Brazilian Maya Gabeira won yet another Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Award last Friday -- her fifth -- beating out Americans Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly and Savannah Shaughnessy, and Brazilian Silvia Nabucco (all seen in the video below).
Maya won four Billabong XXL awards in a row from 2007-2010 but says this year's was extra special.
"This has been the best year ever in women's surfing," she said. "I am very honored to win this award because the sport has evolved so much. I have been coming here for six years now and usually there are one or two standouts. This time the level is so much higher with all five nominees being solid entries."
Nathan Fletcher, who was wonderfully profiled in Surfer in January, took home the award for Ride of the Year for conquering the monster swells of Teahupoo, Tahiti, on August 27, 2011.
"I didn't expect that out of myself," said Fletcher. "The wave at Teahupoo was pure fate. Somehow it just popped up and I was the one who got it. Somehow, I'm not sure, maybe Sion [Milosky, the former award winner, who drowned in 2011] gave it to me. I can't believe it. I guess it is all the result of hard work and I am very appreciative of that."