IT was hard to call this comp but ultimately we had to award the consistent brilliance of Jason Corroto of Liquid Visons with the number one shooter position, a rubber suit and a trip to Tahiti.
It wasn't this shot alone that swung it, also it's the miles put in to document the Tasman swell and it's that effort in combination with the substance we're recognising. Head judge, Uge Tan, of Aquabumps said: "I love the angle, composition of this image at Avalon." We chose this shot but could easily have substituted it for any number of Jason's submissions over the duration of the swell.
The prize? An Agent 18, top-of-the-tree wetsuit of choice which pretty handy at this time of year on the East Coast. Plus an assignment to Tahiti to cover the Billabong Pro Teahupoo for us at magicseaweed.
We wanted to unearth some new skills via this competition and have been blown away by the level of emerging talent. It's all well and good running these comps but choosing a winner, well that's not easy.
You have to justify your decision and we made ours based upon what we wanted to see in a new face. Ability, dedication, an eye for light, composition and flair. Plus someone not afraid to take the plunge and get right in the teeth of the wave.
Ultimately the comp turned into a straight shootout between the winner and this from Josh McFarlane. An image Uge Tan loved. He said of this shot, "This pic is jaw dropping - I've sent it on to mates. It's shot well, sharp, good colours. The barrel shape and size is truly incredible. Far out… that is a lot of water moving. I am so bummed I didn't take this photo!"
If it was a comp for the raddest most incredibly moving barrel shot, then this would be the one.
We deliberately never restricted the comp to mainland Aus, calling it the Tasman Shootout as Fiji was always in the firing line. We knew from two weeks out that it should do something like this and so it came to pass. Resulting in one of the largest big wave scrum-downs in recent memory.
We're not sure how much use an Agent 18 wetsuit will be in Fiji but we'll be packaging it up and sending, though probably with some boardies in there too.