Pete Cabrinha Wins Billabong XXL

The world record for biggest wave ever ridden was officially shattered this evening at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, when Pete Cabrinha of Hawaii picked up a check for 70,000 dollars to match his amazing ride on a 70-footer. Cabrinha, 42, rode the wave on January 10 of this year at the break known as Jaws on the North Shore of Maui, near his home in Haiku.

Before an overflow crowd of 1500 at the gala awards presentation at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California, Cabrinha’s victory was announced to a standing ovation. Cabrinha was one of the original pioneers of Jaws (also known as Peahi) and is a world-renowned master of big-wave tow surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

“It was the first time I surfed Jaws this winter and it was on a brand-new board, so I asked my partner Rush {Randle} to tow me into a little warm-up wave, Cabrinha recounted of the epic day of surf. “But when we took the Jet Ski outside of the break this set came in and we basically claimed it as ours. Most people go right at Jaws, but on this day some of the lefts looked bigger and cleaner so that’s the way I went. The board ended up working pretty well and when I kicked out, Rush looked at me and went, ‘Holy crap, Pete…that was a bomb!’

Cabrinha beat out three other Jaws waves ridden by Brazilian Danilo Couto and Hawaiians Archie Kalepa and Ian Walsh, along with a wave ridden by California’s Greg Long at the Cortes Bank, 100 miles off San Diego. Maui photographer Erik Aeder won 5,000 dollars for his “definitive image of Cabrinha’s giant wave.

The previous Guinness World Record holder for biggest wave ever ridden was Brazilian Carlos Burle, who’s 68-footer at Maverick’s won the XXL Award in 2002.

The Monster Tube of the Year Award and its 5000 dollar bounty went to Malik Joyeaux of French Polynesia for an amazing, death-defying barrel at Teahupoo, Tahiti, last April. Photographer Sean Davey received 1,000 dollars.

Also receiving honors this evening was Zach Wormhoudt for the Monster Biggest Paddle-In Award. Wormhoudt, of Santa Cruz, California, caught his wave at Maverick’s in Northern California on December 17 of last year. The winning image was by Frank Quirarte.

California’s Greg Long was the first surfer ever nominated in both the XXL and Paddle-In categories, and although he did not win in either, the versatility of that feat earned him the Surfline/Jay Moriarity Best Overall Performance Award. The 20-year-old San Clemente surfer received a check for 5,000 dollars to commemorate his achievement.