Laurie Towner: big wave rider

"The best wave is the one you don't think you'll make.”"

That's 22-year-old Laurie Towner's surf philosophy in a nutshell and it earned him $20,000.

Laurie, from Yamba in northern NSW, won Biggest Wave in the Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards at a crazy presentation evening in Bondi, where the cream of Aussie and New Zealand megasurf chargers gathered to honour their finest rides of the past year.

Always relaxed, Towner was gobsmacked by his win.

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Is this big enough? Mark Mathews won last year's Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards'

We’re now down to six Biggest Wave nominees, four Biggest Paddle-In contenders, and six possible Biggest Slabs from the 50-plus entries registered with organisers over the past eight months.

In just 10 days, Mark Mathews will know if he’s repeated his Biggest Wave win from 2009, or if he’s taken out the new category of Biggest Slab – or both! He’s been nominated in two divisions for a wave he rode off south-west Oz in June last year.

‘When I saw the wave coming I knew it was going to be the biggest barrel I’d ever ridden.
I’m so stoked I made it through to the finals two years in a row, not to mention in two categories! In Australia, we get big waves, but absolutely huge barrels, almost leading the world in that arena, so it’s great to have a reward (Biggest Slab) for riding those waves!’

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Mitch Crews at the 2010 Oakley Pro Junior in Australia

MitchCrews (Currumbin, Qld) today claimed the 2010 Grade – 5, AUD $30,000 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oakley Pro Junior in a dominating fashion ahead of Narrabeen’s (NSW) Davey Cathels.

Held in clean 1m waves at Main Beach on Queensland’s (Australia) North Stradbroke Island, Crews defeated Cathels in the final of the prestigious professional junior event, registering a combined two-wave total of 16.30 points (out of a possible 20) to Cathels’ 13.00.

“The monkey is finally off my back,” said Crews.

“I won a pro-junior about three years ago as a grommet and have been struggling to get over that final hurdle again for ages, so I’m just super stoked.”

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