Luana Silva (HAW) is no stranger to waves of consequence after performances at the Sunset Pro Junior and now sits just one spot from Championship Tour (CT) qualification heading into Haleiwa. Credit: © WSL / Saguibo
- Competition Window Opens November 26
- Last-Chance Qualification Hopefuls Ready to Compete
- Challenger Series Threats Ready to Clash with World’s Best
- More Information Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
The World Surf League (WSL) Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger, the final stop of the 2021 Challenger Series, is set for opening day action. The competition’s waiting period opens on November 26 and runs through December 7, 2021. A monumental event awaits competitors looking to secure their place among the world’s best on the Championship Tour (CT). Competitors must overcome a world-class field if they are to prove themselves worthy of joining the elite CT field, and a stellar surf forecast may provide them that opportunity.
Currently sitting at No. 4 on the Challenger Series, Imaikalani deVault (HAW) is poised for qualification and just needs one last result to secure his place within the Top 12. The Maui-born surfer looks to be the first competitor sinceDusty Payne in 2010 and Sebastian Zietz in 2013 to qualify for the CT from his home island and understands the task at hand.
“Qualifying this year for me would be more than a dream come true,” said deVault. “ It’s cliche to say but it’s true. I know that I’ve wanted to make the CT since I started competing at 6 years old. I have a lot of great memories from Haleiwa as a kid competing, I have a few amateur event wins, but we all dream of performing on the big stage. I always think of Maui boy Dusty Payne in 2014 coming into Haleiwa and getting a huge win to eventually lead him to requalifying and just ripping so hard. That’s what I want to do.”
But, deVault will have to contend with the likes of Challenger Series threats such as former CT competitors Nat Young (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), along with 2021 standouts Liam O’Brien (AUS), Joao Chianca (BRA), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Jackson Baker (AUS), Adin Masencamp(ZAF), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Qualifying Series (QS) veteran Carlos Munoz(CRI), and more.
A big start awaits the women’s competition for the first time on Haleiwa’s sacred grounds since 2010. With Gabriela Bryan (HAW) already qualified as a 2022 CT Rookie, a field of talented women look to join her such as fellow Hawaii standouts, recent Roxy Pro France Challenger victor Luana Silva, and Bettylou Sakura Johnson. The 16-year-old Sakura Johnson’s surge through 2021, and breakout performance at the 2020 Maui Pro presented by Roxy, put her at the top of everyone’s radar and she sits just seven spots back from qualification.
“To have a chance to make it on the dream Tour is a huge opportunity for any surfer,” said Sakura Johnson. “Getting on the Tour has been a goal of mine since I was little, but I definitely did not expect to have a chance so soon. I guess it would be fair to say I have the home-field advantage here in Haleiwa but all the girls surf so good it’s really anybody’s game out there. So many people have helped me get where I am today, especially the locals here in Haleiwa, and I really want to honor their efforts, make them proud, and say thank you by putting on a good show for everyone.”
Also joining the fields for both men and women include 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA), five-time WSL Champion nd Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore (HAW), two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), 2021 World No. 2 Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), 2021 World No. 6 and Team USA Olympian Caroline Marks (USA), 2021 World No. 4 Conner Coffin (USA), 2020 Olympic silver medalist Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), and many more.
The Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app, and on WSL’s YouTube Channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger is proudly supported by Michelob ULTRA, Vans, Shiseido, Hydro Flask, Sambazon, Draft Kings, Expedia, and HIC.
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 in place a robust set of procedures in place. This includes testing and advance screening protocols, physical distancing, and limited personnel on-site.
About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing.
A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com.
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.