Gabriel Medina and Stephanie Gilmore at the World Surf League Awards
The world's best surfers tonight traded sunlight for spotlight as they hit the red carpet for the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Awards - the night that celebrates the achievements of the 2014 season, and officially opens the 2015 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour year.
Accolades and awards are handed out to those that have contributed to the sport, including the Heat of the Year, Breakthrough Performers and, of course, the WSL Champions.
THE AWARD WINNERS:
Breakthrough Performers: John John Florence (HAW) and Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat of the Year: John John Florence (HAW)/Kelly Slater (USA) at Tahiti & Tyler Wright (AUS)/Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) at Bells Beach
Move of the Year: Julian Wilson (AUS) and Lakey Peterson (USA)
Wave of the Year: Kelly Slater (USA) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
WSL Junior Champions: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and Mahina Maeda (HAW)
WSL Longboard Champions: Harley Ingleby (AUS) and Chelsea Williams (AUS)
WSL Women's Runner-Up: Tyler Wright (AUS)
WSL Men's Runner-Up: Mick Fanning (AUS)
WSL Women's Champion: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
WSL Men's Champion: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
“Every heat last year was do or die,” Gilmore said. “The level of talent on tour has never been higher and the surfing has never been more exciting. To come away with a win in that kind of environment was incredibly rewarding on a personal level and it gives me great confidence heading into the year and women’s surfing for the future.”
“It is because of my support team that I’m here tonight,” Medina said. “My family, my friends, my fellow surfers on tour and my country. Brazil never had a world champion before".