Paige Alms of Hawaii wins the women’s 2017 wsl Pe’ahi challenge
Paige Alms (HAW) and Ian Walsh (HAW) have won the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) Pe’ahi Challenge today in towering 30-to-40 foot-plus conditions at the world famous Pe‘ahi in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii.
The second event of the 2017/2018 BWT season tested the top big wave chargers as a solid swell delivered massive surf over two days at Pe’ahi with wave faces exceeding 45 feet. Event officials have rated this year’s Pe’ahi Challenge a Gold coefficient, the highest possible BWT rating, which will allocate 15,625 points to first place.
2016 Women’s Big Wave Champion Alms successfully defended her event title today after defeating a stacked field of competitors in the Final. Alms, who became the first ever Women’s Big Wave Champion at Pe’ahi last season, made history once again with her unprecedented big wave victory.
“I feel so grateful to be able to sit out in an empty lineup at firing, perfect Jaws,” Alms said. “It doesn’t get much better than that. Every single one of the women today sent it on a bomb. There were big waves out there and I was kind of kicking myself for not going on one set, but I just feel super stoked and honored.”
The Women’s Pe’ahi Challenge saw all six competitors charge monstrous set waves in the 60-minute Final. Alms stayed selective throughout the Final, utilizing her local knowledge to take off on two gigantic waves for the winning score, an excellent 21.23 combined score (out of a possible 30).
“Anyone that says they’re not scared of this place, I think they’re lying,” continued Alms. “I think it’s the most powerful and intimidating big wave anywhere in the world, by far. I definitely look up to Ian (Walsh) and I’m super stoked that he won it. We couldn’t have asked for anything more – it definitely put on a show so thanks Pe’ahi!”
Line up for the Pe’ahi Challenge
Big wave veteran Keala Kennelly (HAW) earned second place in the women’s event with four fearless attempts. Kennelly turned in a 17.21 heat score, including an impressive completion for a 7.17 single-wave score. Justine Dupont (FRA) looked in great form with three big attempts and took the third place result. Bianca Valenti (USA), Andrea Moller (BRA) and Felicity Palmateer (AUS) also charged the epic conditions to earn fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively.
Ian Walsh of Hawaii wins the 2017 WSL Pe’ahi Challenge
Walsh earned his career-first BWT victory after dominating his Round 1 heat and the Final series. The 34-year-old, who was invited to compete as an event wildcard, capitalized on his opportunity to earn first place at his home break in Haiku and vault up to third place on the BWT rankings.
“This is a really big honor and I’m stoked that I can follow Billy (Kemper) and keep this thing on Maui,” said Walsh. “It was an incredible couple days of surfing, some challenging lulls but everyone here surfed really, really well and it was a pleasure to be in the water with them. It was fun to watch each heat almost, our sport progress as the waves got bigger and better. It feels just like those big free surf days, so I’m really honored and stoked.”
The men’s Final saw heated battles amongst the top six competitors. 2014/15 BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) gained an early lead with a 5.60, but the field quickly battled back with big attempts. Two-time Pe’ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper (HAW) opened his campaign with a committed 5.43 and maintained his do-or-die mentality after taking off impossibly deep on an enormous wave for a 6.57 backup score.
Ian Walsh of Hawaii advances to the finals after scoring a perfect 10 and placing third in the semifinal heat 2 of the 2017 WSL Pe’ahi Challenge
Kai Lenny (HAW), winner of the Puerto Escondido Challenge and BWT rankings frontrunner ahead of Maui, narrowly missed a collision with Ryan Hipwood (AUS) in the Final after committing to an under-the-ledge late drop into a 35-foot wave. Lenny managed to successfully ride out his first wave and stamp out a rail-carve for a 6.93 from the judges, then found a 4.40 backup score to finish fourth in the event. Lenny’s result strengthens his lead on the BWT with Kemper following closely behind and Walsh moving up to third.
Big wave veteran and Pe‘ahi professional Greg Long (USA) displayed good control throughout the event and maintained deep positioning in the lineup during the Final. En route to a fifth-place finish, Long took a high-line approach on his first wave in a barrel-hunt attempt and completed two rides to the channel for a combined heat score of 14.67.
