Five-times World Surfing Champion Stephanie Gilmore will be inducted as the 35th member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in Sydney next Wednesday, 20th February.
Her induction is part of the 2013 Australian Surfing Awards to be held at Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont.
The Awards will also mark a significant milestone in Surfing Australia’s history as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary after its formation in 1963 as the Australian Surfriders Association.
No competitor in the history of professional surfing has made such a dramatic debut as Gilmore did in 2007. Winning four of the eight events, the then 19-year-old won the World Title in her first year on Tour – a feat unprecedented in the sport.
After her debut World Title triumph, Gilmore retained the crown for the next three years. Sadly, it was not another competitor that would stop her in her tracks, but a brutal assault at her home at Tweed Heads just prior to the start of the 2011 season. Gilmore relinquished the crown that year to Hawaiian Carissa Moore but it fuelled a competitive fire inside and she emerged in 2012 with a fierce determination and swept back to the top in a blistering year to claim her fifth World Title.
A marvellous ambassador for Australian surfing on the world stage, Gilmore continues to win international accolades including the 2010 Laureus Action Sports Person of the Year Award and the 2011 ESPN ESPY Female Action Sports Person of the Year.
“This is such an honour,” Gilmore, 25, said. “Everyone in the Hall of Fame has had such an incredible impact on the world of surfing and to be included in that is unreal.
“I always feel like these awards are premature for myself, because I’m nowhere near retiring but it is very flattering and I love that my achievements in surfing are being recognised on larger scales.”
Gilmore is also a finalist for Female Surfer of the Year. Other awards to be announced on the night include the Male Surfer of the Year, Rising Star Award, Waterman of the Year, ASB Surfing Spirit Award, Peter Troy Lifestyle Award, Surf Culture Award and the Simon Anderson Club Award.
The Awards will also feature the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year and Nikon Surf Movie of the Year, which will showcase the finest work taken by Australia’s best surf photographers and filmmakers during the past 12 months.
The judging panel included 15 members of the surfing community including competitor, industry and media representatives.
As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, Australia’s 10 Most Influential Surfers 1963-2013 will also be named during the ceremony. The campaign was conducted through a public vote and through votes provided by the 34 Inductees in the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.
Australian Surfing Awards – Finalists:
Male Surfer of the Year: Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson
Female Surfer of the Year: Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright
Rising Star Award: Wade Carmichael, Jack Freestone, Nikki Van Dijk
Waterman of the Year Award: Mark Mathews, Jamie Mitchell, Jeff Rowley
Australian Surf Business Surfing Spirit Award: Misfit Aid, Quiksilver Foundation, Russell Molony
Peter Troy Lifestyle Award: Pam Burridge, Jeremy “Wire” Curtain, Bob Smith
Surf Culture Award: The Reef by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Tura New Music, Australian Open of Surfing, White Horses Magazine
Simon Anderson Club Award: Kirra Surfriders Club, LE-BA Boardriders Club, Noosa Malibu Club
Nikon Surf Movie of the Year: Dear Suburbia, Immersion, Storm Surfers 3D
Nikon Surf Photo of the Year: Top 20 finalists can be viewed from the video below:
The Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame is proudly supported by the NSW Government, through Destination NSW, and is a key event on the NSW Events Calendar.
The Australian Surfing Awards is also supported by the Australian Sports Commission, Nikon, Destination NSW, VB, Suncorp, TravelSIM, Australasian Surf Business Magazine and the Federal Government’s Illicit Drugs in Sport Program.
Source: Surfing Australia | Author: Tim Brimblecombe