Six Australians Nominated In Global Big Wave Awards
27 Mar 20090
(Gold Coast, QLD; Thursday, 26 March 2009): Six Australian surfers have been nominated for the 2009 Billabong XXL Global big wave awards, with the list of global nominee’s released in the USA today.
The Billabong XXL is recognised as the Oscars of big wave surfing, with all giant waves ridden from around the world over a 12 month category scrutinised by an elite judging panel.
Surfers are nominated in the prestigious awards across the categories of Ride Of The Year, Biggest Wave, Monster Tube Ride and Biggest Paddle In Wave. The winners are announced in a huge gala ceremony in California on April 17.
Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast), James Holmer-Cross (Hobart), Mark Mathews (Maroubra), Damien Warr (Yallingup, WA), Kirby Brown (Kalbarri, WA) and Dylan Longbottom (Central Coast) have all scooped nominations for daring rides at big wave breaks around the country. They make up 6 of the 18 surfers nominated.
Leading the charge for Australia was Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, QLD) who was given the nod for his no-holds-barred approach to one of the world’s deadliest breaks.
Nominated in two categories - the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award and the Monster Tube Award, for his death-defying attack on the notorious Shipstern Bluff (Tasmania), Hipwood was over the moon with his nomination.
“I’m so stoked, “ said Hipwood. “To be recognised as pushing the limits of surfing is an honour.”
Having survived a massive airborne leap down a heaving stair-step face, whilst locking into some of the biggest ever barrels surfed at the famed Tasmanian break, Hipwood recalls the “day of days” fondly.
“We got to the spot really early,” he recalled. “I wasn’t feeling great when I rocked up, but the waves just continued to get bigger and bigger and it just turned into such an amazing day.”
Hipwood has a refreshing, pure attitude towards the art of big-wave surfing, despite being in line to win $USD 55,000 should he scoop both categories.
“To be honest I didn’t realise there was such a prize associated with the Award as it’s something I’d do anyway,” admitted Hipwood. “But I’ll take the cash if it comes my way.”
Joining Hipwood is surfer/shaper Dylan Longbottom (Central Coast, NSW), who was also nominated in the Monster Tube category, for his radical, backhand barrel at surfing’s coliseum - Teahupoo (Tahiti).
For Longbottom, a former Monster Tube XXL winner, said a nomination in the awards was a huge honour.
“It means a lot,” he said. “There are so many big wave riders throughout the world, but to be nominated makes me feel respected within that community.”
Having been one of the most progressive, all-round surfers over the past decade, Longbottom feels he has an affinity with Teahupoo, the spot that earned him the nomination.
“It’s definitely a special place for me,” Longbottom. “I’ve been going there for ten years now and I’m only now beginning to feel a little bit more comfortable and getting a little bit deeper.
“In saying that however, I have ultimate respect for how heavy that place is.”
The closest thing to the modern day dare–devil, Australia’s big wave surfers have built a reputation of some of the world’s best, with some of the craziest waves in the world on our shores.
This years awards recognises a number of such waterman.
James Holmer-Cross (Tasmania) qualified with a thick double-tube ride at Tasmania's Shipstern Bluff, whilst another pair of massive contenders come from Western Australia's Cow Bommie with local Damien Warr (Western Australia) and Sydney surfer Mark Mathews (Maroubra, NSW). Fellow West Australian Surfer Kirby Brown was also nominated in the Monster Tube Ride Category.
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.
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.
FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $50,000 - Video prize $5,000) Brian Conley (San Diego, California) at Boca Grande, Mexico on October 22, 2008. (Video by Brian Conley) Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on October 11, 2008. (Video by Tim Bonython) James Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on October 11, 2008. (Video by Dave Otto) Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Dungeons, South Africa on July 26, 2008 (Video by Fixerfilm/RedBull BWA) Garrett McNamara (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on April 8, 2008 (Video by Simon Saffigna)
FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $15,000 and a Honda Aquatrax watercraft with HSA sled - Photo/video prize $4,000) Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Tafelberg Reef, South Africa on August 9, 2008. (Photos by Nic Bothma and Alan Van Gysen. Video by Fixerfilm/Hutchmotion.) Mark Mathews (Maroubra, N.S.W., Australia) at Cow Bommie, Western Australia on September 20, 2008. (Photo by Jamie Scott. Video by Tim Bonython.) Axi Muniain (Basque Country, Spain) at Belharra, France on January 16, 2009. (Photo by Greg Rabejac) Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Belharra Reef, France on January 18, 2009. (Photo by Stephane Salerno) Damien Warr (Yallingup, Western Australia) at Cow Bommie, Western Australia on September 20, 2008. (Photo by Jamie Scott)
FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $15,000 - Photo/video prize $4,000) Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick's, California on November 30, 2008. (Photos by Nikki Brooks, Robert Brown, Todd Glaser, Seth Migdail, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Eric Nelson) Derek Dunfee (San Diego, California, USA) at Maverick's, California on November 30, 2008. (Photos by Robert Brown, Todd Glaser, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte) Nathan Fletcher (San Clemente, California, USA) at Maverick's, California on November 30, 2008. (Photos by Robert Brown, Seth Migdail, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte) Axi Muniain (Basque Country, Spain) at Belharra Reef, France on January 9, 2009. (Photo by Greg Rabejac. Video by Fred Berho) James Taylor (Cape Town, South Africa) at Dungeons, South Africa on July 26, 2008. (Photos by Nic Bothma, Jeff Flindt and Alan Van Gysen. Video by Fixerfilm/Red Bull BWA)
FIVE MONSTER TUBE PHOTO AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $5,000 - Photography prize $2,000) Kerby Brown (Kalbarri, Western Australia) at South Bommie, Western Australia on July 6, 2008. (Photo by Russell Ord) Mark Healey (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Yeti, Oregon on September 24, 2008. (Photo by Jason Murray) Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on October 11, 2008. (Photo by Rodd Owen) Dylan Longbottom (Gold Coast, Australia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on April 8, 2008. (Photos by Edwin Morales and Fred Pompermayer) Garrett McNamara (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on April 8, 2008. (Photos by Tim McKenna and Fred Pompermayer)