Andrew Cotton: have you got a ruler?

The contest window for the 2014 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards has been concluded.

The 2013/2014 winter season showed why big wave surfing has a bright future ahead. In Ireland, Mexico, Tasmania, Tahiti, Portugal, California, Western Australia, Hawaii and France, the number of quality waves ridden meant a record number of entries for the XXL competition.

"This was clearly the most outrageous year for extreme big waves in the fourteen years of the Billabong XXL Awards," says Bill Sharp, director of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.

"It will be remembered as a time when nature provided a grand stage for the world's best big wave surfers to make global headlines taking on the swells produced by some of the most intense storms on record".

Adding even more fuel to the XXL fire are the waves ridden in Europe during several mind-blowing swells this winter which produced amazing waves and hairy rides at Nazaré, Portugal.

Carlos Burle and Andrew Cotton may have beaten the world record for the biggest wave, in the same spot where Garret McNamara dominated the 2011 surf beast.

The nominees in seven award categories - Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Best Tube, XXL Biggest Wave, XXL Wipeout of the Year, Best Overall Performance and Girls Best Performance - will be revealed before the end of March, and the gala awards presentation is set for May 2nd, at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California.