The world’s best big wave watermen and women are on their way to Hawaii for the Pe’ahi Challenge, a World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) event, which has been put on green alert for Friday, November 11, 2016. A projected 30-foot swell is expected to arrive at the world-famous big wave break on Maui’s North Shore and competition is currently set to get underway at 7am (local time).
The Pe’ahi Challenge will be contested by 24 men, led by current rankings’ leader Grant Baker (ZAF) who will surf in Round 1 Heat 2 alongside defending event winner Billy Kemper (HAW). Reigning BWT Champion Greg Long (USA) will compete in the opening heat of Round 1.
For the first time in WSL Big Wave Tour history, the world’s best female big wave surfers will compete at Pe’ahi with 12 individuals vying for the maiden women’s title. The format of the women’s event will consist of two six-woman heats with the top three finishers from each advancing on to the Final.
The Pe’ahi Challenge will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app.
The 2016/17 BWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components hosting three possible events within each. The Southern Hemisphere window ran from April 27 to August 31, 2016 with event options in Mexico, Chile and Peru. The Puerto Escondido Challenge was the only event to run and saw Baker claim victory. The Northern Hemisphere window runs from October 15, 2016 to February 28, 2017 with event options in Portugal, Hawaii and Mexico.
The prize money on offer for the Pe’ahi Challenge is $100,000 for the men’s event and $50,000 for the women’s.
Pe’ahi Challenge Men’s Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Greg Long (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Cristian Merello (CHL), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Gabriel Villaran (PER), Tyler Larronde (HAW)
Heat 2: Billy Kemper (HAW), Carlos Burle (BRA), Grant Baker (ZAF), Kai Lenny (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW), Dege O’Connell (HAW)
Heat 3: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Albee Layer (HAW), Mark Healey (HAW), Aaron Gold (HAW), Will Skudin (USA), Yuri Soledade (HAW)
Heat 4: Nic Lamb (USA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Shane Dorian (HAW), Pedro Calado (BRA), Shaun Walsh (HAW), Francisco Porcella (HAW)
Pe’ahi Challenge Women’s Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Keala Kennelly (HAW), Andrea Moller (BRA), Emily Erickson (HAW), Justine Dupont (FRA), Silvia Nabuco (BRA), Polly Ralda (GTM)
Heat 2: Paige Alms (HAW), Bianca Valenti (USA), Jamilah Star (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Felicity Palmateer (AUS), Tammy-Lee Smith (ZAF)