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Billabong Ride of The Year Nominee - Ben Andrews

Maverick's November 9, 2016 San Francisco resident Ben Andrews has flirted with the Big Wave Tour (BWT) before, when he was invited to the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic in 2012 - 2013. At that event, he surfed with aplomb and was one of the standouts in the opening round. Before that, he made a name for himself by catching a giant Maverick's wave in December 2006, which earned him a nomination for that year's Monster Paddle-In Award. When Maverick's is firing, he's always there, and consistently finds the best waves of the day through a mix of patience, local knowledge and equipment.

With this thundering beast of a wave at Maverick's, the 40-year-old proved that, without a doubt, his entry to last year's Ride of The Year category was no fluke. Ben pushed himself over the ledge to masterfully navigate his way to safety on one of the best Maverick's waves of the year. The fact that there were fairly few good days at the Northern California break in 2016 makes this one that much more impressive.

There is a split second, as Ben jumped to his feet, when things went a bit weightless and doubtful. But he bit back in and successfully circumvented a concaving section and a miscreant flying board being engulfed behind him. His mastery of the drop and his sudden and powerful bottom turn show Ben as the big-wave maestro that he is, and his total commitment should hold him in good stead for the Ride of The Year. As the only entry from Maverick's, this entry will gain loads of attention from the judges. Still, there are some other exhilarating rides in this category, so it will be a close one. Will Mr. Andrews get the nod?

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