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Big waves, epic wipeouts

First photo: Helicopter pilot Don Shearer hovers over a rescue in action during Thursday’s cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships at Peahi. The paddle-in surf event held in 30-to-50-foot waves featured both spectacular rides and epic wipeouts. A well-organized team of personal watercraft operators zoomed around the frothy white water inside the surf break to locate and tow surfers out of trouble before they ended up on the rocks. Maui surfers Paige Alms and Billy Kemper captured the women’s and men’s titles, respectively. It was Alms third title and Kemper’s fourth, and they both won the men’s and women’s titles together in 2016. For more on the big wave championships, see Sports.

Second photo: Lucas Chianca of Brazil drops from the top of a tall wave during Thursday’s final at Jaws. He finished sixth.

Third photo: Broken surfboards wash on shore Thursday at Peahi.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos