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. 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 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.