Francisco Porcella: winner of the Biggest Wave Award | Photo: Bruno Aleixo/WSL

Billy Kemper, Ben Andrews, Francisco Porcella, Shanan Worrall, Wilem Banks, Jamie Mitchell, and Paige Alms claimed the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards.

The 2016/2017 winter season delivered plenty of big wave surfing opportunities, both on the northern and southern hemisphere, and the world's finest XXL swell hunters made sure they were in the right place at the right time.

The WSL Big Wave Awards ceremony held in Huntington Beach paid tribute to the greatest rides of the year and distributed $350,000 in prize money across seven divisions.

Billy Kemper won the "Ride of the Year" for a stunning barreling wave ridden at Jaws/Peahi in Hawaii on November 11, 2016. After three nominations in 2010, 2013, and 2014, Kemper won an award.

"This is a dream come true. I was just a kid from Maui; I had nothing at one point. This is all passion. I love to do this and nothing is going to stop me from this," expressed Kemper.

Francisco Porcella had the privilege to catch and ride the biggest wave of the year. The surfer born in Cagliari, Italy, won the "Biggest Wave Award" for his performance at Praia do Norte on October 24, 2016.

"Thank you to Nazaré for that wave. It is a blessing to be connected with Mother Nature that way and feel that energy and power. That energy feeds us and makes us feel so alive in that moment," added Porcella.

The "Women's Best Performance Award" went to Paige Alms, the fearless wave rider from Haiku, Hawaii, who started surfing big waves at the age of 15.

"I am honestly in disbelief. A huge shoutout to all the women that inspire me to do my best and continue to push the level of women's surfing and to be a better person, friend, and athlete," concluded Paige Alms.

2017 WSL Big Wave Award | Winners

Ride of the Year: Billy Kemper
Videographer: Etienne Aurelius

Paddle Award: Ben Andrews
Photographer: Fred Pompermayer

Biggest Wave Award: Francisco Porcella
Photographer: Bruno Aleixo

Tube of the Year Award: Shanan Worrall
Photographer: Jamie Scott

Wipeout of the Year Award: Wilem Banks
Videographer: Curt Myers

Men's Overall Performance Award: Jamie Mitchell

Women's Best Overall Performance Award: Paige Alms

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