March 1, 2009
Waves magazine Announces 2009 Snickers Black Knight II Award Winner Gold Coast big-wave charger Ryan ‘Hippo’ Hipwood (and jet-ski tow-partner of Bra Boy Koby Abberton) takes out the Black Knight Award.
If there’s an Australian Idol for surfers this is it!
Seven of Australia and New Zealand’s best up-and-coming surfing superstars were hand-picked by Waves magazine to jostle for the chance to be crowned Black Knight for 2009. After five months of public voting, the new Knight in shinning armour is Ryan Hipwood from Palm Beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
“To win this means everything; it means all the hard work has paid off!” an elated Hippo said last night at the award ceremony held at Sydney’s Havana Club De Luxe on Oxford Street.
Also in attendance was runner-up Richard Christie from New Zealand, Waves Choice Award winner Craig Anderson from Newcastle (third), Stephen Walsh from Lennox Head (fourth), James Wood also of Lennox Head (fifth) and FUEL TV Party Animal award winner Brent Dorrington from the Gold Coast (sixth). With the night’s highlights filmed for an upcoming FUEL TV special, the surfers all let their hair down to celebrate with Hippo.
The Black Knight award is yet another string to an already impressive bow for the 23-year-old Queenslander. Last year Ryan not only took out the VonZipper trials at the infamous Teahupoo in Tahiti, tackling brutal waves and surviving a near-death experience, he also won the World Tow Championship with partner Koby Abberton in giant waves off the coast of Chile.
“I can’t believe it – a few years ago I was banging in nails as a tradie and now I’ve won this,” says Hippo. “I want to make a long career out of surfing, and winning the Black Knight will hopefully kick everything along.”