Winners announced in International Towsurfer Awards
2003-2004 International Towsurfer Awards
Prresented by Towsurfer.com & AzhiaziaM.com
Biggest Tow-Wave/Biggest Tow-Barrel
Anywhere it’s HUGE!
October 20, 2003 – May 31, 2004
Pete Cabrinha wins Biggest Tow-Wave in the International Towsurfer Awards.
Raimana Van Bastolaer wins International Towsurfer Awards Biggest Tow-Barrel category
(Click images/links below to view large images)
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, SANTA BARBARA, CA (July 3, 2004) Hawaii´s Pete Cabrinha won the first-place award for Biggest Tow-Wave of the Winter in the 1st annual International Towsurfer Awards, presented by Towsurfer.com and AzhiaziaM.com.
Towsurfers from around the globe participated in the competition, which included entrants from the USA, Tahiti, Brazil and Australia. Over 100 photographs were submitted, and 56 images were selected as contenders. Judges then narrowed the field to 10 finalists, and top honors were chosen by a panel of big-wave experts and judges from The Association of Professional Towsurfers (www.Protowsurfers.org)
Cabrinha´s wave, measured at 70 feet on the face, came from the epic January 10, 2004 session at Jaws, on the north coast of Maui, perhaps the biggest day ever photographed there. Having already been awarded $70,000 for the same wave in the Billabong XXL Awards in April, Cabrinha is now the ITA champion, as well. Cabrinha is one of the original pioneers of Jaws, also known by its Hawaiian name of Peahi, having tow-surfed it since the early 1990s. Cabrinha is also a world-renowned master of windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Cabrinha, who was towed into his wave by Rush Randle, will receive $1,000 and product support for his victory in the Biggest Tow-Wave category. His winning wave was photographed by Charles Oreve of Side Shore Media, who will receive $300 and product support.
"January 10th was like ´Opening Season´ for a lot of people," Cabrinha said upon receiving his award. "There had been a few small swells prior to this one, but the conditions were never quite right. The January 10th swell was forecast long in advance and was pretty hyped-up before it arrived. Everyone was either planning on surfing or watching, and it turned out to be a good day for both.
"There were over 30 skis in the channel," Cabrinha went on. "Most were tow teams, but there were a few photographers on them as well. Rush and I watched for almost two hours before we finally surfed. I normally watch one or two sets to get inspired before surfing, but on this day there was so much going on that we took our time before grabbing the rope. In the first hour I saw more horrific wipeouts than I have seen in the previous 10 years. It was a combination of size, bump from the southwest wind, and the extreme west direction. It probably also had something to do with it being the first real swell of the season and some people´s first time at Pe’ahi.
"On some wipeouts I saw guys getting the full impact of the lip right on their chest before getting dragged underwater for 100 yards. I saw mid-face wipeouts sending guys over the falls. At one point there were about 10 waves in a row where everyone ate it bad. For tow-surfing, that´s unusual. The vibe was tense. It was one of the more serious tow sessions I´ve seen in a while. But in between all of the carnage, there was some good stuff going on. The usual suspects were charging and getting it right. There were some huge barrels and some big bombs.
"When I finally decided to surf, it was kind of a now-or-never decision. I had a pretty good idea that the lefts were the call. The extreme west direction kept most of them from shutting down quickly. I had two new boards that had never been ridden. I told Rush to give me a warmup wave that I could test the new board on. We tried for a couple of waves, but guys were all over the smaller, cleaner ones. We finally went way outside and decided to claim the next thing that came through. It was a pretty big set . We let the first two go through and took the third. It ended up being a bomb. I let go of the rope pretty early so I could get my board up to speed to see if it was going to do anything weird. It seemed to feel pretty good, so I stuck with it. Since it was my first wave, I stuck to the basics and tried to surf it clean. When I kicked out, Rush was screaming, saying that was the biggest thing he had ever seen. I caught about five more waves in a span of about an hour and then I towed Rush into some bombs. By the time Rush surfed, the crowd in the lineup had thinned out and we got to pick and choose a little more. He got some great rides."
The second and third-place awards in the Biggest Tow-Wave category both went to surfers from January 10th at Jaws. Carlos Burle, a well-traveled Brazilian who spends much of his time with his family in Hawaii during the peak of the Northern Pacific swells, took the second-place award of $700 and product support while $200 was awarded to photographer Tony Harrington.
Third place went to 20-year-old Maui surfer Ian Walsh, who has grown up watching Jaws and clearly displayed his talents on the largest swell of the year. The prize was worth $500 along with product support to Walsh and $100 for photographer Rick Leeks.
The other three finalists were Archie Kalepa, a Hawaiian Ocean Safety specialist, and Brazilian big-wave riders Sylvio Mancusi and Danilo Couto.
First place in the Biggest Tow-Barrel category went to Tahiti´s Raimana Van Bastolaer for pulling into the largest, most critical barrel of the season on April 22nd at Teahupo’o, the Tahitian break known for producing the heaviest tube rides of the world. Raimana will receive $1,000 and product support for his victory ride. The wave was photographed by Tim McKenna, who will receive $300 and product support.
Second place in the Biggest Tow-Barrel category went to Hawaii´s Garrett McNamara, also from the bombing south swell at Teahupo´o April 22. McNamara has proven himself time and again for his "no fear" approach in big waves around the world, and is known for his "If It Can´t Kill You, It Ain´t Extreme" campaign, along with teaming with Rodrigo Resende to win the 2002 Tow-In World Cup contest at Jaws. He will receive $700 and product support, with $200 going to photographer Jason Murray.
Third place in the Biggest Tow-Barrel category was awaraded to Dave Langer, a largely unknown newcomer from California who surfed Jaws on January 10th for the very first time. He picked up $500 for pulling into a very unforgiving barrel, edging out Mancusi for third place. The $100 third-place photo prize went to Erik Aeder.
Product Support Provided By:
Mike Slattery/High Surf Accessories
Richard Carmel/SeasSpecs, eXtreme polarized surf sunglasses
Jet Pilot Life Vests
BZ Rescue Sleds
Special Thanks To:
The Association of Professional Towsurfers, (APT) www.Protowsurfers.org for their expertise in the selection and judging of all contenders, finalists and winning photos.
Click Here to Check out a video clip of ITA Champion Pete Cabrinha during his session at Jaws on January 10, 2004 Courtesy Ivan Van Vurren, Premier Productions www.Extremesportsmovies.com
Mike Lopaka from www.AzhiaziaM.com
Published courtesy of Eric Akiskalian/Towsurfer.com.
Check out more at the Towsurfer.com website.
International Towsurfer Awards 2003/04
Big-Wave Surfing - Surfersvillage