Maui Sports

GREEN ALERT: Peʻahi Challenge Eyes Huge Swell

November 9, 2016, 2:23 PM HST
* Updated November 10, 6:56 AM
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Billy Kemper of Haʻikū, the defending Peʻahi Challenge Champion. Photo: Nick Ricca

The Peʻahi Challenge is now on Green Alert.

The start time for the World Surf League Big Wave Tour event, has been updated to 7 a.m. HST on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, with a massive swell heading toward the islands. Thirty-foot plus waves are expected with ideal winds and tides.

Peter Mel, the WSL BWT Commissioner said, “We have been tracking a storm from the Pacific Northwest and anticipate a promising swell to deliver for our first BWT event of the Northern Hemisphere season. We are calling the Peʻahi Challenge on, for a possible start Thursday afternoon, with swells expected to hold through Friday.”

The Peʻahi Challenge will be contested by 24 men, including Maui’s own, defending event champion Billy Kemper.

Other Maui surfers in the mix are Tyler Larronde, Albee Layer, Kai Lenny, Ian Walsh, Shaun Walsh, Yuri Soledade, Dege O’Connell, Francisco Porcella, Paige Alms, and Andrea Moller.


For the first time in WSL Big Wave Tour history, 12 of the world’s best female big-wave surfers will battle it out at Peʻahi for the inaugural women’s title. “We’re incredibly proud to be introducing a women’s event this season,” Mel continued. “These ladies are some of the most dedicated, passionate and talented big-wave surfers on the planet. It will be phenomenal to witness them tackle Peʻahi.”


Maui local Paige Alms won a Big Wave Award for catching perhaps the biggest tube in history at her home break of Peʻahi. On Thursday, she could become one of the first women to compete in a contest there.

Stay tuned to Maui Now for more event coverage. Catch the event live on


Peʻahi Challenge Men’s Field:

  • Greg Long (USA)
  • Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
  • Billy Kemper (HAW)
  • Nic Lamb (USA)
  • Josh Kerr (AUS)
  • Albee Layer (HAW)
  • Carlos Burle (BRA)
  • Damien Hobgood (USA)
  • Cristian Merello (CHL)
  • Mark Healey (HAW)
  • Grant Baker (ZAF)

Peʻahi Challenge Women’s Field:

  • Keala Kennelly (HAW)
  • Paige Alms (HAW)
  • Andrea Moller (HAW)
  • Bianca Valenti (USA)
  • Emily Erickson (USA)
  • Savannah Shaugnessy (USA)
  • Justine Dupont (FRA)
  • Jamilah Starr (USA)
  • Maya Gabeira (BRA)
  • Sylvia Nabuco (BRA)
  • Laura Enever (AUS)
  • Wrenna Delgado (HAW)

Performer of the year BWA Invites:

  • Shane Dorian (HAW)
  • Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
  • Aaron Gold (HAW)
  • Kai Lenny (HAW)

Peʻahi Event Wildcards:

  • Ian Walsh (HAW)
  • Shaun Walsh (HAW)
  • Tyler Larronde (HAW)
  • Yuri Soledade (HAW)
  • Dege O’Connell (HAW)
  • Francisco Porcella (ITA)

Three WSL Wildcards are to be announced.

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