- 13 August 2009 | Surfing
A mad dash from their homes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa paid off for Maya Gabeira and tow surfing partner Carlos Burle as they rode the biggest waves of the season at the notorious Dungeons break this week.
Photos of the South American pair in action are now among the leading contenders in the Biggest Wave category of the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.
Also captured challenging some massive walls at the infamously sharky break were Grant "Twiggy" Baker (Durban, South Africa), Andrew Marr (Cape Town, South Africa) and Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA). All three have either won or been finalists in the XXL Awards in recent years.
Gabeira, 22, has already won the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award three years running, but on August 11 she reaffirmed her status as the top female in big wave surfing when she charged down an enormous, bumpy face after being towed in by Burle on a personal watercraft.
The duo arrived in Africa five days ahead of the giant swell in order for Gabeira to obtain her skipper's license to legally operate the jet-powered craft.
According to Gabeira, "My days previous to the big day were the biggest mission ever! The swell came with onshore winds which the waves and ocean bumpy. But in the end of the day everyone had managed to get some bombs and safely finish a day of big surf.
"My biggest wave was just one drop and had a crazy boil in the face that I managed to jump through it," said Gabeira. "It was exciting to get that much speed down the face and manage to make such an irregular wave on my backside. Thanks to Carlos I had the biggest waves of my life that day!"
Gabeira was able to return the favor, putting her new driver's license to work and towing Burle into his share of monsters along the spooky offshore reef.
The tenth annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards season runs through March 19, 2010 and acknowledges the biggest and best ridden waves of the year based on the photographic evidence.
Additional entries have also been arriving daily from around the world in all the key event categories including Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and the $50,000 XXL Ride of the Year.