Billabong XXL nominees include four Mauians
A quartet of Maui athletes received nominations on Tuesday for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards – brothers Ian and Shaun Walsh, Billy Kemper and Kai Lenny.
All four nominated rides came in January at the spot known as “Jaws” in Peahi.
Kemper, who lives in Haiku, and Shaun Walsh, who lives in Kuau, are among the five nominees for the award with the biggest cash prize – ride of the year, which offers $50,000 to the winner. Both rides were on Jan. 19, as was one by Lenny, who is from Paia, that earned a spot among the finalists for the $5,000 tube award.
Ian Walsh of Haiku is a nominee for the rider of the biggest wave, on Jan. 22. The winner will get $10,000.
The award nominees came from the 12-month period that ended March 19. Winners will be announced May 2 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, Calif.
Jaws produced five other nominees as well. Shane Dorian of the Big Island is up for ride of the year for a wave caught on March 2. Three contenders for the $20,000 paddle award caught waves at Peahi – Aaron Gold of Oahu and Mark Mathews of Australia on Jan. 23, and Mark Healey of Oahu on Nov. 13. Italy’s Francisco Porcella has a Jan. 22 ride in the biggest wave nominee list.
Photos and video of the finalists can be seen at billabongxxl.com.