Quiksilver Pro Day One…

Quiksilver Pro Day One…

The Quik Pro is a tricky one for us Brits as it’s on when we’re asleep, so didn’t catch too much of day one as were catching zzzz instead. Did see John John this morning who is confident enough in his knee to go for mellow airs which is a good sign. The shift to D-Bah has made things a bit of a lottery with some big names getting bumped into round two, including last year’s winner Julian Wilson. Jordy, Owen and Kelly are also in a place they’re not used too, so some good scraps to come.

The new format means the loser from the three-man round one heats is now in a do or die three-man round two. The last place goes home and the top two advance. Then from round three onwards is person-on-person.

WSL PRESS RELEASE BELOW…

After an anticipated start, the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) is officially open for the 2019 season. The first day of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast saw the completion of Round 1 where the men took on Duranbah, the event’s back-up site, in four-to-five foot (1.2 – 1.5 metre) conditions.

The Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast also got underway today with the first Qualifying Round. The Red Bull Airborne is a three-part speciality series that highlights surfing’s most creative feats. The event saw no shortage of action with standout airs from CT star Italo Ferreira (BRA), aerial specialist Chris ‘Chippa’ Wilson (AUS) and Hawaiian surfer-skater Kalani David.

Newcomers Shine on Opening Day

2019 CT rookie Seth Moniz (HAW) and event trials winner Reef Heazlewood (AUS) delivered a heavy upset to 2018 World No. 2 Julian Wilson (AUS), sending him to elimination Round 2. Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning handed down his No. 7 jersey to the 21-year-old Moniz, who carried its winning form with a CT debut heat win.

“It’s pretty amazing wearing Mick Fanning’s jersey here at D-Bah,” said Moniz. “I came here three weeks ago and got to surf with a whole week straight with Mick, and I got a few little secret tips from him. It’s pretty awesome to have all the support I do here and back home.”

Round 1 winners also included CT sophomores Griffin Colapinto (USA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), third-year elite competitors Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Joan Duru (FRA), along with veterans Adrian Buchan (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), and Kolohe Andino (USA), who will all advance straight into Round 3.


Mixed Results for World Champs and Rookies

Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) reignited the fire he walked away with last season with his signature flair and power to defeat event wildcard Mateus Herdy (BRA) and CT returner Ryan Callinan (AUS).

“It’s good to start off the year like this and this jersey feels special,” Medina said. “I’ve got two stars on here, which seems like World Cup stars and it’s cool to have these on there. It’s the third year of the Gabriel Medina Institute and we have 32 kids and they have a whole routine kind of like we do as athletes. It’s cool giving these kids opportunities to become professional surfers or whatever they want to be in the future and it’s amazing to give back some of what surfing’s given me.”

The long-awaited return of John John Florence (HAW) was met with an equally awaited rematch with the now-full-time-competitor Mikey Wright (AUS) after last year’s battle. The heat also included rookie Peterson Crisanto (BRA) in the mix. While Crisanto gave Florence a scare in the dying minutes, the two-time WSL Champion responded with an impressive air of his own and secured his place into Round 3 behind heat winner Wright, who maintains his status as a threat to the elite.

11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) fell short in his opening heat to Yago Dora (BRA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA). After flashes of brilliance in 2018, CT sophomore Dora narrowly requalified but showed his maturity on opening day with a clutch win over compatriot Ferreira and Slater. Dora’s aerial attack put both Ferreira, one of last year’s early World Title threats, and Slater, one of the sport’s greatest, on their heels midway through the heat.

“I’m so happy to start my year off with a heat win like this,” Dora said. “There are always a lot of nerves at the start of the year so just getting that heat out of the way is good and to win it is a bonus. I’m really happy to be surfing around here at Duranbah. There are a few lefts on offer which suits me and to get a few frontside air sections was really great.”


D-Bah Delights for Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast

The Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast followed men’s Round 1 with the first three Qualifying heats, which showcased creativity above the lip on the Duranbah beach breaks. The freakish talents of the 18-surfer field launched with entertaining attempts by Harry Bryant (AUS) and Reef Heazlewood (AUS) and a few standout landings from Kalani David (HAW) and Filipe Toledo (BRA). But, only Chris ‘Chippa’ Wilson (AUS) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) were able to find truly perfect ramps and post scores of consequence during the first qualifying round.
Known the world over for producing some of the most mind-blowing free surfing clips of the last decade, Coolangatta local Noa Deane struggles to remember the last time he pulled on a contest jersey and competed for scores. Although Deane admits he’s not the most competitive guy in the water, he’s excited to see what heights sharing the lineup with 18 of the world’s best aerialists will push him too.

“This is going to be really fun surfing this format with this group of guys,” Deane said. “I surf on trips with a lot of the guys that are here for the Red Bull Airborne so I think it will feel like any other day where we are all pushing each other to go bigger but at the same time not taking it too seriously. I think even the CT competitors will be taking a pretty relaxed approach and just having fun but that will probably all change as soon as someone lands something massive – then I can see dudes pushing it.”

