For surfers in Hawaii on Tuesday, March Madness entailed paddling or being towed into monstrous waves, thanks to the arrival of a late-season north swell.
The swell, which also will generate giant waves at Maverick's off Half Moon Bay over the next few days, has put the world's premier big-wave surfers in a scramble to post last-minute entries in the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
The contest accepts photo and video entries in various categories from thrill-seeking pros who spend each year traveling the planet in search of the biggest waves. The window closes on the 2010-11 event Sunday night.
Hawaii's Shane Dorian, who is pictured above and below at Jaws off Maui, presumably has become one of the favorites to claim the Monster Paddle award after for his paddle-in exploits at the legendary tow-in spot.
As for Maverick's, the swell will arrive but wind and rain might prevent any waves from being ridden. Thanks to Mike Neal for providing the copyrighted Shane Dorian images.
-- Pete Thomas