so to be nominated for that is an honour and nobody really wants to win the Wipeout award.”

“I am most proud about being nominated for the Monster Paddle because the crew has definitely been focusing on paddling into the biggest possible waves for the past couple of years. One thing for sure is that whoever picks up that award this year will have paddled into the biggest wave ever.”

Baker received his nominations for the Ride of the Year, Monster Paddle and Monster Tube awards for waves he rode at Mavericks in California in February during the Mavericks Surf Contest. His Wipeout took place during a tow in session at Jaws on the Hawaiian island of Maui on Xmas day while his exploits in South Africa, Chile – where he won a big wave event, Hawaii, California, Mexico, the Cortes Bank and Tahiti earned him an Overall Performance nomination for the second year running.

The Billabong team rider will be leaving this week for California to attend the Awards Ceremony which will be staged on Friday 23 April at the huge Grove Theatre in Anaheim where an invitation only audience of 2 250 surf and media luminaries and VIP’s will celebrate the feats of the world’s top big wave chargers.

The entire night’s festivities will be webcast live on the BillabongXXL.com site and many partner websites.  The show will also be the focus of a one-hour television special airing on the ESPN networks starting on the evening of May 18.

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this tenth annual edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com

The nominees for 2010, in alphabetical order:

FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $50,000  –  Video prize $5,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Video by Noel Robinson)

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Video by Noel Robinson)

Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.

     (Video by Dwayne Fetch)

Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 8, 2009.

     (Video by Marc Beaty/Surfline)

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010

     (Video by Aaron Lieber)

FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $15,000 and a Honda Aquatrax watercraft with HSA sled  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

Ross Clarke-Jones (Torquay, Vic., Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 25, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder and Bruno Lemos.  Video by Elliot Leboe.)

Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 25, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder and Batel Shimi.  Video by Chris Tronolone.)

Makua Rothman (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 11, 2010. 

     (Photos by Erik Aeder, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos and Zak Noyle.  Video by Tim Bonython and Elliot Leboe.)

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder, Jeff Flindt, Sean Hower, Fred Pompermayer and Batel Shimi.)

Ian Walsh (Kuau, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 11, 2010.

     (Photo by Tim McKenna.  Video by Tim Bonython and Elliot Leboe.)

FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $15,000  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Robert Brown, Tom Cozad, Art Gimbel, Todd Glaser, Ed Grant, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Curt Myers, Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13. 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Robert Brown, Todd Glaser, Guerin Myall, Fred Pompermayer, Tyler Fox and Seth Migdail.  Video by Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.    

     (Photos by Bidu, Brent Bielmann, Todd Glaser and Shorty.  Video by Dwayne Fetch and Thomas Jamur.)

Alex Martins (San Francisco, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Scott Eggers, Art Gimbel, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte.  Video by Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay on December 8, 2009.

     (Photos by Bidu, Jeremiah Klein, Pete Freiden, Scott Soens, Pete Hodgson, Brent Bielmann.  Video by Mark Beaty/Surfline and Bruce Walker.)

FIVE MONSTER TUBE PHOTO AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $5,000  – Still Photography prize $2,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer, and Frank Quirarte.)

Manoa Drollet (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010. 

     (Photos by Fred Pompermayer and Ben Thouard)

Rusty Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte)

Mark Mathews (Maroubra, NSW, Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on June 15, 2009.

     (Photos by Calum Macaulay and Shorty.)

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010. 

     (Photos by Fred Pompermayer and Ben Thouard)

FIVE VERIZON WIRELESS WIPEOUT AWARD NOMINEES:

            GRANT BAKER at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 25, 2009

            SHANE DORIAN at Maverick’s, California on February 14, 2010

            DAN GRIFFITH at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on August 7, 2009

            RYAN HIPWOOD at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on October 19, 2009

            BROOKE PHILLIPS at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on October 19, 2009

FIVE SURFLINE BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:

            (Surfer prize $5,000 prize)

            GRANT BAKER, Durban, South Africa

            CARLOS BURLE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

            SHANE DORIAN, Kona, Hawaii

            MARK HEALEY, Sunset Beach, Hawaii

            GREG LONG, San Clemente, California

FIVE BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:

            (Surfer prize $5,000)

            MAYA GABEIRA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

            KEALA KENNELLY, Honolulu, Hawaii

            MERCEDES MAIDANA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

            SAVANNAH SHAUGHNESSEY, Santa Cruz, California

            JAMILAH STAR, Santa Cruz, California

For a further details on all the nominees see the official media release below.

