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GREEN ALERT: Pe’ahi Challenge Called On for Friday or Saturday

October 24, 2017, 9:12 AM HST · Updated October 25, 10:25 AM
Nikki Schenfeld · 32 Comments
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The World Surf League Big Wave Tour is placing a Green Alert on the Pe’ahi Challenge in Haiku to run on Friday, Oct. 27 and/or Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 with projected 40-45 foot waves heading toward the region.

Aaron Gold looking for an exit in round one. PC: Lyle Krannichfeld

“This swell looks really promising, so we’ve issued a Green Alert to run on Friday and/or Saturday,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “We have a long period swell coming from the northwest direction, which will provide us with surf in the 40-45 foot range. We will continue to monitor the conditions to determine which days we will run the contest. We could potentially see heats on both Friday and Saturday or just one of the two days. We are excited to get the first event of the winter season underway and witness the world’s best big wave surfers take on Pe’ahi for the third year in a row.”

Pe’ahi, known as “Jaws,” breaks off the northern coastline of Maui with the ability to produce waves in excess of 60 feet.

The event premiered on the BWT in 2015.

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Billy Kemper (HAW) has dominated the Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge since its introduction to the WSL Big Wave Tour and will look for his third-consecutive win at Jaws this weekend. Kai Lenny (HAW), winner of the Puerto Escondido Challenge earlier this year, leads the 2017/2018 BWT rankings heading into the second event of the season. Lenny earned an Equal 9th place result at Pe’ahi last season and will now look to surpass that result to maintain his World No. 1 position on the men’s BWT leaderboard.

The Women’s Pe’ahi Challenge will witness a decorated lineup of the leading big wave surfers compete at the famed break in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. Last year’s inaugural event saw Paige Alms (HAW) claim the historic victory. This year’s event will feature six women battling in a one-off Final for the prestigious win, including Alms, Justine Dupont (FRA), Andrea Moeller (BRA), Keala Kennelly (HAW), Felicity Palmateer (AUS), and Bianca Valenti (USA).

Surfline, Official Forecasters for the 2017/2018 WSL BWT season are calling for:

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Former Super Typhoon Lan is transitioning to an extratropical storm in the northwest Pacific today and is expected to expand and crank out 45-50 foot seas in the next 24 hours, 2000-2500 miles from Hawaii. As a result, a powerful, long period northwest swell will build into Pe’ahi throughout the day on Friday with an expected peak overnight before trending down during the first half of Saturday.

As the swell peaks Friday afternoon and evening, WSL says they expect to see wave face heights in the 30-40’ range, with the largest sets of the day potentially up to 45’ faces. Friday early morning will be slower with the swell just starting to build and potentially some morning sickness thanks to N/NNE wind. However, surf should slowly improve through the day as the swell builds and wind trends more NE in direction.

Saturday morning will see improved wind as moderate ENE trades return. The swell will be slowly easing with 25-35’ faces early morning and max sets still pushing 40’ faces. Solid, but easing, surf should continue through midday, before dropping off over the afternoon.

CLOSURE:

Due to safety and environmental concerns, the event site will be closed to spectators. Fans are encouraged to watch the event online and at viewing parties arranged on Maui. Please visit WorldSurfLeauge.com for updates on viewing locations.

The event will also be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, Sport TV in Portugal and

the EDGEsport Network.

2017/18 BWT Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge:
Invitees: Grant Baker, Pedro Calado, Greg Long, Jamie Mitchell, Billy Kemper, Nic Lamb, Will Skudin, João De Macedo, Cristian Merello, Kai Lenny, Makuakai Rothman, Lucas Chianca, Francisco Porcella, Trevor Sven Carlson, Tom Lowe, Shane Dorian, Ian Walsh, Albee Layer, Mark Healey, Aaron Gold, Tyler Larronde, Nathan Florence, Koa Rothman, Ryan Hipwood
Alternates: Shaun Walsh, Danilo Couto, Torrey Meister, Peter Mel, Alex Botelho

2017/18 BWT Women’s Pe’ahi Challenge:
Invitees: Paige Alms, Justine Dupont, Andrea Moeller, Keala Kennelly, Felicity Palmateer, Bianca Valenti
Alternates: Emily Erickson, Nicole Pacelli, Laura Enever

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.

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