The next call for the Quiksilver Pro, Boost Mobile Pro and Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast will be tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. AEST, when event organizers will assess the conditions to decide the event’s location and schedule.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.26 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 9.83, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.23
Heat 2: Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.67 DEF. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.47, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.03
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.33 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.93, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.70
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.10 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.53, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.60
Heat 5: Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.17 DEF. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 9.50, Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.36
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.84 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.57, Mateus Herdy (BRA) 7.23
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.13 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.00, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.40
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.27 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.90, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 7.57
Heat 9: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.07, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.67
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.73 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 12.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.03
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.00 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.90, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.40
Heat 12: Mikey Wright (AUS) 12.10 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 10.93, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 8.36

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)

Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast Leaderboard:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2 – Chippa Wilson (AUS)
3 – Kalani David (HAW)
4 – Mateus Herdy (BRA)
5 – Coby Perkovich (AUS)
6 – Yago Dora (BRA)
7 – Filipe Toledo (BRA)
8 – Eithan Osborne (USA)
9 – Mitch Parkinson (AUS)
10 – Jack Freestone (AUS)
11 – Matt Meola (HAW)
11 – Kael Walsh (AUS)
11 – Harry Bryant (AUS)
11 – Finn McGill (HAW)
11 – Aaron Kelly (AUS)
11 – Noa Deane (AUS)
11 – Thomas Woods (AUS)
11 – Reef Heazlewood (AUS)

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 6: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

The Quiksilver Pro, Boost Mobile Pro, and Red Bull Airborne will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL. Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
Surfline Forecast for the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast.

Medina takes two…

Medina takes two…

WERE YOU WATCHING LAST NIGHT?!? Occasional whiffy judging calls aside (see exhibit one: Jordy v Medina) what a day of surfing. Medina’s comeback from combo against Conner was ridiculous. The title went to the wire with Medina just edging Jordy, Kelly proved there’s still life in the 46-year old dog yet and other tales like Joan Duru sealing his spot on tour next year through getting so far at Pipe were a joy also. Have to feel for Julian who is in need of a title and we look forward to next year when Kelly rolls the dice for the last time and JJF will hopefully be back to tussle with Medina for their respective potential third world titles. The tour crew get to chill now and train for a few months before it all kicks off again, much later in the season, in April on the Gold Coast.

–WSL PRESS RELEASE–

Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Title, claiming a final victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. Pipeline delivered epic 12-to-15 foot barrels for the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT) and final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS). Medina made history in 2014 as the first Brasilian to ever win a World Surfing Title and now cements himself in the history books with a second crown.

Gabriel Medina of Brazil won the world title in Heat 1 of the Semifinals at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii.

“All my heroes have won this contest,” Medina said. “I’m stoked to be a part of everything here. Winning this event is a little different. I really wanted this one, and I worked really hard for this one so I’m so happy. That was a good final. Julian (Wilson) is the toughest competitor to go up against so I’m lucky I got two good waves. He won in a Final against me a few years ago and I got this one, so it feels good. I really appreciate everyone that came down to watch and I’m stoked to put on such a great show. I’m so happy to be part of history – I’ve put in a lot of work.”

2014 World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) is now a 2X World Champion and his first Pipe Masters title after winning the final of the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

Medina’s road to the Title in 2018 was bumpy at first but then the Brasilian switched gears mid-season and claimed back-to-back wins in Tahiti and the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro. He continued to impress as one of the most consistent surfers through the European leg with two equal-third places and arrived in Hawaii with a 4,740-point lead over his direct competition Julian Wilson (AUS). The rest is history as Medina reached the Final to claim his second WSL Title.

Gabriel Medina of Brazil won Heat 2 of Round 4 at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii.

“It’s hard to believe, this year was a long and intense year,” Medina continued. “Everyone put in a lot of hard work and this is the day. I’m so happy and thankful. To have the opportunity to travel the world with family and friends and to do what I love…it’s the most fun job in the whole world. This is such a special day for me and I’m so happy to do it again. Julian and I always have great battles. He’s always pushing the limits, and Filipe (Toledo) too – he’s a great surfer who had a great year. I love to watch them surfing and I’m a big fan of both of them. I’m so happy to get this trophy again. I had to put in a lot of work to get here. I like to surf when there is pressure and I think that’s when I do my best. After Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) I just put a bit more of me into each surf and each training. At the beginning of the year it all felt so far away but after Europe, it felt much closer.”

Gabriel Medina (BRA) advances to the final of the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters after semifinal heat 1 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Medina also wins his second World Title with the heat victory.

In 2014, the then-20-year-old Medina wrote a new page in surfing’s history books as the first Brasilian to win a World Title, in an exciting year-long race against Mick Fanning (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Kelly Slater (USA). It is also the year the phenomenal surfer from Maresias shut down all criticism about his bigger-surf aptitudes by winning two of the most prestigious events in Fiji and Tahiti, finishing off the season with a runner-up at Pipeline.

With over 8 million followers on social media, Medina has built a global and dedicated fanbase – growing the profile of professional surfing both in Brasil and in the rest of the world. His friendship with football superstar Neymar Jr has only contributed to elevating his profile as a celebrated athlete and Medina’s influence in his home country continues to reach new heights.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) 2X World Champion and winner of 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

The emergence of the Brasilian Storm dates back to 2011, when an unprecedented 7-strong group of Brasilian surfers made the Championship Tour roster, the same year 17-year-old Medina first qualified. Only accessing the elite tour halfway through the season, Medina managed to clinch two event victories right away as a preview of what was to come. It took two more years for the phenomenon to find his competitive rhythm, winning his first World Title in 2014. His success inspired compatriot Adriano de Souza (BRA), who went on to win Brasil’s second World Title the following season. In 2018, Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo, Willian Cardoso, and Medina were collectively responsible for nine out of 11 CT event wins this year, with Wilson claiming the other two.

