2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Results are in:

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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. Read more »

BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS WEBCAST INTERNATIONAL START TIMES:

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

BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS SURGE TOWARD FRIDAY NIGHT’S CLIMAX IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA;

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TENTH ANNUAL EVENT FEATURES GREATEST RIDES OF YEAR, $130,000 IN PRIZES AND LIVE WEBCAST

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 Theater 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 fueled 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 attached image 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

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Bill Sharp surfnewsed@aol.com

Jim Kempton jkempton@billabong-usa.com
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BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS COMING FRIDAY, APRIL 23; VERIZON WIPEOUT & OVERALL PERFORMANCE NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

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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.

Read more »

Vote for the 2010 Verizon Wipeout of the Year

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.

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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.

Read more »

Huge Tahiti Swell Rocks Closing Days of 2010 Billabong XXL Awards

HUGE TAHITI SWELL ROCKS CLOSING DAYS OF 2010 BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE EVENT;
NOMINEES TO BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEEK, AWARDS CEREMONY IN CALIFORNIA APRIL 23

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – (March 23, 2010) – The annual event period for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy coincided with the end of the Northern Hemisphere winter last Saturday – but a last-minute off-season swell slamming Tahiti has turned the competition upside down with a fresh influx of stunning big wave images. The largest waves seen there in three years (and some of the heaviest tubes ever photographed) heaved across the legendary reef at Teahupoo on March 17, scraping in under today’s final deadline for entering images into the XXL event.

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For the first time in the ten-year history of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, a swell with the power to rearrange the potential nominees has come in the final week of the year-long competition. A unique event in surfing, the XXL honors the greatest achievements in big wave riding anywhere in the world at any time — based on the photographic evidence. Generally, the short list of Billabong XXL Awards nominees has firmed up by late March, a time when the North Pacific and Atlantic are settled down for the season and the South Seas have yet to come to life. But in a year of high surf superlatives, it should not have come as a surprise that an off-season game-changer would suddenly appear.

“It’s really, really rare to get a big swell this early in March,” said Sean Collins of Surfline.com, the official surf forecaster of the XXL. “It could be El Nino-related as there’s already been lots of tropical activity in the South Pacific, all of which serves to supercharge these storms – like what we’ve seen in a few of our North Pacific swells this winter.”

Standouts at the all-star Teahupoo session included Tahitian locals Manoa Drollet and Raimana Van Bastolaer along with Hawaiians Shane Dorians and Ian Walsh. The newest Ride of the Year entries can be viewed at the event website at http://www.billabongxxl.com/roty/index.htmlwhere they join video clips of epic moments of the last year at spots like Tasmania’s Shipstern Bluff, Maverick’s in California and Waimea Bay and Jaws in Hawaii.

Almost certainly the still photos of the day will weigh heavily in the nominations for Monster Tube, the award for the most intense barrel image of the year. A gallery of those shots can be viewed at http://www.billabongxxl.com/monster_tube/index.html.

Nominations will be announced in all the key event divisions starting next week, with the gala Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards ceremony taking place April 23 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California. Featured categories include the Ride of the Year, XXL Biggest Wave, Monster Paddle-In, Monster Tube, Surfline Best Performance, Billabong Girls Performance and the Verizon Wipeout Award. The event features over $130,000 in prize money and will be televised on the ESPN Networks starting May 18, 2010.

The Tenth Annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards are presented by Monster Energy. Surfline is the official surf forecaster, Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda Aquatrax the official watercraft. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine and Air Tahiti Nui.

Paddle-In Rides Lead the Historic Action as Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards Reach 2010 Climax

AN EPIC YEAR NEARS ITS CLIMAX IN THE BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS;

2010 EVENT WINDOW ENDS MARCH 19, AWARDS CEREMONY SET FOR APRIL 23

Reports of an expanding El Nino weather condition built expectations last year of a spectacular big wave season to come.  And, remarkably, the oceans of the world have responded on cue, delivering an almost endless procession of epic swells and superlative rides by the world’s best big wave riders.  With only two weeks left before the annual event window closes for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, the visual evidence is widespread and conclusive – this was the greatest winter of big wave surfing ever experienced.

