Opening Day of Western Australia Margaret River Pro

Opening Day of Western Australia Margaret River Pro

Pictured: Teenager Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) took down Australian favorites Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons in the Opening Round, Heat 5 of the Western Australia Margaret River Pro today. Credit: © WSL / Beatriz Ryder

The Western Australia Margaret River Pro, Stop No. 5 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), kicked off today and completed the women’s Opening Round. As the last event before the Mid-Season Cut, the surfers now face a pivotal time in the season that will determine who advances on the CT and who risks relegation to the Challenger Series. Opening day hosted slower conditions in the two-to-four-foot range, seeing a mix of surfers on the bubble sent to the Elimination Round and some mixed results for the top seeds.

World No. 1 Simmers and No. 3 Picklum Advance to Round of 16, No. 2 Defay Goes to Elimination Round for First Time in 2024

Molly Picklum (AUS), currently ranked World No. 3, emerged victorious over her opponents Luana Silva (BRA) and 2024 CT rookie Alyssa Spencer (USA). Despite a low-scoring affair, Picklum’s ability to stay busy and capitalize on scoring opportunities secured her the win. Silva’s defeat sends her to the elimination round, a critical juncture as she currently sits at No. 10, just above the Cut line, making an early exit potentially detrimental to her 2024 CT campaign.

“It was a little bit slow out there, but conditions are so clean, and I’m happy to have made it for sure,” Picklum said. “I had a really strong start to the year, then had to readjust my sails a bit in Portugal and then Bells was a bit of a whirlwind, so it’s good to be over here in the west, chasing different waves and re-setting just to be stoked on surfing again.”

Current World No. 8 Lakey Peterson (USA) defeated World No. 2 Johanne Defay (FRA) and Injury Replacement Sophie McCulloch (AUS) in Heat 2. Peterson noted drawing inspiration from Defay’s impressive season so far, especially as they have similar tenures on the CT. Defay’s third-place finish in the heat puts her in the Elimination Round for the first time this season.

“I got last place at Pipe, so it’s nice to keep that as my throw-away and avoid the elimination round,” Peterson said. The waves were slow out there, which made it pretty scary, so I’m really proud of myself and how I handled it. It was good to come up against Johanne; I’ve been really inspired by her this year. We’ve been on tour for a similar amount of time, so it’s cool to see her having a career-best year this year. I feel like I can be right there winning events as well. I just need to put it together and also have a few chips fall my way. With this size, there are lefts and rights on offer, and it was good to utilize both.”

Heat 3 of the women’s Opening Round witnessed a super tight matchup between current World No. 1 Caitlin Simmers (USA), 2024 CT Rookie Sawyer Lindblad (USA), and Trials Winner Bronte Macaulay (AUS). After a massive lull in conditions saw a heat restart, the heat began to build momentum, starting with Simmers posting back-to-back scores for a mid-range heat total of 11.57, leaving Lindblad and Macualy to battle it out for the second progressing spot. Both surfers had a score in the bank but needed something more to solidify their spot, and they each earned an opportunity with only seconds left, with the Rookie getting the better of the exchange, leaving Macaulay to head to the Elimination Round. Although Simmers took the win, there was just 0.61 of a point separating the three surfers at the end of the heat.

Surfers Below the Cut Eye Big Results Following Opening Heats

The last heat of the day saw two former western Australia Margaret River Pro event winners, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) (2021) and Isabella Nichols(AUS) (2022), overcome Brisa Hennessy (CRC) in a pivotal matchup. Hennessy has officially made the Cut, but Weston-Webb and Nichols are both on the hunt for solid results here and today, they took a step in the right direction, progressing into the Round of 16 and relegating Hennessy to the Elimination Round. In 2022, Nichols claimed the crucial win in Margaret River to save herself from the Cut and will need to find similar success again in the West to continue her 2024 CT season.

“It’s nice to get a win and go home to sleep knowing you won’t be back in here into one of the first heats of the day potentially,” Nichols said. “This place is very emotionally fuelled for me. I’ve had some of the most incredible experiences here. Obviously, making the Cut with a win was the best day of my life, and last year, not making the cut was heartbreaking. I’m really trying to tap in to the feelings I felt in 2022 and using it as inspiration and hoping I can get those same feelings again. This is genuinely one of my favorite places in the world, I want to live here. The food is great, the waves are fun, and I just want to have a good time, and whatever comes with it, I’m open to it.”