The event’s Final today was a clash of epic proportions between the two strongest surfers in the field Medina and Wilson. Both surfers threaded lefts and rights to put big scores on the board, but ultimately it was Medina who took out the final matchup of the year and claimed the prestigious Billabong Pipe Masters title for the first time in his career.

Julian Wilson (AUS) finished runner-up in the World Title race and the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

Wilson capped off an incredibly consistent season where he claimed two event victories in Australia and France, two additional Final appearances and another four strong results to finish second overall for the first time in his career. On Finals day at Pipeline, the Australian needed to make the Final for a shot at bringing the World Title home, and he delivered with inspiring performances, most notably facing the 11x World Champion Slater in the Semifinals. Unfortunately, Medina reaching the Final left no chance for Wilson to lift surfing’s most prestigious trophy.

“I’m so thankful for the incredible waves and the locals for allowing us to surf here,” Wilson said. “The hopes and dreams of the World Title were there today and it’s been an emotional one. It came down to the final heat of the year and I’m ready to do it again next year. I put my heart out there and gave it my all, but Medina deservedly took the title and I’m so happy for him. Beating Kelly out here in great conditions is no mean feat and I take a lot of confidence from that. I’m so happy to represent my country and do my very best. It wasn’t enough to get the title but it was enough to share a final with the 2018 Champion. I’ll take some time to rest and come back in 2019 fired up for sure.”
Brasil’s Jesse Mendes Clinches Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title

Jesse Mendes (BRA) won the VANS Triple Crown of Surfing title following Jordy Smith’s (ZAF) Semifinal loss to Medina. Mendes collected a fifth place at Haleiwa, a runner-up in Sunset and a 9th at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Mendes is only the second surfer from Brasil to claim the prestigious award after Medina in 2015.

“I’ve been coming here for 13 years already,” said Mendes. “It was a dream but a far dream. I’m so thankful, so blessed and thank God for making this happen. Going against Joel (Parkinson), one of the best surfers ever, was such an honour. I want to thank my family for always supporting me no matter what, my girlfriend, my coach, WSL, my fans, and the surfers – it couldn’t have been a better Final. I also want to thank the local community for giving us the best waves over the past few weeks.”

Coco Ho (HAW) won the Women’s Pipe Invitational during the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

The break before the Final saw 3x World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) take on compatriots Alessa Quizon (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) in a women’s invitational heat. World No. 11 Ho dominated with radical manoeuvres on rights at Backdoor and took out the win ahead of Moore in second, Quizon and McDougall placing 3rd and 4th respectfully.

2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) has retired from Championship Tour surfing with the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters being his final event of his illustrious career. Parkinson was eliminated with an equal 9th finish after placing third in Heat 3 of Round 4 at Pipeline, Hawaii, Oahu, USA.

Earlier in the day, Joel Parkinson (AUS) surfed the last heat of his professional career on the Championship Tour, defeated by Yago Dora (BRA) and Wilson in Round 4. The 37-year-old Australian who claimed the World Title in 2012, spent 18 seasons among the world’s best surfers and received many accolades, being regarded as the most stylish surfer on tour.

“I was having such an emotional reception with everyone there,” Parkinson said. “It’s been an honour, I’m proud of what I achieved. It’s given me an amazing lifestyle and so many good moments. The tour has so many hills and valleys, all these emotional rollercoasters. Like any professional sport, it’s just the way it rolls. It’s nice to get to the end of it and finally maybe just run on an even keel for a while. I guess Kelly is the really last one of our generation and I’m sure it will be pretty emotional once he goes and surfing’s in good hands now with the next generation.”

11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is eliminated from the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters with an equal 3rd finish after placing second in semifinal heat 2 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

In the second Semifinal, the battle between Wilson and 11x World Champion Slater happened mostly on the rights of Backdoor and the Australian managed to fence off the all-time greatest surfer at Pipe (Slater won the event 7 times) to advance into the Final against newly crowned World Champion Medina. Slater was sidelined for most of the season by a foot injury sustained last year at J-Bay but finished today with an Equal third place result.

“Even though it had a lot of north in the swell, there are some really really good waves,” Slater said. “It’s been a fun day and yesterday was a blast. I’m pretty excited to come back to competing full-time next year because I had almost a year and a half off, to kind of recharge the batteries and get excited again. I watched all the guys, saw where the level is at, worked on my equipment, worked on my body and got back in good shape.”

