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Thu, 2 May 2019

Will this wave win Twiggy Baker Ride of the Year, and as world champ, Best Performance, at the WSL Big Wave Awards? Watch live tomorrow 4.30am ZA time, writes Spike.


The 2019 Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year and Hydro Flask Women’s Best Overall Performance of the Year acknowledge the top surfers over the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images from around the world. Twiggy is up for multiple awards but has a real chance to cap off with two of the most prestigous: Ride of the Year and Overall Performance.

Surely that terrifying beast of a thing he's taking off on (cover image) is a contender?Surely that terrifying beast of a thing he's taking off on (cover image) is a contender? The fact he does not make the barrel is barely relevant, since he kind of does make it, albeit on the top of a gigantic foam ball that sucks his board over the falls right at the exit. The level of commitment, skill and sheer gees make it the winner in my view.

The waves he took off on during that epic building "one of the biggest days in history" Jaws swell, and the fact he won at Nazare, and his world title win must all surely count towards an Overall Performance. The Overall Performance is seen as perhaps the most prestigious and important. It decides the seeding for all BWT events next year. This applies to the top four nominated men and two nominated women, unless they already have a spot, in which case it goes to the next surfer in line.

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WHAT THE ACTUAL? Grant Baker took off on arguably the wave of the season. Photo WSL / Morris


The winners will be crowned at a celebration open to the public in Redondo Beach, California, at 7.30pm PST (4.30am tomorrow ZA time) tonight, Thursday, May 2. For the first time, general admission tickets can be purchased to watch the awards from the comfort of beach seating at the BeachLife Festival stage hosting this year’s awards. Viewers are also invited to watch a live broadcast of this year’s awards via www.WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page.

Nominees include women chargers Justine Dupont (FRA), Emily Erickson (HAW), and WSL Champions Paige Alms (HAW) and Keala Kennelly (HAW) alongside five other women for their incredible showings at Jaws; Nazare; and Mavericks. The men’s side features fifteen of the year’s standout athletes such as WSL Champions Grant Baker (ZAF), Billy Kemper (HAW), and a plethora of the world’s best big wave surfers like Albee Layer (HAW), Lucas Chianca (BRA) and Nic Von Rupp (PRT).

“Many of the nominees could walk away with a handful of hardware being nominated in multiple categories and capping it off with this one,” WSL Big Wave Director Bill Sharp said. “But while the other Big Wave Award divisions focus on a single ride, the Performance categories reward the athletes who amassed the most impressive ‘body of work’ over the previous 12 months, which makes it a try test of a surfer’s efforts in the long run.”

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VERTICAL: World Champ Keana Kennelly is good for an award or three. Photo WSL / Hallman


The judging process includes 30 experts delving through the countless photos and videos from each of the nominees to make their final decision on who the two winners will be. The winners from each of the categories are determined just days before the awards show and the results are kept a closely-guarded secret until the envelopes are opened live on stage during the show broadcast. The winners from each of the categories are determined just days before the awards show and the results are kept a closely-guarded secret until the envelopes are opened live on stage.

The complete list of WSL’s official BWA Nominees can be found HERE

2019 Hydro Flask Women’s Overall Performance Award
Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Justine Dupont (Seignosse, France)
Emi Erickson (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Raquel Heckert (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Keala Kennelly (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)
Andrea Moller (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
Nicole Pacelli (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)

2019 Men’s Best Overall Performance Award
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa)
Russell Bierke (New South Wales, Australia)
Alex Botelho (Lagos, Portugal)
Trevor Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Nathan Florence (Hawaii, USA)
Natxo Gonzalez (Pais Vasco, Basque Country)
Billy Kemper (Hawaii, USA)
Nic Lamb (California, USA)
Albee Layer (Hawaii, USA)
Kai Lenny (Hawaii, USA)
Jamie Mitchell (Queensland, Australia)
Jojo Roper (California, USA)
Will Skudin (New York, USA)
Nic Von Rupp (Sintra, Portugal)

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