Reigning World Champion Caroline Marks (USA) and Gabriela Bryan (HAW) had a close call in their Opening Round matchup with India Robinson (AUS), with all three surfers holding the lead at different times in the last four minutes with a flurry of waves being surfed as the clock wound down. Robinson left it late to get started but eventually posted the highest single-wave score of the heat but was unable to back it up and will head to the Elimination Round, where she will take on Hennessy and Luana Silva (BRA) and fight for a result here in Margaret River and their spot on the CT.

Aussie veterans Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Tyler Wright (AUS) are both in the hunt for a big result in Magaret River as they look to avoid the Mid-season Cut. For Fitzgibbons, it’s her second straight year sitting below the line coming into Stop No. 5. The pair came up against an in-form Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), who looked most in rhythm with Main Break, running away with the lead and leaving the two New South Wales South Coasters to battle it out for the second progressing spot. Fitzgibbons came back strong at the end of the heat, but it wasn’t enough to get over the line, and she will now set her focus on an Elimination Round matchup with Johanne Defay (FRA) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.33 DEF. Alyssa Spencer (USA) 10.66, Luana Silva (BRA) 8.67
HEAT 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.73 DEF. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 9.60, Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.57
HEAT 3: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 11.57 DEF. Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 11.00, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 10.96
HEAT 4: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.90 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 10.67, India Robinson (AUS) 10.37
HEAT 5: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 12.33 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.83, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.57
HEAT 6: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 10.34 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 9.56, Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 8.60

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Elimination Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Luana Silva (BRA) vs. India Robinson (AUS)

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
Heat 1: Barron Mamaiya (HAW), Imaikalani DeVault (HAW), Eli Haneman (HAW)
Heat 2: Jack Robinson (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 3: Jake Marshall (USA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MOR), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW), George Pittar (AUS)
Heat 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Kade Matson (USA), Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Heat 6: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Otis North (AUS)
Heat 7: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Callum Robson (AUS)
Heat 8: Cole Houshmand (USA), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 9: Crosby Colapinto (USA), Yago Dora (BRA), Frederico Morais (POR)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (RSA), Matthew McGillivray (RSA), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 11: Rio Waida (IDN), Connor O’Leary (JPN), Samuel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Liam O’Brien (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Major Upsets on Day 2 of The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy

Major Upsets on Day 2 of The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy

Pictured: 2024 CT Rookie Sawyer Lindblad (USA) has guaranteed her best result of the season with a Quarterfinal berth at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy. Credit: © WSL / Aaron Hughes

Day 2 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy, Stop No. 4 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2024 Championship Tour (CT), has seen another massive day of action. Competition moved to Winkipop, where there were semi-clean three-to-four-foot waves on offer. The second straight day of competition saw the completion of the women’s Elimination Round and Round of 16 as well as five heats of the men’s Round of 32 with mixed results for some of surfing’s biggest stars.

World No. 1 Picklum and Reigning Event Winner Wright Eliminated on Day 2

World No.1 Molly Picklum (AUS) will have to wait another year for her chance to ring the iconic Bell after she was taken down by 2024 CT Rookie Sawyer Lindblad (USA) in the Round of 16 at Winkipop. Picklum was hoping to find some form after falling into the Elimination Round and only just sneaking into the Round of 16, but Lindblad had other ideas, posting the equal highest heat total of the day, a 15.67 (out of a possible 20). Lindblad looked sharp on her backhand and has guaranteed her best result at the elite level as she looks to move above the Mid-season Cut line with a Quarterfinals berth.

“It feels really good; I was really fired up after my loss in Portugal, it felt good to know that I can get scores in the 7’s and 8’s so I came into this event really excited,” Lindblad said. “This is only my third time surfing Winkipop, and it’s such a sick wave. It reminds me of Trestles at home. I’m honestly just really happy to make it out of the Round of 16. I’m not really thinking about the Cut. This is my first year on Tour, and I don’t really feel that much pressure, to be honest. I just want to keep surfing and getting high scores.”

Local Trials winner Ellie Harrison (AUS) continued her charge through the draw, overcoming reigning two-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Winner Tyler Wright (AUS). Wright and Harrison went back and forth in the back-end of the heat, with the lead changing a number of times. With Wright leading on the buzzer, Harrison made it to the beach and waited for her last score, which was enough to get the lead and leave the two-time World Champion with an equal 9th-place finish.

“When I saw the heat draw come out, I was like ‘oh no’ – I look up to Tyler so much, she’s the nicest person in the water, gives me compliments, she’s such a cool girl,” Harrison said. “I went into that heat with the mentality that I’ve got nothing to lose. I tried to keep my cool, so I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to find where the sets were coming in and try to get a big score. Then I got another one, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the score, but I was so glad I got through. It’s a dream come true surfing at Bells, walking out with all my family and friends cheering for me on, it’s something I’ve thought about every year, and now it’s real. It’s a little weird, I don’t know how to act.”