BillabongXXL10BakerMavericksSMTo date, over 1000 still and video images have been entered into the Tenth Annual Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, where they may be viewed at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.  The event window runs through the vernal equinox (the end of the Northern Hemisphere winter on March 19).  The gala invitation-only Billabong XXL Awards show will take place April 23 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California and features over $130,000 in prize money.  The event will be televised on the ESPN Networks starting May 18, 2010.

By far the biggest theme in this year’s event has been a dramatic push by the sport’s elite to resist the the advantage of tow-surfing’s jet powered assist and return to the roots of the sport – paddling into the biggest waves possible using arm power and bravery alone.  The trend has intertwined with a spectacular run of El Nino-fueled swells which have allowed an unprecedented number of one-day big wave paddle events to run worldwide, including the Billabong Pico Alto in July, the Nelscott Reef Classic in October, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau in December, the Maverick’s Surf Contest in mid-February and the Todos Santos Big Wave Event just last weekend.

The Billabong XXL Awards include the biggest and best waves ridden all over the world over the course of an entire year, encompassing those caught during surf contests and those rides which happen in the middle of nowhere – provided there is photographic proof.  And this year (for the first time ever in the XXL’s ten years of existence) the vast bulk of the entries are in the Monster Paddle division.  And not only do the entries come from the known-paddle arenas such as Hawaii’s Waimea Bay, Maverick’s in California and Todos Santos, Mexico, they are coming from places which were not long ago considered only possible with a jet ski, including Jaws on Maui, the Cortes Bank 100 miles off California and an assortment of rare outer reefs along Oahu’s North Shore.  No matter when or where, this year surfing’s elite have been “armed” and ready for action.

“Anybody who has paddled and towed into big waves will tell you that paddling in is the ultimate challenge, there’s no other feeling or experience like that,” said Greg Long of San Clemente, California, who has won more XXL categories than any other surfer.  “Personal watercraft came in and sort of revolutionized the sport there for a couple of years and introduced a whole new aspect to the sport.  But right now, everybody’s focus I think has really gone back to paddling into waves and pushing the limits of what’s actually doable.

“With the advancements in forecasting technology, our understanding of the waves, physically what we’re capable of enduring when we wipeout, and then our equipment — the whole limit of what is possible has just been elevated to new heights,” said Long.  “I still think we’re yet to find where any of those limits are.”

ATTENTION XXL SURFERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS: “TIMELY ENTRY” RULES ARE NOW IN EFFECT

(24FEB10) — Due to the massive amount of video and still image entries still being received into the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards during this amazing El Nino winter, we are forced to cut off entries of non-current material. Effective immediately, any images of waves ridden prior to December 31, 2009 will no longer be accepted as late entries.

Images shot between January 1, 2010 and February 15, 2010 will be accepted up until midnight on February 28, 2010. From March 1 through the conclusion of the XXL event window, and newly-created images must be submitted within seven days of the ride, per the written rules. Thank you for adhering to these guidelines and may the best surfers and photographers win!

Regards,

Bill Sharp
Event Director
Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards

Record Influx of Female Big Wave Entries Lead to Special Girls Section for BillabongXXL.com;

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Since the addition of the Billabong Girls Best Overall Performance Award in 2004, the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards have showcased the best rides of the year by women right alongside the men.  But with this year’s big wave season nearing its climax, the number of entries coming into XXL headquarters has shattered all past records in terms of total entries and number of surfers involved, forcing organizers to add a dedicated section to the event website.  All the entries can be seen by clicking here.

Since its inception, the female category has had only two winners: Jamilah Star of Santa Cruz, California, USA, who won the first two years; and Maya Gabeira of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who has won the last three times.

And while that pair of past champions are in the mix once again (including Gabeira at Tahiti’s Teahupoo and Star at Puerto Escondido, Mexico), they are joined by a record number of women pushing the limits of big wave surfing around the world.  The entries run the gamut from Layne Beachley’s deep tube at “Ours” in Australia to Savannah Shaugnessey at Mavericks, Mercedes Maidana in Chile and tons of Hawaiian action, including Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller and Paige Alms at Maui’s legendary Jaws (Pe’ahi).  Also impressive is a ride at that break by Kauai’s Bethany Hamilton, the inspirational young surfer who lost an arm to a shark — but clearly proves that taking on a tow rope is well within her remarkable capabilities.

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