Dorian Healey

The promise of the El Nino winter appears to have delivered for big wave surfers, as many long-standing records are ready to fall in this year's Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy. And more than ever before, the Monster Paddle category (just for surfers who catch their waves without any jet ski assistance) has taken center stage as the elite of the sport refocus on this elemental man-against-the-sea tradition. Visual evidence of these landmark performances can be viewed at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

While huge swells have blasted nearly every coastline of the planet in recent months, it has been the Hawaiian Islands which have had the most mind-bending proof of the power of the current El Nino weather phenomenon. December 7-8, 2009 saw one of the biggest swells in modern history batter the northern shores of the entire Hawaiian Chain, followed by another extraordinary day of outer reef waves on Christmas. From these historic moments of oceanic grandeur have come images which show several top big wave surfers paddling into what may well be the biggest waves ever caught by human power in the long history of the sport.

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Pauline Ado

The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy are one day away from commencing and the world’s best juniors surfers are assembling in North Narrabeen as the prepare to hunt down the most prestigious crown in junior surfing, the ASP World Junior Title.

Contesting in their respective regional ASP Pro Junior Series throughout the 2009 season, qualifiers for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships include 48 men and 18 women from the seven ASP regions: Africa, Australasia, Europe, Japan, North America and South America.

Pauline Ado (FRA), 18, reigning ASP World Junior Champion, failed to qualify via the 2009 ASP European Pro Junior Series (finishing 15th), but will be back to defend her crown courtesy of an ASP wildcard into the event. Last year saw the diminutive natural-footer blitz the field to become the first non-Australian ASP Women’s World Junior Champion.

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Davey Cathels

Davey Cathels (Nth Narrabeen/Sydney) capped off the perfect preparation for the coming Billabong Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Junior Championships by winning the Quiksilver Jetty Surf Pro Junior at Jan Juc Beach in Victoria today.

Cathels was in sensational form on this final day, scoring four excellent-to-outstanding 8 and 9-point rides on his way to demolishing his opponents through the Quarters, Semis and Final.

Final scores in the Final saw 18-year-old Cathels on a combined two-wave tally of 13.60 to Queensland’s Mitch Crews (Currumbin) on 9:00.

“I came down simply hoping to win through a few heats and fine-tune myself for the ASP World Junior Titles and to win and score big today feels fantastic - I’ll go into the World Titles fully ready to give it my best,” Cathels said. “I have set an aim to win the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series this year so this is the perfect start, it’s also the first Pro Junior win of my career which sort of gets the “monkey off my back” as I have had a number of Final and Semifinal results, but to win today feels good.”

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