Joan Duru (FRA) is eliminated from the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters with an equal 5th finish after placing second in quarterfinal heat 4 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.34
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.70

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.27 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.20 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.17

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.16 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.93
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.43 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.26
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.17
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.07

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.43, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 7.93
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.90, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.93, Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.57
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 15.97, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.44, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.77
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.80, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.20, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.00

Men’s 2018 Jeep Leaderboard (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 62,490 points
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) – 57,585 points
3 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) – 51,450 points
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) – 43,070 points
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) – 36,440 points

Final VANS Triple Crown of Surfing Top 5:
1 – Jesse Mendes (BRA)
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS)
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)
4 – Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
5 – Joan Duru (FRA)

Gabriel Medina’s 2018 WSL Championship Tour Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast – 13th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach – 3rd
Oi Rio Pro – 5th
Corona Bali Protected – 9th
Uluwatu CT – 5th
Corona Open J-Bay – 5th
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o – 1st
Surf Ranch Pro – 1st
Quiksilver Pro France – 3rd
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal – 3rd
Billabong Pipe Masters – 1st

Gabriel Medina’s Championship Tour Career Rankings:
2018 – 1st
2017 – 2nd
2016 – 3rd
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 14th
2012 – 7th
2011 – 12th

Pipe pumps, Filipe flops, Medina and Wilson left in title race.

Pipe pumps, Filipe flops, Medina and Wilson left in title race.

Patrick Gudauskas (USA) is eliminated from the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters with an equal 25 finish after placing second in Heat 10 of Round 2 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT) and final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS), saw a climactic day of competition as Rounds 2 and 3 were called on in excellent Pipe conditions with wave face heights reaching 15-to-20 feet.

The shocking elimination of World No. 2 Filipe Toledo (BRA) saw the Brazilian’s hope for a world title dissolve at the hands of 11x World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in the final heat of the day (Round 3 Heat 12). Meanwhile, World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) also endured heavy heats, but ultimately survived to continue his fight for the prestigious World Title alongside Julian Wilson (AUS).

11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) advances to Round 3 of the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters after winning Heat 6 of Round 2 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

The day’s final heat carried huge repercussions as 11-time World Champion Slater took on the World Title hopeful Toledo. The Floridian put a first good score on the board with a decent backdoor tube but the excitement reached an all-time high when both surfers started on back-to-back bombs on the 10-minute mark. Slater found the exit for an 8.67 (out of a possible 10) and Toledo looked like he was coming out of a perfect ride until the lip clipped him at the very last second. The result remained unchanged and Slater advanced into Round 4, ending Toledo’s World Title campaign, just shy of the final competition day of the season.

“I shared a little lineup stuff with Filipe,” Slater said. “I wanted to see a good battle come down. And just as a fan, I wanted to see a come from behind victory, at least a good battle in the end. We just had a couple of texts back and forth, you know, I really did want to help him out, but I didn’t I guess. It was fun, there was a lot of action out there. I saw a lot of good waves go unridden, I feel like I got lucky. Filipe didn’t go into a really good backdoor wave, it’s just experience, he didn’t quite see what they were going to do.”

In his sixth season among the world’s best surfers, Toledo put on a great fight and claimed two event wins at the Oi Rio Pro and the Corona Open J-Bay earlier this summer, to arrive in Hawaii tied for second place on the rankings with Wilson. Unfortunately, his run for a maiden World Title came to an abrupt end in Round 3 when he could not defeat Slater.

“I took a really bad wipeout at the end of that wave and everything went black for a few seconds,” Toledo said. “This is surfing, we put in so much work all year long, sometimes going away from the family on a trip to get better in waves like this, so this is hard. But I’m definitely proud of myself. I’ve had an amazing year as a father, as a son, as a professional surfer, it was really amazing. I’m definitely sad right now but at the same time it was an honor to surf perfect, heavy Pipe with Kelly in the water.”

Medina’s World Title hopes were on the line this afternoon in Round 3 when the Brazilian faced lethal replacement surfer Seth Moniz (HAW) in pumping surf. The Hawaiian was first to put a serious number on his scorecard with a good barrel at Backdoor for a 6.33 that pressured Medina to answer. The current Jeep Frontrunner stuck to the lefts and rode a critical tube for a 7.70 to turn the situation but Moniz kept chasing waves and once again jumped in the lead with a 5.50 on his backhand. With six minutes on the clock, the 2014 World Champion dropped into a final Pipe bomb and made it out clean for a 6.60 and the win into Round 4.

“I was really excited to wake up and finally see the waves,” Medina said. “I thought it was going to be bigger but it’s still pretty good. It’s really fun when you find the good ones but it’s challenging out there, it’s not easy. I’m really focused on my next round. It’s going to be a good one and hopefully, I can find more barrels.”

With the dual-heat system in play, Julian Wilson (AUS) entered the water while Medina was still surfing and witnessed his advancing. After a couple of unsuccessful tries, the current No. 2 in the world rode a solid right and laid into a good carve for a 6.00 and the lead over Miguel Pupo (BRA). Pupo answered with a 5.83 for a good left-hand barrel but Wilson kept the lead. In the dying seconds of their matchup, both surfers started on the same wave, splitting the peak, Wilson going right and Pupo on the left. The wave shut down and the situation remained unchanged with Wilson advancing into Round 4 to keep his World Title hopes alive.

“I just took all the experience I have and I let Pipe and Backdoor decide my destiny there,” Wilson said. “I just put myself in position, gave myself chances and never gave up. I feel like my injury and my year is kind of all coming together at the right time and I’m excited to put on a good performance.”