Injury replacement Morgan Cibilic (AUS) continued the theme of upsets today, putting on a strong performance to defeat World No. 4 Jack Robinson(AUS) in the tough Winkipop conditions. Cibilic will take on form surfer and fellow Novacastrian Ryan Callinan (AUS) in the Round of 16.

“It feels amazing, I’m just so stoked to be here and grateful for the opportunity to be able to compete in another CT, and it makes it so much sweeter to make a few heats and put a couple of waves together,” said Ciblic. “It’s been so good. Coming down to the home of Rip Curl and getting to surf the bowl pumping yesterday was kinda a dream of mine. Getting to surf against Jack man-on-man was pretty sick. I’m pretty good mates with him, so it was good to have a little battle and epic to come out on top.”

Caroline Marks and Samuel Pupo Steal the Show at Winkipop

Reigning World Champion Caroline Marks (USA) was the standout performer of the Round of 16, posting the equal highest two-wave total of the women’s event to overcome an in-form Sophie McCulloch (AUS). Marks’ backhand looked on point at Winkipop, smashing massive critical turns to earn a two-wave total of 15.67 (out of a possible 20). Marks will take on Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) in the Quarterfinals when the competition resumes.

“That was really fun. I love surfing Winkipop. It’s a different wave, and I rode a different board, so it was cool to change things up,” Marks said. “You are always aware of what’s going on around you and who is dropping out of the draw, but I’m really trying to focus on myself. There hasn’t been a female goofy-footer win this event for so long, and I’d love to break that streak – this has always been an event I’d love to win with so many of my heroes having won it. There is a long way to go before I get close to that though.”

Samuel Pupo (BRA) put on a dominant performance, posting the highest wave of the day with an 8.50 and the highest heat total of the Round with a 15.23, ahead of Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA). Before Bells, Pupo sat well below the Mid-season Cutline, but a good result here will be valuable for him as he tries to secure a place for the rest of the tour season.

“It means so much, still pretty early in the contest, really but this Round of 32 has been getting the best of me, a lot of close heats,” Pupo said. “This whole trip has been really tricky for me mentally and emotionally, having some rough nights of sleep. It’s hard to stay calm with all these bad results I’ve been getting; you wonder if maybe you’re doing something wrong. It’s hard to keep doing the same thing and believing it’s going to work at some point. I don’t want to leave it to Margaret’s, so I’m stoked to make this heat.”

World No. 2 and Reigning Bells event winner Ethan Ewing (AUS) narrowly dodged a major upset, taking a last-minute win over the in-form Rip Curl wildcard George Pittar (AUS). After much deliberation from the judges, Ewing was left to hear the final scores on the Winkipop shoreline, scoring a 6.43 to jump Pittar after the buzzer.

“I felt pretty good about that last wave; it felt better than my other wave, to be honest, but yeah, it was challenging conditions out there,” said Ewing. “George is such a good surfer, and I made some mistakes but I’m stoked to get through.” I did see there were a lot of upsets today, but I try to just focus on myself. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of things to work on, and I’m looking forward to improving.” Ewing said, keeping his dream alive of taking back-to-back Bells wins.

Matildas and Other Sports Stars Cheer on World’s Best Surfers at Bells

Bells Beach hasn’t just attracted the world’s best surfers over the opening two days of competition. Spotted on site have included Matildas players Chloe Logarzo and Elise Kellond Knight, coming to cheer on their good friend India Robinson (AUS), alongside surf fan and Ten-time World Champion cliff diver Rhiannan Iffland.

Two-time Olympic Medalist and nine-time XGames Medallist snowboarder Scotty James met with fellow RedBull team rider Jordy Smith (RSA) to talk Bells Beach with the past Event Winner.

AFL superstar Charlie Curnow from the Carlton Football Club was seen at the event site, supporting close friend Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) in his Opening Round Heat.

