Britain’s leading big wave surfer Andrew Cotton narrowly missed out on the top prize at the Billabong XXL awards in California last night.
Speaking to the Museum of British Surfing seconds after the results were announced, he said in typically stoic style: “Didn’t win! Gutted, but looking forward to riding an even bigger one in the coming year!”
It had been hoped the 34 year-old from Braunton in Devon could bring back a new world record for the UK, for the biggest wave ever ridden for his ride at Nazare, Portugal on February 2nd 2014. Early estimates put the wave at 80 feet, but the competition judges decided it was less than 62 feet – the height of the wave ridden at Belharra in France by the eventual Big Wave Award winner Gautier Garanx.
The existing record remains at 78 feet for a wave ridden at Nazare by Hawaiian Garrett McNamara in November 2011; his tow-in driver that day was Andrew Cotton. You can seen Cotton’s tow-in board & films of his wave on display now at the Museum of British Surfing in Braunton, as part of the British surfing pioneers exhibition ‘The First Wave’.
“Andrew has done Britain proud,” said Peter Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing. “It is the biggest wave ever ridden by a Briton, and he is up there with the world’s elite big wave surfers putting British surfing firmly on the map. Everyone is really proud of his achievements, and I’m sure he’ll go even bigger over the next 12 months!”
‘Cotty’ is being followed by Braunton-based South African filmmaker Mikey Corker who is creating a documentary about his mission to ride the world’s biggest waves called ‘Behind the Lines‘ for Epic TV.