The start of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT) season is set to make history at the Billabong Pro Pipeline, as the women will compete at the iconic Pipeline alongside the men in full competition for the first time. The first stop on the men’s and women’s schedule will host 13 rookies, seven World Champions, and countless World Title contenders in one of the most anticipated competitions of the year.
Women Will Make History at Billabong Pro Pipeline
A benchmark competition for surfing’s history will kickstart the 2022 season with the first-ever full CT competition for the women. Last year, the women finished the last three rounds at Pipeline to complete the Roxy Pro Maui contest, spotlighting incredible performances from two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in waves of consequence. Now, the world’s best surfers will get their opportunity to shine alongside men’s competition for the first time in history as fully integrated events. The CT veterans will also be joined by the next generation of talent when the Billabong Pro Pipeline gets underway.
Rookies Prepare for Championship Tour Debuts
For the women, three Hawaii teenagers in Bettylou Sakura Johnson, 16, Luana Silva, 17, and Gabriela Bryan, 19, join Australia’s India Robinson, 21, and Molly Picklum,19, on the 2022 CT. While Bryan secured her spot among the CT well before the final Challenger Series event, the others needed to prove themselves capable of rising to the occasion and will now look to cement their places amid the Top 17.
On the men’s side, an onslaught of talent joins the world’s best with a diverse field of rookies who hope to make their mark. Jake Marshall (USA) notes the first American to qualify since Griffin Colapinto and Caroline Marks in 2018, Carlos Munoz became Costa Rica’s first male qualifier to the CT while Peru’s Lucca Mesinas became the first male from his country to qualify. A Brazilian duo of Samuel Pupo and Joao Chianca look to add their presence to the ‘Brazilian Storm’ while a trio of Australians including Liam O’Brien, Callum Robson, and Jackson Baker look to add to their country’s incredible history in the sport.
Wong, Mamiya, and Tudela Awarded Wildcards to the Billabong Pro Pipeline
After Moana Jones Wong’s (HAW) undeniable showing at the HIC Pipe Pro QS 1,000, the North Shore local earned herself a wildcard spot into the Billabong Pro Pipeline and is arguably one of the lineup’s standouts when Pipeline comes to life. The 21-year-old will be a sure threat to the world’s best when the opening horn sounds.
“I am so stoked to be given this opportunity to surf in the first ever women’s event at Pipe,” said Wong. “This has always been my favorite contest to watch, so I am over the moon that I am not going to be just watching, but I am going to be competing against the world’s best at my favorite wave in the world. Representing the North Shore and having a lot of experience in the Pipe lineup is great for me but, at the same time, Pipeline is a super tricky wave and even the best of the best out there struggle. I am very humbled to be able to surf out there and be from here.”
Joining Wong, Barron Mamiya’s (HAW) exceptional showing at the HIC Pipe Pro earned him a runner-up finish and a wildcard alongside former Pipe Invitational runner-up and event wildcard Miguel Tudela (PER).
“Growing up on the North Shore, me and all my friends would always go watch the contest after school,” said Mamiya. “So it’s an awesome feeling being in it this year. Living here and surfing Pipe every year, you definitely get a lot more comfortable than people who aren’t from here and have only surfed it a few times. When you’re comfortable out there, it really changes the way you surf it. It’s one of the heaviest waves in the world and I’m really grateful to have it as my home break.”
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Molly Picklum (AUS)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tyler Wright (AUS), India Robinson (AUS)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jackson Baker (AUS)
Heat 2: Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Seth Moniz (HAW), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Liam O’Brien (AUS), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Barron Mamiya (HAW)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Miguel Tudela (PER)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Joao Chianca (BRA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Kelly Slater (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER)
Heat 9: Frederico Morais (PRT), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 11: Jack Robinson (AUS), Deivid Silva (BRA), Samuel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Callum Robson (AUS)
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and we have been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe. This includes pre-event screening, testing protocols, and minimal personnel on site.
The Billabong Pro Pipeline will open on Saturday, January 29, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.