The men’s second Semifinal saw event-best performances from both Walsh and Hipwood. Both surfers dropped Perfect 10’s for navigating steep takeoffs and cavernous barrels, with Walsh flying through two tube sections prior to winning the event.
Ahead of his runner-up result, Kemper narrowly got the edge over Danilo Couto (BRA) and Mark Healey (HAW) in Semifinal 1. Knowing Healey’s capabilities at Pe‘ahi, Kemper stayed close to the 35-year-old waterman in order to secure his position in the Final. Couto kept busy on the left-hand breaks, but fell just 0.57 points short of advancing through to the Final and will exit in Equal 7th place.
Highlights from the Pe’ahi Challenge can be found at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on the WSL’s Facebook page.
The 2017/2018 WSL Big Wave Tour season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components. The Southern Hemisphere window saw the completion of the Puerto Escondido Challenge earlier this year. The Northern Hemisphere window opened on October 15 and will run through February 28, 2018, with the potential to run the Nazaré Challenge in Portugal and the Mavericks Challenge in California.
WSL Big Wave Tour officials will monitor swell producing storms for the next four months and watch for the conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range for the remaining Northern Hemisphere events. Once the call is made, competitors will have 72 hours notice to be ready to compete.
Albee Layer of Hawaii advances to the semifinals after placing third in round one heat 4 of the 2017 wsl peahi challenge
The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) Pe’ahi Challenge completed men’s Round 1 today in epic 35 – 45 foot waves. With only the top three finishers from each six-man heat advancing out of Round 1, the world’s best big wave surfers battled the elements to secure a spot in the Semifinals.
Two-time Pe‘ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper (HAW) is off to a solid start after a big win in Round 1 Heat 1. The 27-year old garnered a 21.51 heat total (out of a possible 30) to advance straight to the Semifinals. Kemper’s win puts him within striking distance of a third-straight event victory when competition resumes tomorrow. Cristian Merello (CHL) and Mark Healey (HAW) will also advance to the next round with second and third place finishes, respectively. Koa Rothman (HAW) fell just 0.99 points short of advancing and will be eliminated along with Francisco Porcella (ITA) and replacement surfer Jimel Corzo (MEX).
“If there’s one way to kick off an event, I think that’s it,” said Kemper. “You got to work to play so that was definitely some hard work. I just kept my head in the right place and kept digging until I found the gold, and I found a really good wave. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out, but I’m very lucky that they [judges] gave me the score that they did. That was probably one of the best barrels I’ve ever got out here, so, almost made it, but I’m just stoked. I’m in a really good head place so I’m here to have fun.”
Billy Kemper of Hawaii advances to the semifinals after winning round one heat 1 of the 2017 wsl peahi challenge
2014/15 BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) is back in rhythm with his first heat win since last year’s Puerto Escondido Challenge. Rothman’s best wave earned him the highest single wave score of Heat 2, a 6.27, but his ride came with the price of a massive wipeout. The current BWT No. 7 will now focus on the Semifinals to continue his run at Pe‘ahi. Injury replacement Danilo Couto (BRA) went all out in the dangerous lineup to earn the second position. Two-time BWT Champion Greg Long (USA) battled through multiple wipeouts but eventually found a wave to earn him a spot in the Semifinals with a 13.94 heat total.
“That was a pretty good couple flips on the water,” Rothman said. “I’m just so happy to make a heat. This is my third year, and I haven’t made a heat until now, so it feels really good to be moving on. The swell is beautiful. There’s definitely some big bombs. We made a good call and stoked to have my feet up and relaxing and get ready for tomorrow.”
Ian Walsh of Hawaii advances to the semifinals after winning round one heat 3 of the 2017 wsl peahi challenge
Ian Walsh’s (HAW) incredible Heat 3 performance raised the bar as he earned a commanding 26.13 two-wave total out of a possible 30. Walsh also secured the highest single-wave score of the day, an impressive 8.90, for a massive drop into a 45-foot wave that he navigated expertly through to the inside bowl. The Haiku native found the two best waves of the 60-minute heat and advanced into the Semifinals well ahead of his fellow competitors.