***********************

For an array of Ride of the Year clips which you can view or embed on your own website, see www.YouTube.com/surfnews.

Please join the Billabong XXL Facebook fan site at http://www.facebook.com/GLOBALBIGWAVEAWARDS.

Media outlets requiring additional materials for longer-form coverage on the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards may request additional high-resolution images and HD video.

***********************

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS COMING FRIDAY, APRIL 23;

VERIZON WIPEOUT & OVERALL PERFORMANCE NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – (April 12, 2010) – As the countdown continues to the April 23rd climax of the Tenth Annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, additional nominees have been announced in the wipeout and best all-around performance categories.

Always a crowd favorite, the 2010 Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year contenders are a terrifying product of the awesome hydraulic power to be found offshore of Hawaii, California and the Australian island state of Tasmania.  South Africa’s Grant Baker (despite being nominated in most other categories) proved that no surfer is perfect, earning a wipeout nod for a high-speed face-plant at Maui’s notorious Jaws break — followed by a 50-foot journey over the falls, his body encased in the lip of the heaving wave.

Hawaii’s Shane Dorian (likewise a multi-category 2010 nominee) took off on one of the biggest waves ever seen at Maverick’s in Northern California, only to be bucked off by the choppy face conditions and tossed head over heels into the 50-degree water.  Dorian then experienced a delayed Niagara-in-a-barrel-style plunge into the Maverick’s depths, resulting in the dreaded two-wave hold-down.

The other three nominees are all Australians who met their fates within Tasmania’s twisted, torquing, torture-chamber of a tube known as Shipstern Bluff.  As the video evidence details, Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast) emulated a man trapped in a collapsing house, Hobart’s Dan Griffith demonstrated a dynamic freefall to a spectacular butt-first landing and fellow Tasmanian local Brooke Phillips impressed all with an inverted crash-test-dummy somersault.  None of the surfers were seriously injured in their wave riding mishaps, the video of which may be viewed on the event website at http://www.billabongxxl.com/nominee_site/wipeout/index.html.

Also announced today were the nominees in the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award (for men) and the Billabong Girls Performance Award. According to event rules, those awards “will be won by the surfer who puts on the greatest number of outstanding performances at the most diverse number of venues over the course of the entire year.  Excellence in the water and leadership in safety in both paddle-in and tow-in surfing disciplines will be considered. Judging criteria is purely subjective and will be calculated from the votes of a large panel of surfers, photographers and surf magazine editors and writers.  The prize will be awarded in the amount of $5,000.”

This year the number of finalists in each category has been upgraded to five.  On the men’s side the nominees are Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa), Carlos Burle (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii), Mark Healey (Sunset Beach, Hawaii) and Greg Long (San Clemente, California).

On the female side the nominees are Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Keala Kennelly (Honolulu, Hawaii), Mercedes Maidana (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Savannah Shaughnessey (Santa Cruz, California) and Jamilah Star (Santa Cruz, California).

These nominees join the other Billabong XXL Big Wave Award category finalists announced earlier this month, including the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and the $50,000 Ride of the Year Award.  

The winners in all divisions will be announced on Friday, April 23, 2010 at the tenth-annual invitation-only awards gala at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California in front of 2,250 surf world VIPs.  The entire night’s festivities will be webcast live on the BillabongXXL.com site and many partner websites.  The show will also be the focus of a one-hour television special airing on the ESPN networks starting on the evening of May 18.

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this tenth annual edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

*********************

PRESS CONTACT

Bill Sharp

surfnewsed@aol.com

001-949-548-6740

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker nabs three nominations for Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards

April 6th, 2010 No comments

XXL1003 - BillabongXXL10BakerMavericks - Framed - MR

The finalists for the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, the Oscars of big wave surfing, were announced in California on Friday in the wake of one of the greatest years in surfing history. 

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker leads the field with three nominations, all coming for his outstanding performances at Mavericks in California in early February. The Durban based big wave charger is one of the five surfers in contention for the premier Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, which carries a prize of US $50 000 (approx. R370 000) for his perfect 10 point ride at the Mavericks Surf Contest.

