Hawaii Produces Last-Minute Entries in 2007 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards

With less that a week remaining in the annual event period for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, Hawaii has just experienced a wild late-season swell producing shocking last-minute entries.

While the overall Hawaiian season has been one of the worst in memory for extreme wave heights, a sudden burst of swell hit Oahu late in the afternoon on March 13, just ahead of a menacing storm front. A small group of top big wave riders were on hand to ride a few waves at Outer Log Cabins, a legendary, rarely-seen offshore reef between Pipeline and Waimea Bay.

North Shore stalwarts Dave Wassel and Garrett McNamara rode some of the biggest waves seen in Oahu in years and -- despite the challenging conditions -- photographers Allen Mozo and Daniel Russo did their best to document the extraordinary rides before darkness and the storm arrived. See the event website at BillabongXXL.com to view the latest entries from Hawaii -- and elsewhere around the globe.

The unusual swell episode comes in the waning moments of the XXL event period, which closes out each year with the arrival of Spring (coming at 12:08 GMT on March 21). The Hawaii entries join the biggest waves seen all year in regions as diverse as South Africa, Western Australia, Tahiti, Spain and Mexico.

The Seventh Annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards gala ceremony and party takes place on April 13, 2007 at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim, California and will be webcast worldwide. Over $116,000 in prize money will be awarded to the top big wave riders of the last year. The award nominees are being narrowed down and will be announced starting next week.

Categories include:

Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award

(Greatest big wave performance on a single wave as captured on video and voted by large judging academy)

Surfer Prize: $50,000

4 Runner-up nominees Award: $1500

Videographer Prize: $5000

Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award

(Biggest tow-in wave ridden based on still photos showing maximum the face height)

Surfer Prize: $15,000

Photo prize: $4000

Monster Paddle Award

(Biggest paddle-in wave ridden based on still photos showing maximum the face height)

Surfer Prize: $15,000

Photo prize: $4000

Monster Tube Award

(Best big-wave tube based on votes of large judging academy)

Surfer Prize: $5000

Photo Prize: $2000

Surfline Men's Best Overall Performance Award

(Best year-long big wave performance at a variety of spots as voted by large judging academy)

Surfer Prize: $5000

Billabong Girl's Best Overall Performance Award

(Best year-long big wave performance at a variety of spots as voted by large judging academy)

Surfer Prize: $5000

www.billabongxxl.com