“It’s definitely pretty lully and a very intense incoming swell so you can feel the long period and the energy in the ocean,” commented Walsh. “When they do come, there is some opportunity. We just got a little bit of a North wind so kind of picking and choosing the right waves and trying to just make sure you’re in the right place when they come. Those are my first two waves to open up the 2017/2018 winter, and it’s conveniently at home for me here. I’m glad we’re getting a start to the winter this early and hopefully this snowballs into something pretty special.”
Ian Walsh of Hawaii advances to the semifinals after winning round one heat 3 of the 2017 wsl peahi challenge
BWT Rankings leader Kai Lenny (HAW) followed closely behind Walsh with a 19.37 combined total. Heat 3 also saw darkhorse Ryan Hipwood (AUS) secure the third place position over top seeds Pedro Calado (BRA), Trevor Carlson (HAW) and Nic Lamb (USA).
Lucas Chianca (BRA) won the last heat of the day to close out Round 1. The Brazilian’s 20.50 heat total included outstanding maneuvers to vault him into the Semis. World No. 2 Jamie Mitchell (AUS) will join Chianca in the Semifinals, along with Albee Layer (HAW).
Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF) was not able to make the call time for his Round 1 heat and was replaced by Corzo in Round 1 Heat 1. Shane Dorian (HAW) withdrew from the event due to a back injury and was replaced by Couto.
Tomorrow’s call will be at 7:30 a.m. for a possible 8:00 a.m. HST start.
Danilo Couto of Brazil advances to the semifinals after placing second in round one heat 21 of the 2017 wsl peahi challenge
Surfline, Official Forecasters for the 2017/2018 WSL BWT season are calling for:
The long period NW swell that filled in throughout the afternoon should peak during the early morning hours on Saturday based on the data we’ve seen on the Northwest Hawaii buoy (about a half day indicator for Jaws). Saturday will see an easing trend in surf, although the early morning hours should offer strong surf in the 25-35’ range on the face, with the max sets pushing 40’+. Wind should be quite light in the morning, with light to moderate NE trades developing in the later morning and especially for the afternoon.
The Pe’ahi Challenge will be broadcast LIVE tomorrow via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.
Due to safety and environmental concerns, there is no location available for on-site spectating for the Pe’ahi Challenge. Big wave surfing fans are invited to watch the event on the live webcast that will feature close-in angles, slow-motion replays, and analysis. For those on Maui, viewing parties will be held at Charley’s Restaurant at 142 Hana Highway, Paia, HI 96779 (808-579-8085) and at Lulu’s Lahaina Surf Club Bar and Grill at 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy #A1 Lahaina, HI 96761.
2017/18 BWT Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper (HAW) 21.51, Cristian Merello (CHL) 19.94, Mark Healey (HAW) 18.83, Koa Rothman (HAW) 17.84, Francisco Porcella (ITA) 11.37, Jimel Corzo (MEX) 0.20
Heat 2: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 17.27, Danilo Couto (BRA) 14.84, Greg Long (USA) 13.94, Will Skudin (USA) 10.71, Tom Lowe (GBR) 7.54, Aaron Gold (HAW) 3.20
Heat 3: Ian Walsh (HAW) 26.13, Kai Lenny (HAW) 19.37, Ryan Hipwood (AUS) 15.03, Pedro Calado (BRA) 14.71, Trevor Carlson (HAW) 13.57, Nic Lamb (USA) 0.20
Heat 4: Lucas Chianca (BRA) 20.50, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 17.87, Albee Layer (HAW) 12.41, Joao De Macedo (PRT) 11.64, Nathan Florence (HAW) 9.34, Shaun Walsh (HAW) 3.54
2017/18 BWT Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: Billy Kemper (HAW), Cristian Merello (CHL), Mark Healey (HAW), Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Danilo Couto (BRA), Greg Long (USA)
SF 2: Ian Walsh (HAW), Kai Lenny (HAW), Ryan Hipwood (AUS), Lucas Chianca (BRA), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Albee Layer (HAW)
Congrats to our new issue cover star Conor Maguire on his WSL Big Wave Award nomination! He’s up for the Tube of the Year category. Also up for an award is Tom Lowe in the hard earned Wipeout of the Year, a category that gets crazier every year.
Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore by Flanagan
Jamie Mitchell at Nazaré by Soares
Francisco Porcella at Nazaré by Aleixo
The list of nominees for the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards have been announced. With $350,000 in total prize money to be allotted across the seven categories and a TAG Heuer Watch for each winner, the Big Wave Awards will honor the best performances of the year, from tubes to wipeouts. Photographs and videos of all the nominated rides can be viewed at worldsurfleague.com/bigwave.
Nominated rides come from every corner of the world, including California, Tasmania, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico and Fiji. Shortlisted surfers range from established veterans such as the newly crowned Big Wave Tour Champions Grant Baker (ZAF) and Paige Alms (HAW) to younger rising stars like Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), Trevor Sven Carlson (HAW) and Kai Lenny (HAW).
“This year’s WSL Big Wave Awards has seen a clear push from a group of younger surfers now making their mark in the big wave arena,” said Bill Sharp, the event’s director. “Diversity is probably the theme this year, with epic paddle sessions in places like California and Mexico, then tow days in Maui or Portugal to mix it up, with the young crew willing to try whatever discipline works best for the conditions at hand. Paddling is still regarded as the gold standard, but when it’s giant and windy — like it was at Jaws and Nazaré at times this winter — the limits were being pushed like never before.”
Another obvious trend from this season is the continuing emergence of Nazaré in Portugal as a big wave hotbed. Virtually unknown as a big wave break until the last six or seven years, the once-sleepy fishing village earned no less than nine nominations this year, including three contenders for the TAG Heuer XXL Biggest Wave Award and two nods for the Biggest Paddle division, more than anywhere else in the surfing world.
The WSL Big Wave Awards competition window concluded on March 21, 2017 and spanned the previous 12 months of surfing action. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across seven categories. A panel of judges chose the five best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.
The winners will be crowned at a gala invitation-only awards show at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, California on April 29, 2017. Viewers around the world are invited to watch the live webcast at worldsurfleague.com and live on the WSL’s Facebook page. The show will also be televised later on the CBS Sports Network in the US.
BILLABONG RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prizes total $125,000 – Videographer prizes total $13,000 Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016. (Video by Curt Myers.) Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.) Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 11, 2016. (Video by Etienne Aurelius.) Jamie Mitchell (Currumbin, Queensland, Australia) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on June 24, 2016. (Video by WSL Video Team.) Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on February 28, 2017. (Video by Javier Goya.)
Dan Ryan at The Right by White
TUBE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $10,000 – Still photography prize $5,000 Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, California, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on May 23, 2016. (Photos by Pat Stacy and WSL Photo Team.) Conor Maguire (Bundoran, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 15, 2017. (Photo by Conor Flanagan.) Bradley Norris (Perth, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.) Dan Ryan (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Trent Slatter and Chris White.) Shanan Worrall (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.)
TAG HEUER WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $5,000 – Videographer prize $2,000 Wilem Banks (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 26, 2017. (Video by Curt Myers.) Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 26, 2017. (Video by Blakeney Sanford.) Danny Griffiths (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on June 16, 2016. (Video by Dave Otto.) Tom Lowe (St. Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.) Rafael Tapia (Santiago, Chile) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.)
TAG HEUER XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $25,000 – Photographer prize $5,000 Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 23, 2016.
(Photo by Vitor Estrelinha.) Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 8, 2016.
(Photos by Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Marcus Rodrigues.) Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Pedro Bala, André Botelho, Silvino Esperanca and Rafael Riancho. Video by Timelapse Media.) Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Helio Antonio, Miguel Chaby, Rafael Riancho and Hugo Silva. Video by Timelapse Media.) Hugo Vau (Terceira, Azores, Portugal) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Mauro Correia, Pedro Cruz and João Serpa. Video by Timelapse Media.)
Chris Mashburn at Maverick’s by Quirarte
PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES:
Surfer prize $30,000 – Photographer prize $5,000 Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016.
(Photos by Michael Andrew and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Curt Myers.) Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 17, 2016.
(Photos by Rafael Elias, Vitor Estrelinha and Guilherme Soares. Video by Andreas Jansen.) Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho, Andrea Carminati, Pedro Cruz and Pedro Miranda. Video by Nuno Dias.) Christopher Mashburn (San Diego, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 26, 2017.
