Odyssey Chasing 100-foot wave

Surfing Rivals in Chase for El Nino’s 100-Foot Wave;
Preparations Underway for Australian Expedition

NEWPORT BEACH, CA- The Billabong Odyssey and its global quest to find andride a 100-foot wave is NOT taking a summer break.

With an El Nino weather pattern now developing and intense winter stormactivity approaching its annual peak in the Southern Hemisphere, the world’sbest big wave riders are heading Down Under to train for action and sharethe latest in high surf rescue techniques.

The Billabong Odyssey’s latest expedition comes on the heels of acontroversial 12-page article in the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine.For the color layout, legendary celebrity photographer Mark Seliger captured thevisual essence of Odyssey surfers Mike “Snips” Parsons, Brad “Gerr” Gerlach, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Shawn “Barney” Barron, Ken “Skindog” Collins and Josh Loya.

The story, by Evgenia Peretz, chronicles the amazing recent history of big wave surfing since the introduction of jet-powered watercraft andexamines the growing rivalries and rock-star lifestyles of some the best inthe business. “I admit I was frightened,” said Peretz of her time hanging out with the high surf hellmen.

According to Seliger, Rolling Stone’s chief photographer for 15 years, the Billabong Odyssey surfers brought a larger-than-life presence to thethree-day shoot. “You’re hanging out with extremely passionate butsupercool athletes,” Seliger recounts in Vanity Fair’s Contributors page. “They’relike the guys from Ridgemont High grown up and sophisticated.”

The Australian training sessions will begin in July and will bringtogether the current Billabong Odyssey team with a new group of big-wavelegends from the Southern Hemisphere. The gathering will mark a new phasein the Odyssey’s ongoing efforts to advance the safety and adventure of bigwave exploration-a newly adjusted format will now provide for multipleexpeditions at various surf destinations around the globe at the same time.