On Friday, December 21, big-wave surfer Greg Long suffered a wipeout on a giant wave at Cortes Bank. In the aftermath, he fought through a three-wave hold down before losing consciousness in the water. A detailed report from ESPN described the full incident on December 24. Here is part of their account:
Long—a repeat Billabong XXL winner who's also taken the Maverick's contest—was forced off his board when fellow surfer Garrett McNamara unknowingly dropped in on him, blocking Long's line and causing both men to tumble into the deep. The massive wave the pair paddled into (about 25 feet, according to on-location photographer Frank Quirarte) pinned Long down through a rapid series of bombs and knocked the wind out of him, preventing him from catching his breath whenever he managed to break through the wash.