Baker, who won the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave and the Surfline Best Overall Performance awards last year, is also a contender in the Monster Paddle Award ($15 000) and the Monster Tube Award ($5 000) in 2010.

And with the nominees for the Surfline Best Overall performance award and the Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year for this year due to be announced next week, Baker could possibly scoop a total of five nominations. During 2009/10 awards period he won the Big Wave event in Chile and charged huge waves in South Africa, Hawaii, Mexico, at the Cortez Bank 160 kms off the coast of California and elsewhere while the wipeouts he took at Jaws on Maui in December have been described as some of the worst ever seen!

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

The winners will be announced on Friday, April 23, 2010 at the tenth-annual invitation-only awards gala at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California in front of 2,250 surf world VIPs.  The entire night’s festivities will be webcast live on the event website and will also be the focus of a one-hour television special airing on the ESPN networks starting on the evening of May 18.

The nominees for 2010, in alphabetical order:

FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $50,000  –  Video prize $5,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Video by Noel Robinson)

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Video by Noel Robinson)

Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.

     (Video by Dwayne Fetch)

Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 8, 2009.

     (Video by Marc Beaty/Surfline)

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010

     (Video by Aaron Lieber)

FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $15,000 and a Honda Aquatrax watercraft with HSA sled  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

Ross Clarke-Jones (Torquay, Vic., Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 25, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder and Bruno Lemos.  Video by Elliot Leboe.)

Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 25, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder and Batel Shimi.  Video by Chris Tronolone.)

Makua Rothman (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 11, 2010. 

     (Photos by Erik Aeder, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos and Zak Noyle.  Video by Tim Bonython and Elliot Leboe.)

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.

     (Photos by Erik Aeder, Jeff Flindt, Sean Hower, Fred Pompermayer and Batel Shimi.)

Ian Walsh (Kuau, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 11, 2010.

     (Photo by Tim McKenna.  Video by Tim Bonython and Elliot Leboe.)

FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $15,000  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Robert Brown, Tom Cozad, Art Gimbel, Todd Glaser, Ed Grant, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Curt Myers, Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13. 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Robert Brown, Todd Glaser, Guerin Myall, Fred Pompermayer, Tyler Fox and Seth Migdail.  Video by Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009.    

     (Photos by Bidu, Brent Bielmann, Todd Glaser and Shorty.  Video by Dwayne Fetch and Thomas Jamur.)

Alex Martins (San Francisco, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Scott Eggers, Art Gimbel, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte.  Video by Eric Nelson and Noel Robinson.)

Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay on December 8, 2009.

     (Photos by Bidu, Jeremiah Klein, Pete Freiden, Scott Soens, Pete Hodgson, Brent Bielmann.  Video by Mark Beaty/Surfline and Bruce Walker.)

FIVE MONSTER TUBE PHOTO AWARD NOMINEES

     (Surfer prize $5,000  – Still Photography prize $2,000)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Doug Acton, Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer, and Frank Quirarte.)

Manoa Drollet (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010. 

     (Photos by Fred Pompermayer and Ben Thouard)

Rusty Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.

     (Photos by Don Montgomery, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte)

Mark Mathews (Maroubra, NSW, Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on June 15, 2009.

     (Photos by Calum Macaulay and Shorty.)

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010. 

     (Photos by Fred Pompermayer and Ben Thouard)

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

For a further details on all the nominees see the official media release below.

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For an array of Ride of the Year clips which you can view or embed on your own website, see www.YouTube.com/surfnews.

Please join the Billabong XXL Facebook fan site at http://www.facebook.com/GLOBALBIGWAVEAWARDS.

Media outlets requiring additional materials for longer-form coverage Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards may request additional high-resolution images and HD video.

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Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

NOMINEES REVEALED FOR 2010 BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS

The Biggest Waves and Best Rides from Around the World Vie for $130,000 as 

Surfing’s Top Big Wave Event Prepares for Annual Awards Ceremony on April 23

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (APRIL 2, 2010) — The finalists for the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy were announced today in the wake of one of the greatest years in surfing history.  Following 12 months of enormous swell events from South Africa to Hawaii to Australia to California to Mexico to Tahiti and beyond, over 1000 entered images have been distilled down to this year’s elite nominations.  Video and still images of all the top rides are now available for viewing on the updated event website at BillabongXXL.com.

