Hurts worse than mulit-wave hold down.
The nominees for all categories in this year’s WSL Big Wave Awards are in and the standard bearers are well represented. Shane Dorian, Twiggy Baker, Jamie Mitchell, Ross Clarke-Jones. Some surprising but welcome new additions too. Damien Hobgood, Dingo Morrison. But there is one glaring omission. The biggest wave (maybe) ever ridden.
Benjamin Sanchis, handsome Frenchman with a chipped-tooth smile, towed into a Nazare monster one windy December 11th day and skittered down what many believe to be a 108 ft wave. He fell off somewhere ¾ of the way through but wow. Big. But not included in either the Biggest Wave or Ride of the Year category. Bill Sharp and the powers that be would be forgiven if they had simply deemed the wave uncompleted, and to be fair, Mr. Sharp did go on record to the Inertia, surf website for geriatric shut-ins, in January saying, “The rider must complete the meaningful portion of the wave and Sanchis fell on his…It would idiotic to encourage someone who is a total kook to try to go on a 200-foot closeout he has no chance of surviving and will get a posthumous award.”
But! BeachGrit’s exclusive insider tells us that when it was time to actually choose which waves go accepted and where they went, Sanchis’ wave was not deemed uncompleted. It was not deemed anything because the committee totally forgot about it! Like, literally forgot it happened and when they were eventually reminded, it was slotted in as the last in the Wipeout of the Year category. Maybe it deserves to be there but to be forgotten about? At (maybe) 108 ft? That must hurt worse than 200,000 tons of water on the head.