"This has been an extraordinary year for big wave surfing and with the Northern Hemisphere winter still to come, there is little doubt this will be the greatest ever in the 14 year history of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards," said Bill Sharp, the event's director and founder. "There have been amazing waves everywhere, from Tahiti to Tasmania to South Africa and Hawaii. But the epic St. Jude's swell that hit Europe in late October became one of the most famous moments in the entire history of the sport. It's hard to find anyone on the planet that didn't hear the news reports of possible world record waves being ridden at Nazaré, Portugal and the incredible surfing feats of Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, Andrew Cotton and the rest.

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