For highlights from today’s action at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy, please visit

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy Women’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 13.17 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.50, India Robinson (AUS) 4.67
HEAT 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 12.04 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 11.23, Alyssa Spencer (USA) 10.56

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy Women’s Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 15.46 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.17
HEAT 2: Ellie Harrison (AUS) 13.73 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.74
HEAT 3: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 15.67 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.74
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 12.74 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.73
HEAT 5: Caroline Marks (USA) 15.67 DEF. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 12.10
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 11.97 DEF. Luana Silva (BRA) 11.67
HEAT 7: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 13.10 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 12.93
HEAT 8: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 13.83 DEF. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 12.04

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy Men’s Round of 32 Results:
HEAT 1: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 13.64 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.93
HEAT 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.50 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 7.13
HEAT 3: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 15.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.70
HEAT 4: Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 10.66 DEF. Connor O’Leary (JPN) 9.34
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.93 DEF. George Pittar (AUS) 12.73

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy Men’s Round of 32 Remaining Matchups:
HEAT 6: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS)
HEAT 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Cole Houshmand (USA)
HEAT 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 9: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Tully Wylie (AUS)
HEAT 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 11: Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
HEAT 12: Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Frederico Morais (POR)
HEAT 13: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Kade Matson (USA)
HEAT 14: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ian Gentil (HAW)
HEAT 15: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Rio Waida (INA)
HEAT 16: Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Ellie Harrison (AUS)
HEAT 2: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRC)
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
HEAT 4: Caitlin Simmers (USA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach

• World Champions Gilmore and Moore Dominate Opening Rounds
• Women’s Elimination Round Narrows Field to Top 16
• 2022 World Title Contenders Return To Sunset Beach In Excellent Form
• More Available at 

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, the second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), kicked off in sizeable-offshore conditions today at the North Shore’s famed Sunset Beach. The full day of competition saw the completion of the Women’s Opening Round and Elimination Round, as well as the first eight heats of the Men’s Opening Round. 

Experience reigned supreme as the women’s and men’s World Champions, and past event winners put on brilliant performances and won their Opening Round matchups. Current men’s World No. 1 Jack Robinson (AUS) faltered in his Opening Round heat and will have to surf for survival in the upcoming Elimination Round 2. Rankings’ leader Carissa Moore (HAW) sailed through her Opening Round heat, maintaining her winning form from her recent victory at Pipeline less than one week ago. 

World Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore Dominate Women’s Opening Round

Reigning eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) already has a better result than the first event of the season after winning her Opening Round heat. Gilmore looked poised and confident with her trademark carves on the large, powerful walls of Sunset Beach. Wildcard Zoe McDougall (HAW) also demonstrated her local knowledge, successfully navigating her home break and advancing to the Round of 16 alongside Gilmore. 

“I’m lucky on my forehand, and I can draw some really nice, long lines,” said Gilmore. “I’m on a 6’5” (board), so it’s probably bigger than what most of the girls are riding, and it feels good. To be honest, I was thinking I had such a poor performance here last year, so I feel like I’m just going out to try and redeem myself. You’re only as good as your last performance out here, so I just wanted to improve. Scraping into the Final 5 is probably not the smartest idea, so you have to be on the gas all the way from the start.”

Coming off her recent win at Pipeline, five-time World Champion Carissa Moore continued her momentum, winning her Opening Round heat and moving straight to the Round of 16. Moore also notched the highest score of the women’s Opening Round, a 6.83 (out of possible 10). 

“I’m very fortunate to live here on Oahu, and this is my backyard even though I’m from town,” said Moore. “We had a beautiful rainbow welcoming us all to Sunset this morning. There’s definitely a lot to improve on, so I’m going to work on that in the next heat. Everyone wants to get their warmup in, so I was out there really early to get my waves. It was good to have those two days to rest and spend time with family and friends. We did some WSL activations like Rising Tides, and I got a surf in here yesterday afternoon.”

Defending event winner Brisa Hennessy (CRC) was able to take down two tour veterans, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Courtney Conlogue (USA) in their Opening Round matchup. Hennessy demonstrated control in the strong wind, driving several powerful turns to earn the heat win. 

Also notching important Opening Round heat wins and moving straight to the Round of 16 are Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), Molly Picklum (AUS), and Macy Callaghan (AUS). 

Women’s Elimination Round Narrows the Field to Top 16

In the first upset of the event, Conlogue was eliminated by Australia’s Isabella Nichols and rookie Caitlin Simmers (USA, above). This is Conlogue’s second Elimination Round loss after also suffering an early exit at Pipeline. She will be feeling the pressure to earn a solid result at the next few events in order to make the Mid-Season Cut.

Former Rookie of the Year Gabriela Bryan (HAW) was sent to the Elimination Round after a close match with Lakey Peterson (USA) and Callaghan in the Opening Round. Bryan remained calm under pressure and was able to regain her rhythm and win her heat. Injury replacement Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) was not able to find waves with scoring potential, finishing the heat with a 0.77 (out of possible 20).