The Men’s World Title Scenarios at the Billabong Pipe Masters:

– If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson will need to finish 1st;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
2012 WSL Champion Parkinson Still Advancing at Career-Ending Event

Former Pipe Master and 2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) advanced through one more heat in the last professional surfing event of his career with a clinic on forehand barrel riding. The Australian started on a big Backdoor set and locked in deep, exiting right before the whole wave collapsed, posting an excellent 8.77 in the process. While Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) struggled to find any wave of consequence, Parkinson stayed in tune with the lineup and scored another good barrel on his backhand, this time for a win into Round 4.

“Tomorrow will be my last day of competitive surfing ever in my life so I’ll enjoy it,” Parkinson said. “I’ve made it to the last day of the year and no matter what I’ll never surf another WSL event for purpose again. I was expecting a right at any time, I was up for anything, I was just lucky that right came in and I got barreled and I just backed it up with a small four. 8.77, guys are winning heat totals with that and I was just lucky to get it all in one wave and just get a little score after.”
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Race Narrows to Final Four

Ryan Callinan (AUS) advances to Round 3 of the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters after winning a close Heat 7 of Round 2 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

At this stage, only four surfers remain in contention for the prestigious VANS Triple Crown of Surfing title. Jesse Mendes (BRA) leads the rankings and is closely followed by Parkinson, Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Joan Duru (FRA). 2017 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner, Griffin Colapinto (USA), was eliminated in Round 3 Heat 5 by Sebastian Zietz (HAW).

While the day was filled with jaw-dropping action and a few scary wipeouts from the world’s best surfers, only two athletes tasted the near-perfection of Pipeline, namely Ryan Callinan (AUS) and VTCS contender Duru. In their Round 2 heats, both surfers found incredible rides and posted the day’s highest numbers, Callinan on top with a near-perfect 9.17 and a 7.67 to back it up. Duru’s best ride came in as an 8.93 for a deep and foamy left-hand barrel. While Callinan’s future is sealed – the Australian officially qualified for the CT in 2019 – Duru’s career is on the line as the Frenchman currently sits in 23rd position on the rankings, and has a final chance to move up the ranks in this event.

With a 13th place result in this event and the elimination of his last opponents today, Wade Carmichael (AUS) has officially built a strong enough lead to claim the 2018 Rookie of the Year award.

The next call for the Billabong Pipe Masters will be tomorrow, Monday, December 17, at 7:30 a.m. HST, when event organizers will reconvene to assess conditions and decide if the Finals will be on.

Griffan Colapinto of USA placed second in Heat 5 of Round 3 at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii.

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.70 def. Benji Brand (HAW) 11.76
Heat 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.77 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.00
Heat 3: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 2.93 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 1.36
Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 5.16 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 4.06
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.06 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.00
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 8.00 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 1.63
Heat 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.84 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.10
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.56 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 1.90
Heat 9: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 5.40 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 3.93
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 4.27 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 3.83
Heat 11: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 6.17 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 2.47
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) 16.60 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 1.26

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 8.77 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 2.43
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.16 def. Michael February (ZAF) 2.56
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.40
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.70 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 7.36
Heat 5: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.00 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 5.24
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.30 def. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.83
Heat 7: Yago Dora (BRA) 5.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 2.64
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.43 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.00
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.20 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 1.10
Heat 10: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.17 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 2.84
Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) 8.20 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 4.86
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 6.77

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Matchups:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Jesse Mendes (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Kelly Slater (USA)

Adrian Buchan (AUS) is eliminated from the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters with an equal 25 finish after placing second in Heat 7 of Round 2 at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

The new crew for the CT next year…

The new crew for the CT next year…

So the QS grind is done. All those air miles, contests and complex math computations are done. The guys below made the cut, with only a couple of Pipeline shifts possible to maybe allow Jack Freestone back in for another crack at the big time. The WSL release doesn’t mention Mikey Wright who’s qualified from his wildcard starts this season. Which seems a tad of a shortcut, but, hell, he’s had to kick arse righteously to come into Pipe in 12th place counting one less event than everyone else so good on him.

–From the WSL–

The 2018 Qualifying Series season is officially over and with that a new crop of rookies.

Twelve months and 64 events later, 11 QS grinders have done the job and will surf on the elite Championship Tour in 2019. Among them, the majority are familiar faces who have been on the world stage before but a few newcomers will also make their official debut with the Top 34 come April.

Ezekiel Lau of Hawaii wins the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USAWSL / KEOKI SAGUIBO

2019 CT Rookies:

Seth Moniz is Hawaiian surf royalty. His dad Tony was a pioneer pro in the ’80s, his sister Kelia a two-time World Longboard Champion and brother Josh another solid threat on the QS. But what the 21 year-old achieved in the span of two years is nonetheless exceptional. He jumped from 142nd on the rankings at the end of 2016 to No. 2 this year with major results in Japan, Ballito, the US Open and at home at Haleiwa. Moniz will join two-time World Champion John John Florence and possibly Ezekiel Lau and Sebastian Zietz if the pair manages to keep their spot on the 2019 CT roster.

Peterson Crisanto could have been a household name by now as he already fought on the QS back in 2011 along the likes of Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo when the Brazilian storm emerged. But career choices by his sponsors at the time cost him a potential run for the big show and he spent the next seven years battling to come back. The comeback story started early last year when Crisanto showed up at a small QS in Israel after two years off-tour (and won it!) but all the hard work he put in really paid off in 2018 as the Brazilian surfed to a victory in Ballito this summer. This incredible effort is a testament to his determination and Crisanto might just be the hungriest rookie on tour next year.

