(L-R) Matahi Drolett and Greg Long

TAG Heuer Sponsors WSL Big Wave Awards

Our second assignment for PR Newswire was an event activation for the Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer at City National Grove of Anaheim on May 1, 2015.

City National Grove of Anaheim Decorated for the WSL Big Surf Awards
City National Grove of Anaheim Decorated for the WSL Big Surf Awards

As the Official Timekeeper of the World Surf League‘s Big Wave Tour, and thereby, of the WSL Big Wave Awards, besides branding and atmosphere photos, I was tasked with capturing the award of a TAG Heuer sports watch to … an unknown winner at an unknown time, “near the end of the show.”

TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards
TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards

It proved to be a fun and unique photo shoot with a very enthusiastic, and VERY boisterous crowd. Seriously, from all the hoots and hollars during the videos, you would have sworn you were at the beach watching live! \m/

This is Matahi Drolett …

Matahi Drollet wins Tube of The Year Award
Matahi Drollet wins Tube of The Year Award

… who was all of 14 years old at the time he caught this “Tube Of The Year” ride. And that’s exactly what the room sounded like! 😀

Before the awards show, in the lobby where there was lots of free food and cash bars, there was a band full of “grommets” who rocked the house with really great covers of classic surf tunes and just plain old Rock ‘N Roll. For the unfamiliar, “grommets” are little people who can surf better than anyone else on the break because many of them started when they were like … 6 years old!

TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards
TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards

As we step inside the main room, it’s very clear this is a proper beach party as I’m greeted by a smiling Bettie! 😉

TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards
TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards

The TAG Heuer Countdown Clock was ticking off the minutes before the show as the crowd began to filter in and take their seats.

TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards
TAG Heuer Big Surf Event Activation at WSL Big Wave Awards

Robert Trujillo of the band Metallica stopped in to motivate people while presenting the TAG Heuer Wipeout Of The Year Award to Benjamin Sanchis. And, BTW, the grommets playing in the lobby earlier? One of them is his grommet … proud papa! 😉

Robert Trujillo (C) of the band Metallica presents the TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year Award to Benjamin Sanchis (R)
Robert Trujillo (C) of the band Metallica presents the TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year Award to Benjamin Sanchis (R)

The night was a constant mix of old and new with the likes of legends of surfing The California Golden Girls, who presented the Women’s Best Performance Award to current surfing star Paige Alms.

The California Golden Girls present the Women's Best Performance Award to Paige Alms
The California Golden Girls present the Women’s Best Performance Award to Paige Alms

Continuing the parade of surfing legends, Ian Cairns came on stage to present the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award.

Ian Cairns presents the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award
Ian Cairns presents the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award

It almost seemed like a competition of legendary stories as legend Greg Noll  and current star Greg Long took the stage to present the Paddle Award. The Gregs had the room roaring with laughter as they regaled the crowd with stories of surfing days past and present.

(L-R) Surf legend Greg Noll and current star Greg Long
(L-R) Surf legend Greg Noll and current star Greg Long

Finally the big moment came, the TAG Heuer Biggest Wave Award. This year it went to the very good and humble athlete, Shane Dorian. As you see, Shane got the watch, I got the shot. Mission accomplished! 😉

Shane Dorian wins the TAG Hueur Big Wave Award and accepts a sports watch from Bill Sharp, founder of the XXL Big Wave Awards
Shane Dorian wins the TAG Hueur Big Wave Award and accepts a sports watch from Bill Sharp, founder of the XXL Big Wave Awards

Here is the complete 2015 WSL Big Wave Awards Winners List along with all the nominees. And if you LOVE surf videos, there is no better place than the World Surf League’s YouTube Channel!

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to view full-size photos
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