World Champions Slater, Toledo, and Florence Move Straight to Round of 32 

11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) earned his first heat win here at Sunset Beach since the World Cup in 2019. The win comes as needed redemption, as Slater suffered an uncharacteristic Elimination Round loss here last year. 

“I actually would’ve gotten a pretty good score if I didn’t fall on the floater on the one wave, but the angle I had to take threw me off,” said Slater. “If it’s not a big one on the outside, you’re trying to get the turns done quick before the water gets deep and goes flat on the face. It looked like it might close out, so I was trying to fit it in, which is not really how you want to surf anyway. This year was way different [than my birthday last year], I just hung out at the house with my daughter and her husband Kalani, and it was just one of those nights where everyone was busy doing something.”

Current World Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA, above) stayed busy in his Opening Round heat but didn’t find a score of significance until the final minutes. With 10 minutes to go, he tracked down a solid Sunset wall and was able to earn an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10). He then backed it up with a 5.00 to take the heat win. Pipeline standout Liam O’Brien (AUS) advanced alongside Toledo as wildcard Kai Lenny (HAW) was sent to the Elimination Round. 

Two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW, above) ended the day with fireworks as he threw down huge manoeuvres to earn an excellent 8.33 and a near-excellent 7.50 for the win. 

“The waves are actually really fun, it’s a fun size for Sunset, and when I was paddling out, I saw some really clean waves, so I was excited to get a lot of waves,” said Florence. “After the heat ended, I was kind of sad because I didn’t get a lot of waves. Joao (Chianca) and I had a couple of really good battles last year and some really fun heats, so coming out here. I didn’t really know what was going to happen, so I just focused on myself and was stoked to get some good waves.”

Men’s 2022 World Title Contenders Return To Sunset Beach In Excellent Form
Final 5 competitor Ethan Ewing (AUS) demonstrated his signature power surfing, throwing explosive, critical turns, and earning the highest single wave score of the day, a 9.00. Ewing had a solid Semifinal finish here at Sunset Beach last year but went down to fellow Final 5 competitor Kanoa Igarashi (JPN). The two may have to meet again as they both won their Opening Round Heats and will move straight into the Round of 32. 

“I think confidence is a huge part, this wave is really hard, and it’s different every time you go out there,” said Ewing. “But, I feel comfortable. I’ve surfed it a lot, and I just lucked into a really good wave. It had a really smooth face, and I just felt really good on it. It’s a huge confidence boost for sure, and I just really like this wave, just how challenging it is, and just want to keep the ball rolling.”

Igarashi (above), last year’s Hurley Pro Sunset Beach runner-up, earned the first excellent score of the event, an 8.17 in the first heat of the men’s Opening Round. Igarashi was in third place after a slow start, but in the last three minutes, he found a wave with opportunity and hammered two big turns. 

“I just wanted to find waves I would look for in the free surfs,” said Igarashi.” You’re kind of in the middle of the ocean, so it’s hard to strategize, and you have to adapt a lot. It’s weird how a 30-minute heat at Pipeline felt like ten minutes, and 30 minutes out here felt like an hour and a half. I realized I really don’t know Sunset that well (laughs). I didn’t really want that wave, but I needed a score. I realized I should’ve wanted it when I went because it was a really good wave.” 

Seth Moniz (HAW) also earned one of the excellent scores of the day, an 8.33 on his first wave of the event. Moniz found a Sunset Beach gem that opened up for him to disappear behind the curtain and re-emerge to finish with his forehand attack. With his excellent score and a backup of 3.80, he took the heat win over World Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA). Ferreira scraped by with the scores he needed to move onto the Round of 32, sending event wildcard Keanu Asing (HAW) into the Elimination Round. 

Tour newcomer Jake Marshall (USA, above) and event wildcard Eli Hanneman (HAW) were the clear underdogs coming up against current World No. 1 Jack Robinson (AUS) in Heat 5. Robinson found himself in the unfamiliar third position for the majority of the heat. With only five minutes left, he dropped a 7.33 and moved into second place. But, in the final seconds, Hanneman found a 5.17, pushing Robinson back into third. Robinson will now have to surf against Baker and Lenny in the dreaded Elimination Round. 

Defending event winner Barron Mamiya (HAW) is also off to a good start in his quest to uphold his title after an Opening Round win. Mamiya scored a near-excellent 7.17. Fellow Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau was not as lucky, ending the heat with two scores under one point and a ticket to Elimination Round 2. 

