Monday 21 August 2017 / 05:07 AM

HUNTINGTON BEACH GETS READY FOR BIG WAVE AWARDS GALA

The 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards will celebrate the performances of this past season and honor icons of the big wave community in Huntington Beach, California on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

The Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach will host the 17th annual awards gala, where $350,000 in prize money and a TAG Heuer watch will be awarded to winners across seven categories. Photographs and videos of all the nominated rides can be viewed at WorldSurfLeague.com/bigwave.

The WSL Big Wave Awards competition window concluded on March 21, 2017 and spanned the previous 12 months of surfing action. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across the seven award categories: Billabong Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, TAG Heuer XXL Biggest Wave, Surfline Men’s Best Overall Performance, Women’s Best Overall Performance, Tube of the Year and the TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year. A panel of judges chose the best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.

This year’s nominated rides come from every corner of the world, including California, Tasmania, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico and Fiji. Shortlisted surfers range from established veterans such as the newly crowned Big Wave Tour Champions Grant Baker (ZAF) and Paige Alms (HAW) to younger rising stars like Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), Trevor Sven Carlson (HAW) and Kai Lenny (HAW).

The winners will be crowned at a gala invitation-only awards show at the Pasea Hotel tomorrow evening. Viewers around the world are invited to watch the live webcast on Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. PST / 11:00 p.m. EST at WorldSurfLeague.com and live on the WSL’s Facebook page. The show will also be televised on CBS Sports Network on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST and 8:30 p.m. PST / 11:30 p.m. EST.

To apply for media accreditation to the event please complete the credential form on WorldSurfLeague.com/PressRoom or email press@worldsurfleague.com.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com.
2017 WSL BIG WAVE AWARDS NOMINEES BY CATEGORY

The Billabong 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 ultimately 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.

BILLABONG RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prizes total $125,000  –  Videographer prizes total $13,000
Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016.
(Video by Curt Myers.)
Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016.
(Video by Nuno Dias.)
Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 11, 2016.
(Video by Etienne Aurelius.)
Jamie Mitchell ( Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on June 24, 2016.
(Video by WSL Video Team.)
Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on February 28, 2017.
(Video by Javier Goya.)

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 Maverick’s and Nazaré.

PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $30,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016.
(Photos by Michael Andrew, Fred Pompermayer and Todd Turner. Video by Curt Myers.)
Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 17, 2016.
(Photos by Rafael Elias, Vitor Estrelinha and Guilherme Soares. Video by Andreas Jansen.)
Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho, Andrea Carminati, Pedro Cruz and Pedro Miranda. Video by Nuno Dias.)
Christopher Mashburn (San Diego, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 26, 2017.
(Photos by Nikki Brooks, Silvin Morgan, Fred Pompermayer, Frank Quirarte and  Todd Turner. Video by Blakeney Sanford.)
Jamie Mitchell ( Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 20, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho and Guilherme Soares. Video by WSL Video Team.)

The TAG Heuer XXL Biggest Wave Award goes to the surfer who, by any means available, catches and rides the biggest wave of the year and includes four incredible entries from Nazaré and one from Jaws in Maui. The winner will receive a $25,000 prize and the photographer of the ride will receive a $5,000 prize.

TAG HEUER XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $25,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 23, 2016.
(Photo by Vitor Estrelinha.)
Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 8, 2016.
(Photos by Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Marcus Rodrigues.)
Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on February 28, 2017.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Pedro Bala, André Botelho, Silvino Esperanca and Rafael Riancho. Video by Timelapse Media.)
Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Helio Antonio, Miguel Chaby, Rafael Riancho and Hugo Silva. Video by Timelapse Media.)
Hugo Vau (Terceira, Azores, Portugal) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Mauro Correia, Pedro Cruz and João Serpa. Video by Timelapse Media.)

The performance awards acknowledge the top ten men and top five women over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images all around the world. Shortlisted surfers include 2016 BWT Champions Grant Baker and Paige Alms as well as big wave heavyweights Greg Long and Keala Kennelly.

Since 2016, surfers have been given the opportunity to become seeded on the WSL Big Wave Tour through their placing in the Surfline Best Overall Performance category. This avenue to qualification will be expanded for the coming season, growing from four surfers to six.

Photographs and motion pictures of all the Surfline Men’s Overall and Women’s Best Performance nominated surfers can be viewed at worldsurfleague.com/bigwave.

SURFLINE MEN’S BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:
First prize $20,000, $53,500 total
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa)
Pedro Calado (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)
Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Nic Lamb (Santa Cruz, California, USA)
Kai Lenny (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA)
Jamie Mitchell (Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia)
Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy)

WOMEN’S BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:
First prize $15,000, $32,500 total
Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Justine Dupont (Lacanau, France)
Keala Kennelly (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA)
Nicole Pacelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)

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.

TUBE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $10,000 – Still photography prize $5,000
Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, California, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on May 23, 2016.
(Photos by Pat Stacy and WSL Photo Team.)
Conor Maguire (Bundoran, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 15, 2017.
(Photo by Conor Flanagan.)
Bradley Norris (Perth, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016.
(Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.)
Dan Ryan (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016.
(Photos by Jamie Scott, Trent Slatter and Chris White.)
Shanan Worrall (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016.
(Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.)

While the performance categories salute the most successful rides of the past year, the TAG Heuer Wipeout division presents 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.

TAG HEUER WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $5,000  –  Videographer prize $2,000
Wilem Banks (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California  on January 26, 2017.
(Video by Curt Myers.)
Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California  on January 26, 2017.
(Video by Blakeney Sanford.)
Danny Griffiths (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on June 16, 2016.
(Video by Dave Otto.)
Tom Lowe (St. Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Video by Nuno Dias.)
Rafael Tapia (Santiago, Chile) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Video by Nuno Dias.)

Photographs and video of all the nominated rides can be viewed at worldsurfleague.com/bigwave. To embed nominee video clips directly on your site, please utilize the WSL Big Wave Awards YouTube Channel at YouTube.com/XXL.

For more information, log onto worldsurfleague.com.

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