Justine Dupont: the French surfer's January 13, 2023 ride at Cortes Bank earned her the Ride of the Year award | Photo: Frank Quirarte

Justine Dupont claimed the top honors at the inaugural New Big Wave Challenge awards held in Nazaré, Portugal.

The French big-wave surfer won Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, and Surfer of the Year in the women's categories.

Driving her victories was a wave she rode at the Cortes Bank, a rogue seamount 100 miles off the California coast last January while filming for the HBO Documentary Series "100 Foot Wave."

The wave was estimated at 75 feet on the face and will be in contention for a Guinness World Record.

"It's nice to once again experience a beautiful evening dedicated to big wave surfing. I hope the event will last and continue to grow. Many thanks to Bill Sharp for starting it again," expressed Dupont.

Also dominating the proceedings was Hawaii's Nathan Florence, who grabbed two of the Oscar-style trophies for Ride of the Year and Surfer of the Year.

Florence's winning wave, which he took on at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland, was deemed to be the best of the 2022/2023 season by a panel of 200 surfing experts who voted by a secret ballot.

Other winners included a tie in the men's Biggest Wave division, where the wave ridden by Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré was deemed to be in the same height range as the one Shaun Walsh caught at Jaws on Maui.

The Paddle Awards were taken by Chacha Ibarra at Punta de Lobos in his home country of Chile, and Laura Enever, who caught a gigantic wave on Oahu's North Shore last January, which should end up as another Guinness World Record entry.

Ned Hart from Dunsmore, Western Australia, was selected as the Young Gun honoree based on an amazing wave he rode at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania.

Hart was just 16 at the time.

Shipsterns also delivered the Wipeout of the Year for Danny Griffiths.

The arrival of the New Big Wave Challenge marked the first time in three years that the elite of big wave surfing were invited to walk the red carpet and be celebrated on stage for their amazing achievements.

Event creator Bill Sharp was thrilled at the outcome.

"Big wave surfing once again has a platform where the surfers, the shooters, and the fans can all come together to follow the best the sport has to offer," said event creator Bill Sharp.

"I'm beyond stoked at how this first edition came together and how the surfers rallied behind it. This is just the very start of something great."

"And now that the first awards are in the can, we can jump right back into it with the 2023/2024 event cycle underway, and El Niño expected to produce an epic winter."

The New Big Wave Challenge | Winners

Surfer of the Year

Men: Nathan Florence (Hawaii)
Women: Justine Dupont (France)

Ride of the Year

Men: Nathan Florence at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland (video by João Tudella)
Women: Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank (video by Johnny Decesare and Tucker Wooding)


Men: Chacha Ibarra at Punta Lobos, Chile (video by Oscar Fredes Rodrigues and Rodrigo Farias)
Women: Laura Enever at Outer Reef Oahu (video by Ian Grose, photo by Daniel Russo)

Biggest Wave

Men: Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré (video by Tim Bonython) and Shaun Walsh at Jaws (video by Carlo Carbajal and photo by Fred Pompermayer)
Women: Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank (video by Johnny Decesare and photo by Frank Quirarte)

Wipeout of the Year

Danny Griffiths at Shipstern Bluff (video by Talon Clemow)

Young Gun

Ned Hart (Australia)

Videographer of the Year

Tim Bonython (Australia)

Contributions to the Sport

Gary Linden (Big Wave Tour founder)
Walter Chicharro (Nazaré Mayor)

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