Peterson Crisanto of Brazil is eliminated from the Hawaiian Pro after placing fourth in round 4 heat 5 of the 2018 Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.Peterson CrisantoWSL / TONY HEFF

In his fourth full year on the Qualifying Series, Garuja’s Deivid Silva made his own push for the big leagues, racking up big points at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro early on, and confirming his excellent form in Ericeira, Maresias and Haleiwa to claim his own ticket for the big show next year. His progressive nature and ability to take to the sky will fit right in with his compatriot on Tour in 2019.

The 23-year-old Australian has been working his way through the Qualifying Series since 2012. After a 9th place finish at the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong, a 9th place finish at the EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira, a 9th at the Hawaiian Pro and his latest 5th place finish at the Vans World Cup, he will officially be making his Championship Tour debut in 2019 – wrapping this year ranked No. 11 on the QS.

Photo moment with Hawaiian Pro Brazilian finalists Mateus Herdy and Deivid Silva with Willian CardosoMateus Herdy and Deivid SilvaWSL / TONY HEFF

Returning Surfers:

Kanoa Igarashi qualified for the CT in 2015 and has since then kept pushing his surfing to gain ground in the rankings. This year, two Semifinals and a Quarterfinal finish pushed him all the way up to 8th before Pipe. But despite all his success, the Huntington Beach surfer hasn’t just turned his back on the QS and continues to surf select events. In 2018, Igarashi claimed a second consecutive title at the US Open, a runner-up in Ericeira and a win at a smaller QS in Portugal to claim the QS rankings top spot.

Current No. 20 in the World Griffin Colapinto is right on the bubble of re-qualification through the Championship Tour, but his efforts on the QS have already guaranteed him a spot on next year’s roster. Colapinto’s first season on tour was a rollercoaster with a 3rd on the Goldie, a 5th in Bali and a bunch of 13th and 25th in other events, having a tough time finding his groove through the back half of the season. But with a safety net guaranteed, the Californian could be a threat in the final event of the season, and, if he stays at 20th or above, he will also free one more spot on the QS for the surfer next in line.

Griffin Colapinto of the USA finishes in 4th of the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.Griffin ColapintoWSL / KEOKI SAGUIBO

Ryan Callinan is another former CT athlete ready to give the elite tour another crack next year. The Australian spent a single season on tour in 2016 but failed to make most of it and went back to the QS. Followed a dramatic year for the young surfer who lost both his parents. The Newcastle native came back fired up this season having worked through his issues and showed a renewed love for competition. He won his first-ever QS in Japan before taking out the QS10K in Portugal weeks later. With a wildcard into the Quiksilver Pro France, Callinan made the most of the opportunity with a runner-up result and a massive statement about his intentions for next year.

Although just 20 years old, Fioravanti first qualified for the CT in 2017 but due to a 26th place finish he failed to requalify and went back to the QS in 2018. His Quarterfinal finish today at the Vans World Cup saw him qualify again for next year’s CT and will be more than motivated this time around. His best result this year was a win at the QS 3,000 Martinique Surf Pro.

Jadson Andre of advances in 2nd to round 4 from round 3 heat 1 of the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USAJadson AndreWSL / KEOKI SAGUIBO

Jadson Andre is accustomed to last-minute comebacks and late, late qualification, but today’s drama must have been borderline unbearable for the Brasilian. In Quarterfinal No. 2, Andre was sitting in last position and virtually eliminated both from the event and the qualifying race, until in the final moments, he picked up a set wave and destroyed for an 8.10. That ONE more heat win made all the difference in the world, as it pushed his season tally to 18,160 and moved him in 10th position. One of the friendliest faces around, Andre will join the world’s best for an eighth year on Tour.

Ricardo Christie spent the 2015 season on the Championship Tour but failed to re-qualify and has since then battled his way on the QS grind. After two tough years, he came back to winning form in 2018 and acted when it mattered most and the big points were on the line. A 5th in Ballito, 9th in Ericeira and a 3rd at Haleiwa did the trick for the Kiwi and he’ll get a second chance to showcase his stylish carving game on some of the most iconic waves of the planet.

Ricardo Christie of New Zeland places third in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.Ricardo ChristieWSL / TONY HEFF

Jesse Mendes suffered a similar fate in the long run, but his final effort today was more convincing and with the runner-up finish at Sunset, Mendes climbed up to sixth on the QS. While the Brasilian struggled to find his feet in his first season on the Championship Tour, his late-season charge on the QS and especially an epic finish in Hawaii proved he’s more than deserving of his seat in the big leagues.

There still could be one more addition to the Championship Tour next season. If Colapinto can hang on to his 20th spot on Tour after Pipe, it will open to No. 12 on the QS. Ezekiel Lau currently occupies this spot, BUT, Zeke may not need it as he’s virtually qualified through the CT as well at the moment. If the Hawaiian maintains his position within the Top 20, another spot will open up for the No. 13 on the QS, Jack Freestone.

