Everybody everywhere loves big wave surfing, including my mum, it’s absolutely mental and totally exhilerating to watch, which is why ESPN2 are airing the Billabong Big Wave Awards on Thursday. Check out the press release and preview clip below.
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NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (May 26, 2009) — The 2009 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy is coming to the ESPN networks this week across the USA. Known as the Oscars of surfing, the ninth-annual XXL show is scheduled for the ESPN2 channel this Thursday, May 28, at 9:30 P.M. Pacific Time, 7:30 P.M Hawaiian (1:30 A.M. late-night on the East Coast). Check your local listings for the correct channel in your area and set your TIVO or DVR now.
The hour-long special features the biggest waves and most spectacular rides from around the world over the last year. Highlights of the high-surf action include Californian Greg Long’s unprecedented paddle-in barrel at Dungeons in South Africa which earned him the $50,000 XXL Ride of the Year prize. Long finished just ahead of a stellar list of other nominees including Australians Ryan Hipwood and James Hollmer-Cross at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania, Hawaiian Garrett McNamara at Teahupoo, Tahiti, and Californian Brian Conley’s point-of-view tube ride deep in darkest Mexico.
Topping out other categories were Grant “Twiggy” Baker for his 60-foot-plus XXL Biggest Wave bomb at Cape Town’s ominous Tafelberg Reef and Derek Dunfee’s Monster Paddle Award winner at Maverick’s in Northern California. Also appearing in the ESPN show are Billabong GIrls Best Performance Award winner Maya Gabeira of Brazil, Monster Tube champion Mark Healey of Hawaii and Surfline Performance winner Grant Baker. In total, over $130,000 in cash and prizes — including a new Honda watercraft — were handed out at the gala presentation at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California.
As always, one of the most visually entertaining segments of the show is the Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year Award, which was determined for the first time this year by the text-in voting of the surfing public. Winning by a wide margin was Australia Ross Clarke-Jones for his spine-bending detonation within the guts of a huge cavern at the newly discovered Pedra Branca break in the open ocean off Tasmania’s southern coast.
The list of presenters at this year’s XXL show was a who’s who in surfing from today and yesteryear. Celebrities announcing the prize winners with hilarious and heartfelt speeches ran the gamut from three-time ASP world champ Andy Irons and 1999 champ Mark Occhilupo to legendary big wave waterman Greg Noll to Maverick’s Pioneer Jeff Clark right through to Linda Benson, the first woman to ride Waimea Bay in 1959.
The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards show was produced and directed by David Stanfield. Executive Producers are Mark Hall, Graham Stapelberg, Bill Sharp and Sam Pontrelli. The XXL Awards are presented by Monster Energy Drinks. Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider, Surfline.com is the official surf forecast and Honda the official watercraft of the XXL. Additional support for the event comes from Air Tahiti Nui and Surfing Magazine.
Tune in to the show this Thursday night to see it all. Until then, check out the highlight clips and still photos from the 2009 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards at www.BillabongXXL.com. For more information on Monster Energy, please go to www.MonsterEnergy.com.