Carissa Moore (HAW), currently ranked No. 1 on the women's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, is home for a brief respite between CT events in Australia and scored a few clean barrels during warm-up Tuesday morning at the Surf n Sea Pipeline Pro, presented by Brazilian Show Room. But when the competition officially began, the two-time World Champ seemed more content to encourage her challengers and share in their experience than assert the dominance that took her to number one at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast last week.
While she didn't advance today, her presence alone was inspirational for the wave of young, aspiring women who reveled in the opportunity to gain a few tips and take pictures with the champ to post on their social media.
A World Surf League-sanctioned Qualifying Series QS1000 women's competition, this event does not offer points toward the 2015 World Title that Moore is chasing, but does offer uncrowded time at the most famous surf break on the planet: The Banzai Pipeline. And Moore was all about showing up for that.
"This event for me is about the opportunity, with no pressure, to learn more about Pipeline," she said. "Everyone wants this kind of time alone at Pipe. Also, my sister Cayla is coming up in the event later in the round and I'm just enjoying being here to cheer her and the other girls on.
"Hawaii is such a special place to me and it's so rejuvenating, so any opportunity I get to come home and get a break from all the pressure of the Tour is great.
"It was fun to have a heat with Keala Kennelly this morning and catch up with her. She's a legend of the sport and one of the women that I really looked up to when I was starting out."
As it turned out, Keala Kennelly -- former world No. 2 and best known for her big wave pursuits at Teahupo'o and Maverick's -- was more driven to advance today and took the heat from Emilia Perry (HAW) and Moore.
An international field of 32 women comprise the Surf n Sea Pipeline Pro, and that was reflected in today's results. Among those advancing were Natalie Anzivino (USA); Jessica Anderson (CHL); and locals Bailey Nagy and Honolua Blomfield (HAW).
A champion will be crowned on the next day of competition, which will be shared with the Pipeline Pro Junior Men's competition that is also sanctioned by the World Surf League.
Organizers will assess conditions at first light tomorrow for a possible continuation of surfing. When competition does resume, look for highlight performances from Cayla Moore and her fellow Hawaii hopefuls Moana Jones, Mainei Kinimaka, Dax McGill, and Anastasia Ashley (USA).