Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WA's Cater wins big wave award - The Age - 13th Feb 2008

The argument is finally settled, West Australian Alex Cater rode the biggest wave during the remarkable surfing session off the WA coast late last year.

But not only can Cater brag to his peers that he caught the wave of the day, his 14m plus ride won the $20,000 Oakley Surfing Life biggest wave award at a presentation in Sydney.

Cater's monster wave was one of several nominations from the extreme surfing session held by some of the world's best big wave junkies at `Cow Bombie', a break 6km off the south coast of WA, in September last year.

Judges, however, decided Cater's bomb was bigger than entries from Queenslander Mark Visser and world-renowned Hawaiian chargers Ian Walsh and Jamie Sterling.

For his effort Cater received a hefty cheque, international recognition and a new jet ski - a timely gift considering the dangerous offshore break recently killed his previous tow-in machine.

"The ski conked out about three metres from the worst possible spot," Cater recalled.

"We got three waves on the head and that was it for the ski."

Cater, who'd been runner-up to Damon Eastaugh last year, said he would shout the other finalists drinks then put the leftover prizemoney to good use.

"Now I can pay the taxman all the money I've owed him for the past few years," he said.

"In a way this award might change some things for me but it won't change why I go surfing."

Tasmanian Marti Paradisis may not have claimed the biggest wave, but he at least took consolation in receiving the best overall performance for his insane surfing session at the Apple Isle's remote Shipstern Bluff.