Laurie Towner gets a congratulatory hug and giant cheque for $20,000 at the awards ceremony.
Laurie Towner gets a congratulatory hug and giant cheque for $20,000 at the awards ceremony. Bill Morris.

Big wave earns Laurie $20,000

WHEN it comes to surfing giant waves, Angourie surfer Laurie Towner has gone bigger and harder than any other surfer in Australasian waters.

Towner has just taken out the coveted Biggest Wave title at the Surfing Life Big Wave Awards in Sydney.

The 22-year-old’s winning ride was snared at Cow Bombie, a deepwater reef off the south-west Western Australian coast, where Towner and a few mates had flown to after hearing one of the biggest swells of the season was on its way.

They had waited out a morning of gale-force winds and rain before heading out on jetskis to face the heaving ocean.

“It’s the fastest I’ve ever gone on a surfboard,” Towner said of his winning ride.

“Most big wave spots in Australia are quite close to the land.

“This one’s a few kilometres offshore and you’re surrounded by ocean. It’s not somewhere you want things to go wrong.”

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As well as the biggest wave title, Towner also took home a cheque for $20,000.

But he’s not about to spend it all at once.

“I’m going to try not to let it affect me ... I look at it as some extra money to chase more big waves around the world,” Towner said.

The Surfing Life Big Wave competition gives surfers from Australia and New Zealand a 12-month window to be photographed or filmed catching the biggest waves they can.

The photographic evidence is then judged and titles are handed out for the biggest wave, the biggest slab, and the biggest paddle-in wave surfed.

Big Wave maverick Doug Young from New Zealand took out his third biggest paddle-in award.

Mark Mathews of Maroubra took $5000 for the biggest slab award – a new category designed to recognise a type of big wave that breaks as wide and thick as it is high.

 



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