There’s more going on that just Pipe.
As everyone gazes at the webcast and punches numbers and stats and theories as to the next world champion, and ponders existentially what the fuck went down with Julian and that interference, there are some of the big wave boys quietly doing their thing, catching the large ones and putting themselves into contention for some of the healthy WSL Big Wave Awards. There have been a few good storms of late, and surfers have been hooking into some waves of consequence, from Jaws to Pe’ahi to The Right, and all gearing towards those awards.
Mick Corbett is up for the 2018 Ride Of The Year award for a behemoth he rode at Nazaré on November 8 this year. It was one of those big and funky lefts, and he rode it confidently, showing others what it takes to ride a wave there to completion. Thus far it has been all Nazaré and Jaws for the big awards, with both venues having some ridiculous days and waves. Nazaré is still in a holding pattern for the Nazaré Challenge, with everyone hoping that it will get to run before the period runs out at the end of February.
Corbett, from Perth, is no stranger to the big wave circuit, and was nominated for the XXL Biggest Wave in 2015 for a monster he rode at Cow Bommie and won the 2015/2016 Australian Big Wave Awards for another beast he rode, this time at The Right.
In fact, he has another entry in the current awards, and the other one is for the Tube Of The Year that he rode at The Right on April 18 this year. It’s a solid one, and The Right is one wave that is seriously not recommended to fuck around with.
Another Australian charger Chris Shanahan also has a nomination in the Tube Of The Year award for a giant bomb he too rode at The Right. Shanahan is a regular out there among the madness, and it is fitting that he is in the running for the award. There is quite fierce competition around the Tube Of The Year, but the two Australian entries at The Right are both rock solid. There is some strict competition however, including a sick tube from Twiggy Baker at Sunset Reef in Cape Town.
Legendary Australian big wave surfer and runner –up in the 2016 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau event at Waimea Bay, Ross Clarke-Jones has two nominations in the WSL Big wave Awards thus far. His first is in the Ride Of The Year category for a bomb that he rode at Nazaré, and managed to negotiate some bumps and jumps on his way to the channel.
The second nomination is for the good old XXL Biggest Wave award, and to put himself in the running here, Ross caught a giant right-hander at the legendary Nazaré break, the waves that run directly to the cliff. Ross is a die-hard big wave surfer who has never slowed down on his hunt for big waves, and maybe this time around he’ll win something in the prestigious awards.