Ross Clarke-Jones © Storm Surfers | Ross Clarke-Jones at Pedra Branca, off Tasmania

The best surf snap of the last year, as decided by Nikon, will be announced at the Australian Surfing Awards on Thursday night. The competition is fierce…

Among the many awards being handed out at the Manly Novotel in New South Wales on Thursday night will be the gong for Surf Photo of the Year. The 20 finalists, chosen by Nikon, include such snappers as Bill Morris, Brad Masters, Peter Joli Wilson, John Respondek, Troy Simpson, Ray Collins, Russell Ord, Luke Shadbolt, Simon Williams, Mark Onorati, Andy Chiz, Andrew Shield and Jon Wright.

See just how strong this year's competition is in the following clip…

Other prizes include Male and Female Surfer of the Year, Rising Star Award, ASB Surfing Spirit Award, Waterman of the Year Award, Peter Troy Lifestyle Award, Simon Anderson Club Award, Surf Culture Award and the Nikon Surf Movie of the Year.

Perhaps the most important of all the evening's announcements, though, will be the induction of Sydney-born big-wave surfer Ross Clarke-Jones into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame. The soon-to-be 34th member of that illustrious group had this to say:

“I’m still really enjoying hunting for waves. Riding them is one thing, but the journey getting there is another. There can be so much disappointment if you get to a wave and it’s no good. You go through a lot of trouble to get there so if you can enjoy the ride and the journey then that’s half the fun. But the best thing out of nearly 30 years of surfing is the great people I have met and places I’ve been to along the way. It’s just incredible... it’s priceless what surfing has given me.”

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