Top surfers from throughout the world have gathered in Hawaii for the seventh annual Smirnoff Pro-Am championships.
GV Spectators viewing giant waves Oahu Beach, Hawaii.
AERIAL VIEW surfer riding wave (2 shots).
SV Reno Abellira riding wave.
SV women contestants, including Laura Ching.
SV Laura Ching surfing.
SV Kim McKenzie (Australia) carrying board.
SV McKenzie surfing and CU posing with shark.
GV Jeff Hakman surfing.
GV surfers riding waves.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Top surfers from throughout the world have gathered in Hawaii for the seventh annual Smirnoff Pro-Am championships.
Giant waves off Oahu's North Shore gave the 42 contestants tough practice runs.
The championships run---from 17-30 November---have attracted most of the top surfers from last year's contest. These include Hawaii's Reno Abellira, who won last year's title and is the favourite for this year.
Seven women will compete with the men. Laura Ching of Hawaii, recognised as the world's best women surfer, is making her third appearance. Her toughest female competition is expected to come from Australian national champion, Kim McKenzie. Ms McKenzie is a professional shark killer who patrols 60 miles (about 90 kilometres) of Australian coastline for the Australian Government.