For more information, please visit

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) 8.16 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 6.67, Teresa Bonvalot (POR) 0.67
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.10 DEF. Zoe McDougall (HAW) 7.53, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 4.73
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.50 DEF. Luana Silva (BRA) 10.94, Caroline Marks (USA) 3.50
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 8.50 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.20, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 5.00
HEAT 5: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 9.27 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.16, Caitlin Simmers (USA) 7.84
HEAT 6: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.67 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.30, Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 8.04

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 11.67 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 7.64, Teresa Bonvalot (POR) 0.77
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 9.77 DEF. Caitlin Simmers (USA) 9.16, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 6.00

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 2: Molly Picklum (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Zoe McDougall (HAW)
HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Luana Silva (BRA)
HEAT 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 7: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Caitlin Simmers (USA)
HEAT 8: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Opening Round Results (Heats 1 – 8):
HEAT 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.64 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.47, Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 9.67
HEAT 2: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 10.17 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.73, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 5.40
HEAT 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.43 DEF. Carlos Munoz (CRC) 8.30, Nat Young (USA) 7.77
HEAT 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.13 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.53, Keanu Asing (HAW) 6.13
HEAT 5: Jake Marshall (USA) 11.83 DEF. Eli Hanneman (HAW) 11.07, Jack Robinson (AUS) 10.93
HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 9.17, Kai Lenny (HAW) 6.90
HEAT 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 9.70 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.60, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 7.44
HEAT 8: John John Florence (HAW) 15.83 DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) 13.64, Jackson Baker (AUS) 9.83

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Opening Round Matchups (Heats 9 – 12):
HEAT 9: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Ian Gentil (HAW)
HEAT 10: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Rio Waida (INA)
HEAT 11: Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
HEAT 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)

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Colapinto and Weston-Webb Claim Victories

Colapinto and Weston-Webb Claim Victories

• Weston-Webb Claims Third Championship Tour Career Win
• Colapinto Breaks Glass Ceiling with Maiden CT Victory
• Brisa Hennessy and Kanoa Igarashi Don Yellow Jersey Heading into Australia
• More Information at

Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) have won the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, the third stop of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), claiming victory in the Finals against Lakey Peterson (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) respectively, held in three-to-four foot surf at Supertubos.

A full five consecutive days of surfing have taken competitors through all the different moods of Supertubos, from windy heavy surf to the perfection of yesterday’s barrels, to culminate with today’s glassy and rippable peaks for the Finals.

Tatiana Weston-Webb Claims Third CT Career Win, Makes Into WSL Top 5
Claiming a career-third win on the Championship Tour, the Brazilian bounces back in a big way after a deceiving start to her season where she was eliminated twice in equal 9th place at Pipeline and Sunset. Weston-Webb has moved up to 4th place on the season rankings heading into the last couple of events before the inaugural mid-season cut narrows the field down after Australia.

“I’m just so grateful. God always has a plan and I just trusted in Him,” Weston-Webb said. “Honestly, I just had so much fun out there! Lakey and I had such a great battle back and forth, I was really stoked just to be out there. I think I can do anything I put my mind to. That’s the beauty of surfing and the beauty of just trusting and believing in yourself, if you have that mental ability to just overcome those obstacles that put you down.”

“For me, the beginning of the year was such a bad start and it was at two venues I thought I would do really well at,” she continued. “So for me, I know God has a plan and I will just trust in it and keep surfing and trying my best and believing in myself. That’s the nature of every competition, you just need to continue believing in yourself no matter what.”

In the Final, Weston-Webb got busy early and found a good set wave to lay down two big turns for a 7.33 (out of a possible 10) and the lead. Peterson replied with a 7.10 of her own and continued to push, finding another good score on backhand snaps to turn the heat midway through. Both surfers kept multiplying their chances, paddling for every wave coming through the lineup and giving the judging panel a lot to think about, with forehand and backhand combinations of turns on the clean little peaks of Supertubos.

The Brazilian eventually found another gem to perform on her forehand to post an excellent 8 point ride and take the win in Portugal.
Peterson placed runner-up at Supertubos for the second consecutive time after a final lost to Caroline Marks (USA) in 2019. The Californian had an opportunity to grab the yellow jersey with a win in Portugal but will instead head to Australia ranked 3rd in the world. Coming back from an injury that sidelined her for most of the 2021 season, Peterson proved if anybody doubted that she’s back where she belongs among the very best surfers in the world.

 “It’s almost harder when you get so close, you’re right there and miss out on the win,” Peterson admitted. “It was a great heat with Tati, I’m stoked to be at the top of the overall rankings especially heading into Australia, Bells is like my second home now. It’s a great start, bummed I didn’t get the win, but congrats to Tati, she’s a really deserving champion and it was great to have a heat with her. I’m happy with my performance, but definitely hungry for more.”

