SUNSET BEACH, Oahu, Hawaii (Saturday, February 11, 2023) - The )( Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, the second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT), opens tomorrow at the iconic open-ocean Hawaiian break of Sunset Beach. The first call for the waiting period, which runs through February 23, will be tomorrow, Sunday, February 12. The live Dawn Patrol show will start tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. HST.
Down the road from the Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach is another famed proving ground of the North Shore of Oahu. Surfers will need skill, power, and wave-reading abilities in order to perform well at this break. This will be the second consecutive year the historic venue has played host to a CT event. The Hurley Pro Sunset Beach will be the second opportunity for competitors to gain points on the CT rankings in order to make the Mid-season Cut and continue their battle for a place in the Final 5.
"Hurley is proud to support the world's best surfers, as well as the local artists, retailers and community in North Oahu, Hawaii that help inspire such a great event," said COO and co-founder of Bluestar Alliance, parent company of Hurley, Ralph Gindi.
World's Best Surfers Ready For Stop No. 2 on the Championship Tour
When the competition commences, Final 5 competitor Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) will be up first against Molly Picklum (AUS) and injury replacement Teresa Bonvalot (PRT). Weston-Webb had a surprisingly early loss at Sunset Beach last year and will be eager for redemption.
Also seeking redemption is Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), who is focused on a strong result after an early elimination at Pipeline last week. Gilmore will be facing Isabella Nichols (AUS) and wildcard Zoe McDougall (HAW) in the second heat of the Opening Round. McDougall has grown up with Sunset Beach as her backyard and is sure to be a threat to the veteran.
"I'm super excited to be surfing at my home break in a Championship Tour event," said McDougall. "I've been watching and picturing myself surfing in this event my whole life, so this is truly a dream come true!"
Five-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) is once again at the top of the rankings after her big win at the Billabong Pro Pipeline. She will take on Caroline Marks (USA) and injury replacement Luana Silva (BRA) in the Opening Round, Heat 3. Moore will be looking to improve on her early loss to Picklum at Sunset last year. With momentum from her recent win, and years of experience at Sunset Beach, all eyes will be on Moore.
Defending event winner Brisa Hennessy (CRC) comes off a solid Quarterfinal finish at Pipeline. That, paired with her previous year, could give her the edge going into her Opening Round matchup against tour veterans Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS).
Jack Robinson (AUS) earned his 4th CT victory at the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline and heads to Sunset Beach as World No. 1. He will face California's Jake Marshall and injury replacement Eli Hanneman (HAW) in the Opening Round, Heat 5.
"It's cool to go straight into the next one, we don't really have time to lay off the gas," said Robinson. "Sunset is always a tricky wave. I spend a lot of time out there, but there's always something to learn. Pipeline and Sunset are two of the most tricky waves there are. Never underestimate them."
Reigning World Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) is now No. 5 on the rankings and will be hoping to regain the coveted yellow jersey with a win at Sunset Beach. It won't come easy, as he will have to take on wildcard and event threat Kai Lenny (HAW) and Pipeline standout Liam O'Brien (AUS) in his Opening Round matchup.
"I am so excited for the Hurley Pro at Sunset Beach," said Lenny. It's one of my favorite spots to compete at, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to surf against the best in the world!"
Hawaii's No. 2 rated surfer on the Challenger Series, Keanu Asing (HAW) will also enter Sunset Beach as an event wildcard. Asing will confront fellow Hawaiian Seth Moniz and 2019 World Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) in the Opening Round, Heat 4.
Three-time World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) missed this event last year due to an injury. He will be aiming for a hot start in the final matchup of the Opening Round against Australia's Connor O'Leary and Ryan Callinan.
Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men's Opening Round Matchups
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Ezekiel Lau
Heat 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA) vs. Carlos Munoz (CRC)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 5: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW)
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Liam O'Brien (AUS) vs. Kai Lenny (HAW)
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
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)
Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women's Opening Round Matchups
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Molly Picklum (AUS) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Zoe McDougall (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Luana Silva (BRA)
Heat 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Caitlin Simmers (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The Hurley Pro Sunset Beach holds a competition window from February 12 - 23, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL's YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL's broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition's Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.
The Hurley Pro Sunset Beach is proudly supported by Hurley, YETI, 805 Beer, Red Bull, Shiseido, Craft 1861, Turtle Bay, True Surf, Sambazon, Spectrum, Pura Vida, Surfline, and Surfshark.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com
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