OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (May 27, 2008) — The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy are coming to the ESPN2 network for the first time this week. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards of big wave surfing,” the Eighth Annual XXL show airs on Thursday evening, May 29 at 9:30 P.M. Pacific Time (12:30 A.M. Eastern). Check your local listings for the correct channel in your broadcast area and set your TIVO or DVR now.
The hour-long show examines the motivation and lifestyles of an eclectic group of athletes who span the globe at a moment’s notice to intercept the year’s most massive swells. Viewers will experience the behind-the-scenes drama of California’s biggest day in years as top surfers decide between the risks of becoming lost in zero-visibility fog in a maelstrom of 60-foot seas off Maverick’s in Half Moon Bay or taking their chances amid the deadly, kelp-infested shallows of Ghost Tree off Pebble Beach. All followed by a brutal 500-mile overnight highway odyssey as surfers bolt en masse to intercept the swell once more off the coast of Mexico the next morning.
The show travels to Europe to witness a pair of charming Irish rogues challenging lonely peaks beneath the Cliffs of Moher, and all the way to the southern tip of Australia’s Tasmania state to experience the extreme, warping, freakish barrels of the wicked Shipstern Bluff.
Tahiti’s notorious Teahupoo is featured on the most amazing day yet at that South Pacific break as local Manoa Drollet and Hawaiians Ian Walsh and Shane Dorian ride the razor’s edge to escape from the heaviest tubes ever documented. Then the program will take an exclusive journey to the legendary Cortes Bank — in the open ocean 105 miles off the California coast — to witness South Africa’s Grant Baker and California’s Mike Parsons take on the biggest waves ever challenged in one of the most incredible surf missions of all time.
The year of extreme big wave adventures concludes at the gala Billabong XXL Awards show at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California, where $130,000 in prize money awards are given out to the sport’s elite in categories including Monster Tube, Monster Paddle, Surfline Best Performance, the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave and the coveted XXL Ride of the Year.
Chris Stiepock, Vice President & General Manager for Global X Events and Development is enthusiastic about the new partnership. “This is fantastic content for ESPN and we’re looking forward to distributing a show filled with spectacular surfing from all over the world,” said Stiepock. “Thanks to Billabong for putting together an event with a great global content platform.”
The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards show on ESPN2 is written and directed by Sam George and produced by Paul Taublieb and Media X International, Inc. (MXi). Executive Producers are Mark Hall, Graham Stapelberg, Bill Sharp and Sam Pontrelli.