Ben Skinner powers to the sharp end of the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships…

Ben Skinner powers to the sharp end of the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships…

Ben Skinner At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

The stage has been set for an epic weekend finale at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship after yet another epic day of surfing from some of the best longboarders on the planet. In moderate cross-shore winds and 2-to-3 foot surf, the event ran through Men’s Round 3 leaving only 12 of the original 36 competitors left in contention for the 2018 World Title.

Ben Skinner At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

By far the performance of the event till now went to surfer shaper Ben Skinner (GBR), who on a board he shaped himself posted an excellent 18.07 heat total, the highest of the event so far. Skinner rode the nose through critical sections of the wave then put the ultimate exclamation point on his ride by adding one of his trademark drop-knee cut-back turns to complete the wave and post a near excellent 9.47 (out of a possible 10).

“I feel like if that heat kept going I would have kept posting good scores,” Skinner said. “I was just feeling really confident and in sync with the waves. My board is feeling really good — I’ve been working on refining this model for a while now so it’s nice to feel it go so good. Recently I have come to terms with the fact that I’m in the back end of my career and that I should enjoy competing as much as I can while I’m still doing it. I think relaxing like that has helped me perform as there is less pressure on me.”

Ben Skinner At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

Round 3 got underway with Phil Rajzman (BRA) coming up against the first Uruguayan representative at the WSL World Longboard Championship, Julian Schweizer (URY). The two time World Champion Rajzman took a while to find his feet but eventually posted a 13.57 heat total to take a solid lead. Needing a score, Schweizer took off on a set wave with only a few seconds left in the heat, but unfortunately for Julian, the wave didn’t offer much opportunity and he didn’t meet the requirement, leaving Rajzman to move into Round 4.

“The waves are really good but with that wind blowing into the rights it’s hard to nose ride,” Rajzman said. “I didn’t have much confidence to walk along my board early in the heat and it was quite stressful, but eventually I got into a rhythm. When Julian was paddling into that last wave I was nervous as he is a really capable surfer but thankfully it didn’t offer him much and I was able to get the win.”

Harley Ingleby At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

Australian title hopeful Harley Ingleby (AUS) rebounded well from his appearance in Round 2, taking a dominating win over Austin Hollingshead (USA) in Heat 3 of round 3. Ingleby showed great variety on both rail and the nose to win with a heat total of 14.07.

“I’m happy with how that heat went,” Ingleby said. “I started with a couple of decent scores and was able to build from there. The waves are nice today but you can definitely feel that there is a little less push in the waves. It looks like the next few days are going to pick up again and the wind will stay a little more cooperative so it should be a good end to the event.”

Reigning three-time World Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) had an unfortunate matchup with Aussie Jared Neal (AUS) as the ocean decided to go flat and the wind began to puff up from the North. Jensen posted his two-wave total off the bat and then struggled to find a wave of real consequence. Fortunately for him, Neal had minimal opportunity as well, meaning Jensen was able to hang onto the lead and sneak through the heat into Round 4.

“I have a really interesting relationship with this wave,” Jensen said. “Yesterday I had a similar experience where I paddled out and the waves just stopped. It wasn’t ideal that it happened in a heat but it’s all good because I made it through. It’s looking like this is the worst day for conditions so I’m looking forward to the next round. I’m surfing some new boards at the moment that feel really good and that always makes a difference.”

Antoine Delpero At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

Antoine Delpero (FRA) continued his dominating form at Jinzun, taking down World Championship debutant Sam Christianson (ZAF) with an impressive heat total of 15.17. The always stylish Delpero will now face off with Piccolo Clemente (PER) and his younger brother Edouard, the event defending champion, in Round 4, Heat 3.

“With the waves like they are at the moment, you just have to take off on anything and hope for the best,” Delpero said. “I was glad I got a couple of good waves in that heat and am looking forward to coming up against my younger brother. We have surfed against each other so it’s nothing new but it is always fun — especially if we both progress.”

Other heat winners in Round 3 included former two-time World Champion Piccolo Clemente (PER), Steven Sawyer (ZAF), Tony Silvagni (USA), Cole Robbins (USA), Jefson Silva (BRA) and Kai Sallas (HAW)
Event directors will reconvene at Jinzun Harbour tomorrow morning to make a call on competition for a likely 6:30 am local time start.

The 2018 WSL World Longboard Championships will run in conjunction with the Taiwan Open of Surfing from November 26 to December 2. Head to worldsurfleague.com and on the Free WSL App. Head here for more information, images, highlights and results.

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship Men’s Round 4 Matchups:
Heat 1: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 13.57 DEF. Julian Schweizer (URY) 12.67
Heat 2: Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 15.56 DEF. Jack Entwistle (AUS) 10.97
Heat 3: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 14.07 DEF. Austin Hollingshead (USA) 7.50
Heat 4: Tony Silvagni (USA) 11.67 DEF. Eduardo Bage (BRA) 11.50
Heat 5: Ben Skinner (GBR) 18.07 DEF. Emilien Fleury (FRA) 11.84
Heat 6: Taylor Jensen (USA) 10.67 DEF. Jared Neal (AUS) 7.63
Heat 7: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 15.10 DEF. Scotty Fong Jr (HAW) 11.00
Heat 8: Piccolo Clemente (PER) 13.34 DEF. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 11.50
Heat 9: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 15.17 DEF. Sam Christianson (ZAF) 10.83
Heat 10: Cole Robbins (USA) 15.24 DEF. Josh Constable (AUS) 10.70
Heat 11: Jefson Silva (BRA) 12.86 DEF. Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 12.33
Heat 12: Kai Sallas (HAW) 14.04 DEF. Makamae Desoto (HAW) 10.53

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship Men’s Round 4 Matchups:
Heat 1: Phil Rajzman (BRA) vs. Steven Sawyer (ZAF) vs. Harley Ingleby (AUS)
Heat 2: Tony Silvagni (USA) vs. Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Taylor Jensen (USA)
Heat 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Piccolo Clemente (PER) vs. Piccolo Clemente (PER)
Heat 4: Cole Robbins (USA) vs. Jefson Silva (BRA) vs. Kai Sallas (HAW)

Steven Sawyer At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships.

