For the fourth year running, surfer Maya Gabeira scooped the Girls’ Best Performance honor at the Billabong XXL Awards in California.
The Girls’ Best Performance prize is given to the surfer who’s produced the greatest number of outstanding performances at the most diverse number of venues over the course of the year, with the way they conduct themselves safely and considerately in the waves also a consideration.
But a large element is the size of the waves and the skill and bravery of the surfer – Maya rode a massive wave in Teahupoo, Tahiti, last October, and the action footage was captured by Red Bull.
"This season was like a dream." –Maya Gabeira
The resulting video also saw her nominated for the Ride of the Year award at the glittering ceremony in Anaheim, Calfornia, widely regarded as the ‘Oscars of surfing’. Grant "Twiggy" Baker eventually won this 'Oscar', but Maya's incredible footage convinced 400 fellow surfers and surf writers to choose her to receive the women's overall crown, along with a check for $5,000.
A fourth such award in succession underlines the high regard with which Maya continues to be held in the surfing world. Another inspirational young surfer, Bethany Hamilton, presented her with the prize – the 20-year-old has herself become an international surf star despite losing an arm in a shark attack six years ago.
“This season was like a dream,” said Maya. “I feel blessed for everything that happens in my life.”
Watch the video of the stunning big wave in Tahiti below.