NOMINEES REVEALED FOR 2007 BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS

The finalists for the 2007 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy have been announced, proving once and for all that big wave surfing has become a truly worldwide phenomenon. Nominee waves were challenged in locations as diverse as South Africa, Australia, Spain, Mexico, California, Chile, Tahiti and Tasmania.

The winners will be announced at the seventh-annual invitation-only show before 2000 surf world VIPs on April 13 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California. The night's full schedule of activities will be carried on a free live webcast and will be broadcast in May as a special on the FUEL TV network. In the meantime dramatic photos and video of every nominee ride are now available for examination at the updated event site at billabongxxl.com.

This year's top prize of $50,000 will be awarded in a brand-new category in the XXL event - the Ride of the Year - designed to acknowledge the most amazing performance on a big wave documented on video over the course of the last 12 months. And there is little doubt these five finalists are among the most incredible moments of surfing action ever caught on film.

The nominees include Californians Ken "Skindog" Collins and Rusty Long towing and paddling into massive barrels in Mexico, South African Andrew Marr's huge gray beast off Cape Town and death-defying Tahitian tubes by local Manoa Drollet and New Zealander Doug Young.

Contenders for the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award for the tallest face of the year include the four biggest waves ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere: two challenged by Greg Long and Andrew Marr in South Africa and another pair taken on by Alfy Cater and Damon Eastaugh in Western Australia.

They are joined by one of the few bright moments seen along the USA West Coast in the last year - a lonely wave ridden by Alistair Craft at Ghost Tree off Pebble Beach, California. The one wave deemed largest by a panel of experts will win the surfer $15,000. Last year the category was topped by Brad Gerlach's 68-footer ridden off Ensenada, Mexico.

The Monster Paddle division prize was upgraded this year to an equivalent $15,000 in recognition of the roots of big wave riding. And this year two of the nominees -- Hawaiians Garrett McNamara and Dave Wassel - come from the spiritual homeland of surfing, yet caught their waves at Maverick's in Northern California during a difficult season for surf in the North Pacific.

Also joining their ranks is San Francisco's Ben Andrews at Maverick's along with some spicy latin flavor -- Peru's Gabriel Villaran for a ride in Chile, and Basque surfer Axier Muniain for a wave in northwest Spain.

The Monster Tube category shares several nominees with the Ride of the Year category. Also nominated for the most spectacular barrel of the year are Shane Dorian of Kona, Hawaii for his reprise of last year's amazing cavern at Teahupoo, Tahiti, and Australian Martin Paradisis for his voyage beneath a remarkably thick lip at the notorious Shipstern Bluff near Hobart, Tasmania.

The event website at billabongxxl.com. features still and motion analysis of the finalist rides as captured by many of the world's best surfing photographers. The lensmen are also up for prizes up to $5000 honoring their ability to nail the critical moment.

The nominees for 2006, in alphabetical order:

FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $50,000 - Video prize $5000)

Ken "Skindog" Collins (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico (Video by Josh Pomer)

Manoa Drollet (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Video by Kendall O'Brian)

Rusty Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico (Video by Andrew Kopjak)

Andrew Marr (Cape Town, South Africa) at Dungeons, South Africa (Video by Grant Washburn)

Doug Young (Dunedin, New Zealand) at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Video by Christopher Kirkham)

FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $15,000 - Photo/video prize: $4000)

Alfy Cater at Outer Bombora, Western Australia (Photos by Russell Ord, Jamie Scott • Video by Rick Rifici)

Alistair Craft at Ghost Tree, Pebble Beach, California on December 11, 2006 (Photos by Brown, Keagy, Weber)

Damon Eastaugh at Outer Bombora, Western Australia (Photos by Russell Ord, Jamie Scott • Video by Rick Rifici)

Greg Long at Dungeons, South Africa (Photos by Al McKinnon, Shaun Timoney)

Andrew Marr at Dungeons, South Africa (Photos by Al McKinnon, Shaun Timoney • Video by Grant Washburn)

FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $15,000 - Photo/video prize: $4000)

Ben Andrews at Maverick's, Half Moon Bay, California (Photos by Don Montgomery, Frank Quirarte)

Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick's, Half Moon Bay, California (Video by Ryan Casey)

Axier Muniain (Zarautz, Spain) at Playa Gris, Spain (Photos by Pablo Azkue • Video by Manex Artola)

Gabriel Villaran (Lima, Peru) at El Buey, Arica, Chile (Photos by Kai Benson)

Dave Wassel at Maverick's, Half Moon Bay, California (Photos by Fred Pompermeyer • Video by Larry Haynes)

FIVE MONSTER TUBE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $5,000 - Photo/video prize: $2000)

Ken "Skindog" Collins at Puerto Escondido, Mexico (Photos by Edwin Morales • Video by Josh Pomer)

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Video by Kendall O'Brian)

Manoa Drollet (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Photos by Tim McKenna • Video by Kendall O'Brian)

Martin Paradisis at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania (Photos by Remi Chauvin, Stuart Gibson • Video by Tom Webster)

Doug Young (Dunedin, New Zealand) at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Photos by Sean Collins • Video by Christopher Kirkham)

THREE SURFLINE MEN'S BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $5,000)

Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil)

Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA)

Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)

THREE BILLABONG WOMEN'S BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES (Surfer prize $5,000)

Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Andrea Moller (Maui, Hawaii, USA)

Jamilah Star (Santa Cruz, California, USA)

www.billabongxxl.com