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Wed, 11 April 2018

The nominees for the 2018 World Surf League Big Wave Awards have been officially released, with $350,000 (about R4.2 million) in prizes across seven categories.


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TUBE TIME: Grant Twiggy Baker has been nominated for this barrel at Jaws. Photo Dooma


The categories are: Quiksilver Airlift XXL Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Tube of the Year, Wipeout of the Year, Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year, and Hydro Flask Women’s Best Overall Performance of the Year.

The 18th Annual WSL Big Wave Awards competition window concluded on March 20 after 12 months of surfing. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world was eligible. A panel of judges chose best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.

The winners will be crowned at an invitation-only gala in Southern California on Saturday 28 April 2018. Viewers are invited to watch highlights and speeches on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. The WSL’s official BWA Nominee page is can be viewed here www.worldsurfleague.com/bigwaveawards/nominees

This year’s nominees include surfers from Germany, Australia, Brazil, the United States, and France. With the Northern Hemisphere igniting massive swells this year, the majority of rides come from Nazaré in Portugal and Pe’ahi (“Jaws”) in Maui, Hawaii.


RIDE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Surfer prizes total $125,000 - Videographer prizes total $13,000

The Ride of the Year is the top-line category of the event and is awarded to the surfer who demonstrates the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing during a successful ride, as judged by available video-footage. While raw size is taken into consideration, it is the level of performance that is rewarded. The category carries the biggest prize of the Big Wave Awards with $75,000 for the winner, $20,000 for second place, $15,00 for third, $10,000 for fourth and $5,000 for fifth place. The first place videographer will receive $6,000, second place will receive $2,500, $2,000 for third place, $1,500 for fourth and $1,000 for fifth.

  • Ross Clarke-Jones (Avoca, New South Wales, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Video by Pedro Miranda.)
  • Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017. (Video by WSL Video Team.)
  • Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Nelscott Reef, Oregon on November 29, 2017. (Video by Ian Kennelly.)
  • Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Video by Javier Goya.)
  • Ian Walsh (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017. (Video by Dan Norkunas.)

BIGGEST PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES
Surfer prize $30,000 - Photographer prize $5,000

The Paddle Award goes to the surfer who paddles into and successfully rides the biggest wave of the year. The winning surfer will receive $30,000 and the $5,000 will go to the photographer who captured the ride. This year's nominees showcased fearless displays of big wave surfing with rides at Jaws in Hawaii and Nazaré in Portugal.

  • Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 4, 2018. (Video by Vitor Estrelinha and Rafael G. Riancho. Video by Cesinha Feliciano.)
  • Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018. (Photos by Tony Heff, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe.)
  • Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018. (Photos by Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Aldo Tassara.)
  • Aaron Gold (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 13, 2018. (Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Bruno Lemos.)
  • Aaron Gold (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018. (Photos by Erik Aeder, Brent Broza, Robin Ernst, Tony Heff and Aaron Lynton. (Video by Tony Heff.)

QUIKSILVER AIRLIFT XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES
Surfer prize $25,000 - Photographer prize $5,000

The Quiksilver Airlift XXL Biggest Wave Award goes to the surfer who, by any means available, catches and rides the biggest wave of the year. The winner will receive a $25,000 prize and the photographer of the ride will receive a $5,000 prize.

  • Ross Clarke-Jones (Avoca, New South Wales, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Photos by Bruno Aleixo and Ricardo Bravo. Video by Humberto Santos.)
  • Rodrigo Koxa (Guarujá, SP, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017. (Photos by Raphael Alvim, Pedro Cruz, Rafael G. Riancho, Manuel Ricardo and Leandro Sieves. Video by Carlos Muriongo.)
  • Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018. (Photos by Dooma Photos, Tony Heff, Aaron Lynton, Fred Pompermayer and Stu Soley. Video by Marcus Rodrigues.)
  • Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Helio Antonio, Andre Botelho, Antonio Bravo and Vitor Estrelinha. Video by Michael Darrigade.)
  • Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Photos by Helio Antonio, Andre Botelho, Rafael G. Riancho, Surfemotions and Gillen Usandizaga. Video by Nuno Dias.)

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TUBE NOMINEE: Mick Corbett ensconced in a gigantic tube at the Right. Photo Trent Slatter


TUBE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
Surfer prize $10,000 - Still photography prize $5,000

The Tube of the Year is awarded to the surfer who rides the single most spectacular tubing wave of the year. This award is judged on the impact generated by still photographs. The winner of this category will receive $10,000 and $5,000 will go to the photographer.

  • Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018. (Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton, Fred Pompermayer and Randy Sarrow.)
  • Mick Corbett (Perth, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photo by Trent Slatter.)
  • Tyler Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on July 25, 2017. (Photo by Andrew Chisholm.)
  • Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 27, 2017. (Photos by Richard Hallman, Tony Heff and Keoki Saguibo.)
  • Ian Walsh (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017. (Photos by Adam Carbajal, Richard Hallman, Paul Karaolides, Tracy Leboe and Sofie Louca.)

WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
Surfer prize $5,000 - Videographer prize $2,000

While the performance categories salute the most successful rides of the past year, the Wipeout division present the most amazing unsuccessful rides for online review. Video of surfing's greatest aquatic mishaps has become a popular viral staple among surfing fans worldwide, often attracting millions of views and taking its place as a good-natured fixture in the Big Wave Awards. Truly epitomizing the courage needed for big wave surfing, the surfers nominated for this accolade show no shortage of heart and commitment. The winner of this award will receive $5,000 and the videographer who captured the wipeout will receive $2,000.

  • Andrew Cotton (Braunton, Devon, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017. (Video by Pedro Miranda.)
  • Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017. (Video by WSL Video Team.)
  • Coco Nogales (Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on July 31, 2017. (Video by Yana Vaz.)
  • Eli Olson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 13, 2018. (Video by Bruno Lemos.)
  • Owen Schultz (Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018. (Video by Remi Blanc.)

HYDRO FLASK WOMEN’S BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES
First prize $15,000, $32,500 total

The performance awards acknowledge the top surfers over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images all around the world.

  • Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
  • Justine Dupont (Seignosse, France)
  • Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Keala Kennelly (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)
  • Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)

The ten men receiving nominations for the Men’s Best Overall Performance Award are still under review by the nomination panel and will be announced on Thursday 12 April 2018. The category is regarded as one of the most prestigious and important in the event as it selects an additional four surfers who will be seeded into every WSL Big Wave Tour competition for the coming year.

A panel of judges will review the nominated rides and select the winners, which will be revealed at the invitation-only Big Wave Awards on Saturday 28 April 2018.

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