(Photos by Nikki Brooks, Silvin Morgan, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Blakeney Sanford.) Jamie Mitchell (Currumbin, Queensland, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 20, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho and Guilherme Soares. Video by WSL Video Team.)
Justine Dupont at Nazaré by Riancho
WOMEN’S BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:
First prize $15,000, $32,500 total Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) Justine Dupont (Lacanau, France) Keala Kennelly (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA) Nicole Pacelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil) Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)
“We are in the middle of the Pacific, on a volcanic rock, getting bludgeoned by massive swells. We are, as remote, as you can get.”
That’s Australian photographer Ted Grambeau talking. If you know Ted Grambeau, then you’ll be able to hear the sound of his deep, rough, vaguely erratic voice; the volume rising with each syllable, the delivery slowing with each word, dragging out each sentence until you can almost feel their isolation.
Far Nørth is a 40 minute film which took Player five years to make, and the end result is Cinematic experience unlike any other. Filmed in 4k with an original music score by the very talented Mickey Smith.
The movie takes the viewer on an epic journey that juxtaposes between the vast natural beauty of Winter in the North, and Ben’s drive to push the limitations of his body, mind and sport, offering a dramatic insight into how far an athlete is willing to go to try and be the best. Watch the teaser for the adventure in stunning 1920 x 1080 HD, with original Soundtrack scored by Mickey Smith.
The Quemao Class now has a much awaited date for its 2017 edition, it will be held on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th of March, we are expecting suitable conditions at el Quemao´s famous wave in Lanzarote.
It is a special and different event with the most extreme conditions, in which the riders that participate are divided into two categories: Surf and Bodyboard.
Some of the best surfers in the world will gather in the small fishing village of La Santa, to attend this incredible event. After the success of the 2016 edition, both famous and local riders will be participating, naming a few: Aritz Aranburu, Tiago Pires, Balaram Stack, Eric Rebiere, Ben Sanchis, Nic Von Rupp, William Aliotti, Luis Diaz, Miky Picon and locals including Manuel Lezcano, Jose Maria Cabrera, Franito Saenz, Marco Imbernon, among others.
The bodyboard section also includes a high level with TOPS such as Diego Cabrera, Antonio Cardoso, Yeray Martinez and locals including David Rodriguez, Óliver Arbelo, Hector Rodriguez, Patrick Ryan and many others.
Surfers invited to Quemao Class 2017 – Surfing
Alain Riou, Balaram Stack, Benjamin Sanchis, Charly Martin, Dimitri Ouvre, Eric Rebiere, Joshua Braddock, Kevin Bourez, Ian Cosenza, Miky Picon, Nic Von Rupp, Ramzi Boukhiam, Ramon Navarro, Roberto D´amico, Tiago Pires, Tom Lowe, William Aliotti, Alex Zirque, Antonio Marqués, Franito Sáenz, Joao de Macedo, Jose María Cabrera, Luis Díaz, Manuel Lezcano, Marco Imbernón, Yael Peña, Yeray García, Eric de Souza, Aritz Aranburu, Eukeni Masa, Gony Zubizarreta, Hodei Collazo, Indar Unanue, Natxo González.
Surfers invited to Quemao Class 2017 – Bodyboard
Alex Uranga, Amaury Lavernhe, Antonio Cardoso, Max Castillo, Pierre Louis Costes, Tahurai Henry, Aitor Martín, Aitor Ojeda, Ale Barbosa, Alvaro Padrón, Dailos Rodríguez, Diego Cabrera, Edey Martín, Fabian Rodríguez, Kevin Orihuela, Moisés Dorta, Octavio González, Pablo Claveras, Pedro Santiago, Ruyman Rey, Salomon Moore, Santiago Cruz, William Lujan, Yeray Martínez, David Rodríguez, Germán Abreu, Hector Rodríguez, Lucas Herrero, Óliver Arbelo, Pablo Gustems, Pablo Lecouey, Patrick Ryan
We emphasise that the Quemao Class is an event sponsored by La Bohemia Lanzarote Restaurant and is carried out thanks to the institutional support of the Canary Islands Government, Cabildo de Lanzarote, Turismo Lanzarote, Lanzarote European Destination and Tinajo Town Council.