Peterson had previously eliminated seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in their Semifinal bout. The Australian built a healthy lead at the beginning of the heat but was eventually overtaken and had to settle for equal third in Peniche.

In a rematch of last year’s Rip Curl WSL Finals, Weston-Webb came up against five-time WSL Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Semis, but this time the Hawaiian couldn’t find the right waves to lay down her big turns and was forced out of competition in equal third place.

Griffin Colapinto Claims First Championship Tour Win in High-Octane Final
A quiet start to the men’s Final was quickly forgotten when Filipe Toledo (BRA) posted the first good score for a combination of backhand quick snaps to build an early lead. Griffin Colapinto (USA) stayed patient and waited for the bigger set waves to push his backside turns and stayed in the heat with a big score of his own.

Both surfers went back-and-forth and grabbed the lead off each other multiple times but eventually the Californian found the edge with his vertical attack of the lefts for the win.

“It’s so weird you just get in this mode where you’re not even thinking about it,” Colapinto said. ”Even winning doesn’t feel like I thought it would, I’m still in this calm state where it hasn’t even set in. It’s so cool , I’m just trying to take in seeing Kolohe (Andino)  and all my friends come up to me after the final.”

Colapinto earned his very first CT win in fantastic fashion, scoring deep barrels earlier this week, nailing the first perfect 10 point ride of the season last night on a massive air, and sealing the deal with brilliant rail work today. After a slow start in Hawaii, the Californian jumped 20 spots up to 7th on the WSL rankings after the completion of event No.3.

“The beachbreaks of California paid off,” Colapinto added. “I was training in these exact conditions so it’s funny that we ended up doing the Final in this. I just can’t believe the people I had to go through to get to this win, it’s as good as it gets. Everything I’ve been doing has paid off. It’s crazy after the first two events, I didn’t make it past round three and it was really hard with that mid-year cut coming up, so it was a hard one mentally, but I believe in the process and trust the unknown. No matter what, you’re always going to be learning and that’s my favorite part of the sport that it grows you as a person. Win or lose, you’re growing.”

The runner-up in the world last season, Toledo continued to impress and collected another major result in Portugal. Winner in 2015 in Peniche, today’s runner-up finish will vault him up into the Top 5 conversation in fourth position early in the season.

“I’m really happy to be back here in Peniche, Portugal,” Toledo said. “It’s a place where I feel very comfortable and the people are so welcoming. I just love it here, I guess that’s why I always get good results. The entire week just surfing and having fun with the boys and the waves were firing. Congrats to Griff, Tati, Lakey and everyone who have put on amazing performances, it’s been inspiring to watch.”

In a high-flying, all-Brazilian first Semifinal, Toledo and WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) pushed each other to bring out their best and eventually Toledo got the nod, sending Ferreira home with the equal third place result.

Two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) looked uncharacteristically affected by the pressure in the Semis against Colapinto. The Californian had a solid two scores and Florence kept falling as he tried to find the winning score, eventually bowing out in equal third.

As the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl wraps in Peniche, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) sit atop the 2022 CT rankings and will be wearing the yellow jerseys at the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, coming up from April 10-20, 2022 in Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia.

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.67 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.66
SF 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.40 def. John John Florence (HAW) 10.50
MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.34 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.00
SF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.76 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.17

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Final Results:

1 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.34
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.20

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Final Results:
1 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.33
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.27

Finals Day

Finals Day

Lakey Peterson (USA) will be up first in the water this morning in Peniche. Photo: © WSL / Poullenot

• Women’s Semifinals to Start at 7:02 a.m GMT
• Watch LIVE at

Stop No. 3 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl has been called back ON for Finals Day, started at 7:02 a.m GMT with the women’s Semifinals at Supertubos.

A lot is on the line, with the yellow jersey up-for-grabs for the best surfers in the world, specifically California’s Lakey Peterson (USA) and 5-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) surfing in Semifinal 1 and 2 respectively.

WSL Champions and past winners in Peniche Italo Ferreira (BRA) and John John Florence (HAW above) will be hitting the lineup in the men’s Semifinal 1 and 2 respectively, with challengers Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) battling for the  win in Portugal.

Watch LIVE
The MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl will be broadcast LIVE on, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on and SporTV.
Upcoming MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s

Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA) 
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)

Upcoming MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)

MEO Pro Portugal

MEO Pro Portugal

The World’s best surfers are making their way to Portugal for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl, the third stop of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The waiting period opens on March 3 and runs through March 13, 2022.

