James Hollmer Cross in his Mission 5/4 wetsuit. Photo by: Stuart Gibson.
Winners have been announced in Surfing Life’s Oakley Big Wave Awards. In a gala evening, attended by a star-studded celebratory audience and the who’s who of the surf industry, three Australian men have been crowned the champions of Big Wave Surfing in Australian waters for 2013.
The premier Biggest Wave category came down to a brother versus brother battle as Tasmanians James and Tyler Hollmer Cross last year rode two of the biggest waves ever to be seen in Australian waters. Tyler Hollmer Cross walked away with the $20,000 winners cheque, narrowly beating his brother, James. Both were supremely stoked with their achievements, with Tyler stating that it was a victory for the Tasmanian big wave crew who made up four of the six finalists in that division.
“Our crew are an amazing bunch of chargers and photographers that all hang out as mates. Everyone is so supportive and we feed off each other’s positive energy and drive. I knew that the wave I caught, my winning wave, was the biggest of my life. These were the biggest waves I’ve ever seen in my life. As Tasmanians, we are lucky enough to have some of the biggest waves in the world on our doorstep. I knew I had to get out of the way of the lip so I didn’t get knocked out. I tried to pull through the back of the wave, but it took me with it and I was driven so deep into the abyss. It felt like my head was going to pop from the pressure. I managed to get one gasp of air before the wave behind that one landed on me. Eventually my brother, and fellow finalist, James, picked me up, but I was ill and I couldn’t see anything as my vision was blurred.”
Fellow Tasmanian Biggest Wave Finalists, Danny Griffiths and Mikey Brennan, broke their foot and tore knee ligaments respectively during the session.