BENJAMIN SANCHIS FLIES EUROPEAN FLAG WITH XXL VICTORY

BENJAMIN SANCHIS FLIES EUROPEAN FLAG WITH XXL VICTORY

Benjamin Sanchis won the coveted 'Biggest Wave Award' at the 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards held this past weekend at the Grove in Anaheim, California.

The 29-year-old free surfer picked up one of the night's most prestigious prizes, as well as $15,000 in prize money, after towing into a monster wave at Belharra on 16 February 2011. Belharra, an outer reef located approximately 2km off the coast of St. Jean de Luz, is only a short drive away from Sanchis' home base in Hossegor, south-west France.

After a day that undoubtedly ranks as one of his biggest career highlights to date, Benjamin added: "Surfing these kinds of waves, and taking and managing these kinds of risks, is all about teamwork - for that reason, I'd like to thank everyone that made that day at Belharra possible, including Julien Roulland who shot the footage. I'd also like to thank my friends, family and sponsors for all the support over the years, and a special thank you to my girlfriend, Luna."

Check out video of Sanchis' winning wave at: billabongxxl.com