Thirty-five of the world's best professional surfers gathered at Waimea Bay, near Honolulu, Hawaii recently for this year's Smirnoff World Surfing Championships.
GV Waves hit jetty with surfers in foreground
LV Two men surfing
LV R. Abellira (white board) surfing
LV J. Hakman surfing
SV People on beach
LV P. Townend wipes-out
SV Mrs. L. Chung surfing
LV Surfer loses balance on top of wave and dives from crest
SV Surfer on beach with broken board
LV Abellira surfing successfully
CU&SV On the beach Abellira receives cheque and kiss from wife (2 shots)
Initials ET/1706 ET/1732
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thirty-five of the world's best professional surfers gathered at Waimea Bay, near Honolulu, Hawaii recently for this year's Smirnoff World Surfing Championships.
Five thousand spectators turned out expecting the favoured Australians to win the title for the fourth time. But they were no match for the 5 foot, five inch Hawaiian surfer Reno Abellira on the giant 20 to 35 feet high surf.
Abellira had never previously won a world-class event and baat his compatriot Jeff Hakman by a mere half point. It was Hakman's third consecutive second place finish in the Smirnoff Championships.
The only Australian to figure in the top placing was Peter Townend, who came fourth. On one of this rides he experienced a "wipe-out" on the His comment: "Never been so scared in my life."
The total prize money for the Championships was over GBP 4,000 sterling (11 thousand US dollars), of which Abellira received about GBP 2, 000 sterling (5 thousand US dollars).
SYNOPSIS: Huge waves crashing across Waimea Bay, near Honolulu, Hawaii were the "playing field" for the recent sixth annual Smirnoff World Surfing Championships. Five thousand spectators turned out expecting the Australian competitors to expecting the Australian competitors to win. But the giant surf favoured the hawaiians, with fie men in the finals. Reno Abellera of Honolulu thrilled the crowed with spectacular forty miles per-hour rides across the huge waves.
The lead changed as another Hawaiian, Jeff Hakman, made several near-perfect scoring rides in his nine-foot long surfboard. Surfing experts agreed it was the biggest surf ever for any contest anywhere in the world. And it was hard to ride - as fourth place finisher Peter Townend of Australia learned in this "wipe-out". He said he'd never been so scared in his life.
Six women competed in the Championships, but failed to make the finals. Here Laura Ching shows the form that won her one thousand dollars for the best performance by a women.
During the finals the waves became bigger and wipe-outs more spectacular. Surfboards broke and injured some contestants.
Hawaii's Abellira, who had never previously won a world-class event, defeated compatriot Hakman by half point. It was Hakman's third consecutive second place in this event.
Back on the beach, Abellira receives his prize money - and a kiss from his wife.