The winners will be announced on Friday, April 23, 2010 at the tenth-annual invitation-only awards gala at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California in front of 2,250 surf world VIPs.  The entire night’s festivities will be webcast live on the event website and will also be the focus of a one-hour television special airing on the ESPN networks starting on the evening of May 18.

The top prize in this Oscars of surfing — the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award — carries a $50,000 prize for the surfer with the single most amazing performance on a big wave captured on video.  This year features an array of epic rides and an overriding theme as four out of five nominations went to paddle-in waves, reflecting the top surfers’ insistence on returning to their roots and depending less on jet powered watercraft (tow-in) assists.

Two of the entries took place at Maverick’s in Northern California on a record-breaking swell in February with South African Grant Baker and Hawaiian Shane Dorian demonstrating two different ways to score “perfect” rides.  Another pair of nominations came from the legendary Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii during an equally fabled swell last December.  Ramon Navarro of Chile deservedly received a nomination for his huge backside slide during the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau contest, a feat which earned a perfect score in that event.  Also being recognized from that swell is the first dual surfer nomination for a single ride in XXL history — the iconic Waimea closeout set caught and ridden by Hawaiian watermen Mark Healey and Shane Dorian.  (Dorian is the first surfer to ever be credited with TWO waves as a finalist in the same category.)  The remaining Ride of the Year nomination was grabbed by Raimana Van Bastolaer, who precisely used a watercraft assist in the final days of the annual event period to penetrate deep inside the frothy interior of a turbulent tube at his local break of Teahupoo, Tahiti. 

The 2010 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award category features the first entries in half a decade from one of the most famous big wave venues of all, Jaws (a.k.a. Pe’ahi) on the North Shore of Maui.  After many seasons of sub-par swell and weather, the El Nino winter of 09/10 saw the break come back to XXL prominence in a very big way — all five rides nominated in the Biggest Wave division were ridden at that break over the course of three huge swells in December and January. A trio of the surfers are past XXL nominees (Ross Clarke-Jones of Australia, Danilo Couto of Brazil and Ian Walsh of Maui) and one is a past winner, 2003 XXL champion Makua Rothman of Sunset Beach, Hawaii.  All were caught with the assistance of a watercraft.   One of the five XXL Biggest Wave nominees will receive $15,000, a Honda Aquatrax watercraft and a HSA rescue sled in honor of their accomplishment. 

The wildcard in this year’s XXL Biggest Wave proceedings is a surfer named Sebastian Steudtner of Nuremburg, Germany who towed into a clear nomination by charging left on one of the biggest waves of the day on December 7, 2009.  Despite four years of Jaws apprenticeship, Steudtner was a virtually unknown quantity in the big wave world until this life-changing ride pushed him to instant celebrity. 

But this year, all eyes have been on the Monster Paddle division as a continuing obsession to push the limits of human powered surfing has gripped the athletes at the pinnacle of the sport, putting all past records at risk.  Indeed, three of the Monster Paddle nominees are also Ride of the Year finalists; those by Grant Baker at Maverick’s along with the Ramon Navarro and Healey/Dorian waves at Waimea.  Also joining the fray are a pair of huge Maverick’s faces ridden by Californians Shawn Dollar and Alex Martins on February 13, 2010, the day of the Maverick’s Surf Contest.  Some $15,000 is at stake for the largest wave caught by arm-power alone.

The Monster Tube Award features a number of amazing still images of the most stunning barrel moments photographed in the last year.  In contention are a pair of giant caverns at Maverick’s (featuring California’s Rusty Long and yet another nomination for Grant “Twiggy” Baker).  Australia’s Mark Mathews is in the mix for his casual glide through an unspeakably thick cave in Western Australia.  The final two nominees came from the last-minute Teahupoo swell which threw the entire short list of potential finalists into the trash bin once super locals Manoa Drollet and Raimana Van Bastolaer were photographed negotiating some truly monstrous Monster Tubes.

Next week nominations will be announced in additional Billabong XXL categories including the Surfline Best Overall performance, Billabong Girls Performance and the Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year.

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

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Bill Sharp
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