The West

Big break for barrel-loving boardriders
Big break for barrel-loving boardriders

A Margaret River camel tackling an imposing Gracetown cow is tipped to win one of Australia’s most revered surfing competitions next week.

Jamie Scott’s image of Jeff “Camel” Goulden taking on the region’s famed Cow Bombie break is one of the leading entries into this year’s Oakley Big Wave Awards.

Margaret River’s secret breaks and surfers feature heavily in the contest, which includes nominations by Goulden, Paul Paterson and Paul Morgan taking on Cow Bombie and Grant Baker, Chris Ross, Cale Grigson and Chris Shanahan tackling the region’s infamous The Right.

Mr Goulden – who made headlines last year for paddling out to rescue shark attack victim Jon Hines at Red Bluff in WA’s north – received the most nominations for the competition.

The contest is judged by fellow big wave surfers, and Mr Goulden will contest the biggest wave and biggest paddle-in categories for his Cow Bombie conquest snapped by Mr Scott.

Despite stealing the spotlight at the contest, he still wasn’t completely satisfied with his nominated ride.

“It was only Jamie and I out there, trying to get some waves before the wind came up, ” Mr Goulden said. “I like the isolated waves, things get a bit crazy if you’re in a crowded place.

“I wish I’d had a better shot at this spot though.

“I wanted to be deeper. I want to better it for sure”

Mr Baker, who tackled the South West’s intimidating Right break, said he was lucky to survive his encounter with the monster wave.

“The wave itself is a blur, ” Mr Baker said. “All I could do was get as much speed as possible and aim for the shoulder.

“I was going so fast it took everything I had just to stay on the board and set a rail. “The view for those few seconds in the barrel was almost comical.

“It’s by far the biggest barrel I have ever looked out of and the heaviest single wave I have surfed.”

Winners of the Oakley Big Wave Awards will be announced at an event in Sydney on Wednesday.

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