The World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii Qualifying Series (QS) season opens beginning December 8 - 20 with the HIC Pipe Pro QS 1,000 at the world-famous reef of Pipeline. Regional competitors are set to hold their ground against a world-class field featuring WSL Champions and recent Championship Tour (CT) qualifiers. A minimal forecast in opening days has forced event organizers to call OFF December 8 and 9 with the next call to be made Friday, December 10 at 7:00 a.m. HST.
"Due to small northerly swell forecasted for the start of the waiting period, Wednesday and Thursday will be lay days," said Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Tour Manager Marty Thomas. "Long range forecasts show more promising swell later in the window and we're hoping to get the surfers into some proper waves for competition. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible, especially HIC, and the local community for their support."
A dramatic finish to the Challenger Series brought to light some of Hawaii's brightest new contingent ready to make their mark among the likes of two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) and five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW).
Shion Crawford, 17, entered the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger as an alternate and made some serious noise to put his name on the watchlist moving forward, finishing with a Quarterfinal result. One of Haleiwa's own, Crawford looks to continue representing proudly for the North Shore at one of the world's most recognized lineups.
"The event at Haleiwa gave me so much confidence in my surfing," said Crawford. "I can't believe I got into that event to begin with, so that was crazy. I'm really excited to compete in a regional event and get some points. I'm not really in a rush to get on the Challenger Series because I know I want to keep growing and developing my surfing, but it'll be amazing to surf with guys like John John (Florence) an Mason (Ho) again."
This marks the first women's return to the esteemed lineup of Pipeline since 2018's Women's Pipeline Invitational featuring Moore, Coco Ho, Alessa Quizon, and Zoe McDougall. For McDougall, this is a brilliant opportunity to get early points at home toward the Challenger Series in hopes of joining the world's best. The 21-year-old's 2016 performance earned her a Semifinal finish as she now looks to claim her first North Shore victory.
"I'm pretty excited to have another event at home which is new to me to have more than one event here," said McDougall. "My experiences at Pipeline have been really special. When I got to do the invitational it was definitely the largest I've surfed it at like eight-foot right before the men's Pipe Masters Final that year. I learned the most about that wave in that heat. We've been competing for almost five months straight now so I'm looking forward to keeping the ball rolling."
When the final horn sounded in Haleiwa, Luana Silva confirmed her 2022 CT Rookie spot and now looks to gain vital experience in a jersey at Pipeline along with fellow soon-to-be rookies Gabriela Bryan, Bettylou Sakura Johnson, along with CT veterans Courtney Conlogue, Lakey Peterson, and more.
The HIC Pipe Pro QS 1,000 will run December 8 - 20 at Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu.
For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place. This includes testing and advance screening protocols, physical distancing, and limited personnel on-site.