THE 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards (BWA) nominees, including Ulladulla's Russell Bierke who's been shortlisted in the Wipeout of the Year category, are officially locked in.
The 19th Annual WSL BWA competition window came to an end on March 20 and spanned the previous 12 months of the world's greatest big wave surfers taking on the biggest swell in that timeframe.
Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across the eight categories.
A panel of judges chose the best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.
Top honours will be awarded across eight categories: Ride of the Year, Women's XXL Biggest Wave, Men's XXL Biggest Wave, Women's Biggest Paddle, Men's Biggest Paddle, Wipeout of the Year, Men's Best Overall Performance of the Year, and Hydro Flask Women's Best Overall Performance of the Year.
In the Wipeout of the Year category, Bierke, who was nominated for his wave at Nazaré, Portugal on January 26, is up against Portugal's Alex Botelho, Hawaii's Trevor Carlson, Brazil's Lucas Chianca and Hawaii's Makua Rothman for the prize.
While the performance categories salute the most successful rides of the past year, the Wipeout division presents the most amazing unsuccessful rides for online review.
Video of surfing's greatest aquatic mishaps has become a popular viral staple among surfing fans worldwide, often attracting millions of views and taking its place as a good-natured fixture in the Big Wave Awards.
Truly epitomising the courage needed for big wave surfing, the surfers nominated for this accolade show no shortage of heart and commitment.
The winners will be crowned at a celebration open to the public in Redondo Beach, California, on Thursday, May 2.