Two-time WSL Champion John John Florence of Hawaii after winning the Final at the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger on December 5, 2021 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Photo by Brent Bielmann/World Surf League)

  • Florence Throws Down Perfect 10 to Overpower Stacked Final
  • Long-Awaited Start for Women’s Top Seeds Riddled with Upsets
  • Women’s Finals Day Set, Next Call 7:30 a.m. HST
  • More Available at

John John Florence (HAW) claimed victory at the World Surf League (WSL) Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger, the final stop of the 2021 Challenger Series, after overpowering XL swell at the iconic North Shore reef break along with Jack Robinson (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), and Samuel Pupo (BRA) in a thrilling, action-packed Final. It was Florence’s ninth North Shore, Oahu victory in his career to tie the late, 3X WSL Champion Andy Irons (HAW). Also today, the women’s top seeds debuted in sensational form as their respective Quarterfinal draws are now locked in. 

“I’m feeling good, really good and it’s just so much fun being here and competing again,” said Florence. “After those injuries the last few years, it just feels good to be here and I just want to say thanks to my wife, my family, my whole team, and everyone who’s there supporting me. It’s been huge going through these last couple years and to be here winning again is awesome.”
An early start from Pupo got the attention of eventual winner Florence as the North Shore, Oahu surfer unleashed an array of his signature power and progression on a wave at the midway point of the Final for a perfect 10 that had the crowd erupting in cheers and applause. The 29-year-old, 2X WSL Champion, wasn’t to be stopped – holding the highest single-wave score and heat total throughout the event – and placing all of the remaining finalists in a combination situation.

Jack Robinson of Australia surfing in Heat 1 of the Quarterfinals at the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger on December 5, 2021 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Photo by Brent Bielmann/World Surf League)

This marked Robinson’s first-ever Finals appearance on the hallowed grounds of Haleiwa and he surged through the competition on his way to a runner-up finish. The 2021 CT Rookie will return to compete against the world’s best with renewed vigor following dominant performances at Haleiwa, including an excellent 16.40 heat total in the Round of 64 and an 8.33 wave in the Semifinals.  

“That was a good run and it was funny because John (John Florence) and I were in a paddle battle before he just turned and went on a wave,” said Robinson. “I think that put him in a good rhythm with those two waves and I turned around thinking what just happened. But, it was such a fun event and a good tune-up for next year. It’s funny, it’s been two years since I’ve qualified now and everything here feels so different but at the same time it’s the same beautiful place and I’m just excited to be back here.”

A third-place for Igarashi kept him atop the Challenger Series rankings to close the 2021 season as Pupo’s fourth-place notched a career-best in a major WSL event.

Long-Awaited Start for Women’s Top Seeds Riddled with Upsets

Alyssa Spencer of the United States surfing in Heat 1 of the Round of 32 at the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger on December 5, 2021 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League)

Championship Tour hopeful Alyssa Spencer (USA) debuted in dominant fashion to steal the show from one of surfing’s greatest, reigning 5X WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who also advanced with a second place finish in the heat. Spencer’s top form in 2021 remains undeniable with two victories to her name on the Qualifying Series (QS) and the San Diego, California competitor looks to keep that momentum alive.
“It felt so good to get that heat out of the way after we’ve been waiting around for a lot of days to have this happen,” Spencer said. “There’s been a lot of anticipation and a lot of nerves, but I was just happy to find a couple opportunities out there, and it was so cool being in a heat with Carissa. This is a really big event for me and probably the best year of my life competition-wise, and just really enjoying where I’m at right now.” 

Luana Silva of Hawaii after surfing in Heat 4 of the Round of 32 at the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger on December 5, 2021 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League)

Fellow CT qualification threat Luana Silva (HAW) sits on the cusp of making her dreams come true and secured her spot into the Quarterfinals with a brilliant showing. The 17-year-old’s forehand laid the foundation for a 7.17 to take the lead and she never looked back. Silva is also joined by alternate and North Shore’s own up-and-coming talent Pua Desoto after getting into the event following Sage Erickson’s (USA) withdrawal. 
“It was super fun out there and just to surf with three other girls out at Haleiwa is pretty amazing,” said Silva. “I was riding a small step up, a 5’11, with my normal board being a 5’9. My home breaks are more up the coast like Sunset, but I’ll usually come down here if it’s too big everywhere else.” 

Adding to the day’s immaculate showings, an Australian duo of Molly Picklumand India Robinson both notched decisive victories over World No. 2 Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), who was eliminated from competition, and CT veteran Lakey Peterson (USA), who also advanced. Picklum, 18, is also on the hunt for a big result to secure her CT spot along with Robinson. 

But, it was Haleiwa’s own Bettylou Sakura Johnson who laid waste to her home lineup with another jaw-dropping performance – a 16.23 heat total. Johnson’s awareness in the shifting lineup allowed her to find a 7.40 before immediately, under fourth priority, unleashing her powerful forehand multiple times for an 8.83 to best former CT competitor Coco Ho (HAW), who was eliminated from competition, along with CT competitor Caroline Marks(USA), by Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN). 

“The waves were really good today so I think anyone could’ve had a good heat,” said Sakura Johnson. “(I just have) excitement for tomorrow. I’m taking it step-by-step and I’m going to keep my confidence and hope for the best.”

Quarterfinalists are rounded off by big wins from CT competitor Brisa Hennessy, former CT competitor Macy Callaghan (AUS), along with Challenger Series threat Yolanda Hopkins (PRT).

A 7:30 a.m. HST call will determine a possible 8:00 a.m. HST start for the women’s finals day. 


Upcoming Women’s Michelob Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1
: Alyssa Spencer (USA), Vahine Fierro (FRA), Yoland Hopkins (PRT), Pua Desoto (HAW)
QF 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Carissa Moore (HAW), Luana Silva (HAW), Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 
QF 3: Molly Picklum (AUS), Sarah Baum (ZAF), India Robinson (AUS), Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
QF 4: Macy Callaghan (AUS), Savanna Stone (HAW), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), Lakey Peterson (USA)

Men’s Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger Final Results:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 18.03      10,000 points
2 – Jack Robinson (AUS) 15.03                  8,000 points 
3 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.54                  6,500 points 
4 – Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.13                    6,100 points 

Men’s Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger Semifinal Results:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.20, Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.16, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 8.23, Callum Robson (AUS) 6.00
SF 2: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 16.13, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.60, Kalani Ball (AUS) 12.20, Liam O’Brien (AUS) 8.83

Men’s Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.33, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 11.36, Jake Marshall (USA) 9.27, Jacob Wilcox (AUS) 5.60
QF 2: Callum Robson (AUS) 12.07, John John Florence (HAW) 11.20, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.26, Shion Crawford (HAW) 8.27
QF 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.16, Kalani Ball (AUS) 10.57, Ian Gentil (HAW) 8.53, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 5.93
QF 4: Liam O’Brien (AUS) 12.16, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.83, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.70, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 5.77

Men’s Challenger Series Final Rankings:
1. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
2. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
3.  Liam O’Brien (AUS)
4. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
5. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
6. Jake Marshall (USA) 
7. Jack Robinson (AUS)
8. Callum Robson (AUS)
9. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
10. Nat Young (USA)
11. Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
12. Lucca Mesinas (PER)
13. Joao Chianca (BRA)
14. Jackson Baker (AUS)
15. Carlos Munoz (CRI)

Watch LIVE
The Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger will be broadcast LIVE on, 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

The Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger is proudly supported by Michelob ULTRA, Vans, Shiseido, Hydro Flask, Sambazon, Draft Kings, Expedia, and HIC.

COVID-19 Updates
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
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.  
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