Maui Madness: Riss Takes Honolua, Billy Kemper Nails Jaws…

Maui Madness: Riss Takes Honolua, Billy Kemper Nails Jaws…

Carissa Moore of Hawaii won the Final of the Beachwaver Maui Pro, Honolua Bay, 2018.

The conditions at this year’s Beachwaver Maui Pro, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT), were all-time and 3X WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) took full advantage, winning over Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final heat of the season with a Perfect 10-point ride.

Moore clinched her 20th CT victory today, her third at Honolua Bay, and rounds out the season at No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“It’s so special,” said Moore. “My whole family came over and the waves were perfect. Probably the best competitive day I’ve had in my life and just to finish off the season like that is so good. I’m so in love with everything in my life right now. My support crew, surfing and I’m so grateful for the WSL. I’m speechless right now.”

“It was a dream come true to get a 10,” continued Moore. “There was so much emotion at that point, I just started crying and I can’t thank the locals enough for letting us surf your beautiful wave. I’ll definitely take some time off to soak it in. Nothing beats winning in the ocean in perfect surf. The Surf Ranch was awesome, but this is pretty sweet. I’m just loving what I’m doing and so fired up. I’m excited for next year and stoked for Steph (Gilmore), it’s been a big event and a big year and everyone deserves some time off.”

Malia Manuel (HAW) advances to the Semifinals of the 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro after winning Quarterfinal Heat 1 at Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Manuel finished runner-up for the second consecutive year, after blitzing through her Quarterfinal match-up against an injured Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and eliminating the newly crowned WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in the Semifinals before facing Moore in the Final. Today’s result, Manuel’s best of the year, sees her move up to ninth place on the Jeep Leaderboard and secure her place on the CT for 2019.

3X World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW – left) is the WINNER 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro with Malia Manuel (HAW) runner-up at Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

“It’s such an honour to share the stage with Steph (Gilmore) and Carissa (Moore), two of the best surfers of my generation,” Manuel said. “I’m happy to be here and having an event at home, and having my friends from Kauai here is so lovely. I’m feeling a lot of good vibes right now. I have a new spark in me now that I’ve qualified for the Tour next year. I’ve got a lot of plans. Sally (Fitzgibbons) had a tough day yesterday but she’s an animal. I knew she was going to want to surf even with the injury. We’re both just looking forward to next year and hopefully, we will both be in the World Title conversation together.”

Although eliminated in the Semifinals, 7X World Champion Gilmore will come back on the 2019 Championship Tour ranked No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“Malia (Manuel) is always on the best waves,” said Gilmore. “I tried to fight my way back but it’s all good. I’ve had an incredible couple of days. This year has been beyond anything I could’ve dreamed of. Surfing is so fun. People always ask me why I’m smiling so much but if they did what I did they would know why.”

7X World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) advances to the Semifinals of the 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro after winning Quarterfinal Heat 2 at Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Billy Kemper Wins Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi, Hawaii

Across the island, Maui’s own Billy Kemper (HAW) won the Jaws Challenge at Pe‘ahi, one of three stops on the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Big Wave Tour (BWT), for the third time in his career. Competition resumed with Round 1 Heat 2 after being called off yesterday and Kemper picked up where he left off to set today’s tone with more exhilarating performances as he battled back and forth with Kai Lenny (HAW) in the Final.

“Yesterday was probably the most radical day of surfing competition and I’m glad I got to kick that day off and got to end this event,” Kemper said. “This is for my mom and if you’re looking down on me right now mom, this one’s for you.”

This marks a career-defining moment for Kemper as his third Big Wave Tour win on home turf. Kemper’s ability to hunt down some of the heaviest waves and attack the barrels on offer separated him from the rest of the competition today with a brilliant 23.84 (out of a possible 30) heat total.

“I put everything into this year and I was second guessing if I’d be able to surf again by the end of the year,” Kemper continued. “My team got me back here and this is for us. I didn’t do this on my own. My beautiful wife, my children, I love you guys so much.”

Men’s Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi, Hawaii Final Results:
1 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 23.84
2 – Kai Lenny (HAW) 23.56
3 – Albee Layer (HAW) 17.40
4 – Tyler Larronde (HAW) 16.06
5 – Grant Baker (ZAF) 8.10
6 – Koa Rothman (HAW) 2.19

Beachwaver Maui Pro Final Results:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 18.67
2 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.67

Beachwaver Maui Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.50 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.36
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.67 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.44

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Kai Lenny (HAW) is the runner up at the Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi in Maui, Hi, USA