Stab Magazine | Andrew Cotton Blows Out His Knee After Winning Wipeout Of The Year

Andrew Cotton Blows Out His Knee After Winning Wipeout Of The Year

Remember the Brit that broke his back getting catapulted at Nazare? Well, he’s injured again. 

news // Dec 16, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last week at Surfer Poll, Andrew Cotton took wipeout of the year in a landslide victory. Cotton broke his back on the very replay-able and frankly shocking wipeout that won him the award. After an uncommitted and late bottom turn, Cotty was blown skyward by the lip and sent 25-or-so-feet out into the flats where he broke his back on impact.

We were both astounded and thankful that Andrew was able to make a full recovery. And especially psyched to see him back in the Nazare challenge a few weeks ago. 

There’s some old saying that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but whoever said that is full of shit on two fronts. Firstly, it does strike the same place twice, pretty bloody frequently. Secondly, they obviously didn’t consider big wave surfing when coining this idiom. 

When it comes to surfing big waves, your chances of getting cooked are astronomical regardless of your history. Mark ‘Chalk’ Mathews being exhibit A. 

Unfortunately for Andrew there wasn’t long between drinks (read: hospitlisations) either. A few days ago, Cotty found himself back at his second home, the Manchester Rehabilitation centre. 

At the Punta Galea challenge on Sunday, Cotty had a solid roller land on his back leg injuring the cruciate ligament in his right knee. He’ll likely be out of action for another six months. A long stint considering he’s only been back in the water since June after breaking his back last November.

“What can I say, you gotta pay to play. Absolutely gutted to get injured in the Punta Galea Challenge yesterday, this wave landed on my back leg and lit me up pretty intensely.” Andrew posted to Instagram two days ago.

Cotty told the BBC that he was underwater for 25 seconds after the wipeout before the lifeguards pulled him aboard the ski. 

Back at home, the Manchester rehabilitation clinic. Photo: BBC

“I don’t think people understand the force of being hit by that amount of water. It’s like being hit by a lorry, and you can’t train for that.” Andrew told the BBC. “It’s gutting. It felt like it was all going so well and I was getting stronger and looking to peak in the second half of the season.”

Andrew Cotton’s now 39 years old, and while he’s given big wave surfing a solid dig after retiring from plumbing and lifeguarding, it appears the oceans not supportive of his pipe dream. 

Let’s hope we see the bloke from Devon giving it another crack next year when his legs healed. It’s just a shame there’s no footage this time to enter into the wipeout of the year awards.


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