The 2022 CT season is off to an epic start after completing the first two stops on Hawaii’s North Shore of Oahu. Surf fans witnessed the return-to-form of the 11-time World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), who claimed his career’s 56th victory in fantastic fashion at the Billabong Pro Pipeline. The women kicked off the season by making history with the first full CT competition at Pipeline, which was won by local wildcard Moana Jones Wong (HAW).

The second stop of the CT, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO, confirmed a changing of the guard with major upsets affecting the world’s best and a crop of fresh talent making their mark on the Championship Tour. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) and Barron Mamiya (HAW above) won the competition and currently lead the WSL Rankings.

Now all eyes turn to the Peniche Peninsula in Portugal for Stop No. 3 as surfers embark on a new adventure. The thumping barrels of Supertubos have welcomed the CT since 2009 but for the first time, the event will happen in winter. Cold water and the full power of the North Atlantic ocean are in store for a dramatic change of scenery after a month in Hawaii.

MEO Pro Portugal Wildcards and Replacement Surfers
Barron Mamiya (HAW) sits at World No. 1 after his win at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO and was selected as WSL Event Replacement for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl following the withdraw of three-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA).
Yago Dora (BRA) continues his recovery from his injury ahead of the season and will be replaced by WSL Injury Replacement, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF). Liam O’Brien (AUS) and Carlos Munoz (CRI) sustained injuries at Pipeline and continue their recoveries. They will be replaced by World No. 4 Caio Ibelli (BRA) and the highest placed Portuguese surfer on the Challenger Series, Vasco Ribeiro, respectively. Afonso Antunes (PRT) and Justin Becret (FRA) will also join the men’s draw as the event wildcards.

Bronte Macaulay (AUS) will continue surfing as the WSL Injury Replacement for Caroline Marks (USA), who has withdrawn from the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl due to medical reasons. Tia Blanco (USA) is joining the women’s draw as the event wildcard after winning The Ultimate Surfer competition last summer. 

Rip Curl Onboard as Presenting Partner of MEO Pro Portugal
Today, the World Surf League (WSL) and Rip Curl announced an extended partnership, with the iconic Australian surf brand coming on board as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal, the third stop on the 2022 CT. The news comes just weeks after the WSL announced that the Rip Curl WSL Finals would return to Lower Trestles in California this September for the 2022 CT season, serving as a reminder of the brand’s commitment to surfing at all levels. 

“Rip Curl is one of the most significant supporters of men’s and women’s professional surfing, and we’re very happy to expand our partnership with them beyond the iconic Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and Rip Curl WSL Finals,” said Cherie Cohen, Chief Revenue Officer. “By coming in as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal in Europe, as well as two of the most prestigious Challenger Series events in Australia, Rip Curl joins the WSL in solidifying its commitment to the future of the sport throughout all levels of competition worldwide. We look forward to collaborating for years to come.”

By signing on as the presenting partner of the MEO Pro Portugal, Rip Curl will continue their strong connection with the waves of Supertubos in Peniche, a place where the brand took its iconic ‘Search’ Event back in 2009. 

Pressure Builds in Portugal at Halfway Mark Before Mid-Season Cut
The 2022 Championship Tour season introduces a mid-season cut after the first five events, reducing the men and women fields down to 24 and 12, respectively. With two events down and three remaining before the cut takes place, pressure is starting to build for surfers who had a rough start in Hawaii.

The current rankings show multiple athletes in trouble early on, like last year’s World No. 4 Morgan Cibilic (AUS) and his compatriot Owen Wright (AUS), or seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and former runner-up in the World Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), all currently sitting outside the cut line.

With events like G-Land, El Salvador, Brazil, J-Bay and Tahiti in the second half of the season, the battles in Portugal will be fierce to climb up the leaderboard and hopefully secure an all-important spot above the cut line.

Rip Curl GromSearch Brings Young Stars to Portugal
Prior to the main show, Peniche will also host the European Final of the Rip Curl GromSearch. 27 surfers from all over Europe will battle in Under-16, Under-14, and Under-12 categories, both boys and girls for the titles. The Rip Curl GromSearch is a real hotbed of young talent, having uncovered future World Champions such as Gilmore, Medina, and many more.

The event will happen on February 28 and March 1, on a location to be decided on the day depending on conditions.

Watch LIVE
The holding period for the MEO Pro Portugal presented by Rip Curl runs from March 3 to March 13, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on and WSL’s YouTube channel, as well as the free WSL app.