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Maui Teen Surfer, Eli Hanneman to Make Championship Tour Debut, Friday

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Eli Hanneman. WSL Twitter feed / Video: Kalani Minihan

Maui’s own Eli Hanneman, the current No. 1 ranked surfer on the Hawaiʻi Qualifying Series, received a wildcard into his first-ever Championship Tour event for a three-day competition at the Surf Ranch in Leemore, California.

The 17-year-old “small-town kid from Lahaina” began surfing when he was five and has been impressing some of the sport’s top athletes ever since.

Now, Hanneman will be charging against some of the best, including a possible matchup with 11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), who makes his return to competition after missing a string of events on the Australian leg due to injury.

Over the weekend, he shared his excitement in an Instagram post saying, “Thank you @wsl for this opportunity. Stoked to receive a wildcard into my first CT event.” See Eli’s latest Instagram videos here.

Pictured: 11x World Champion Kelly Slater will be back in the jersey this weekend at the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Adobe. Credit: © WSL / Morris

Including Hanneman, Mikey Wright (AUS), Liam O’Brien (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Lucas Vicente (BRA) and Jabe Swierkocki (USA) will replace John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Michael Borez (FRA), Julian Wilson (AUS) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) in this year’s event.

Hanneman is one of two Hawaiʻi surfers in the Men’s competition this year. Also representing the Aloha State in the Men’s event is Seth Moniz. Hawaiʻi Women surfers competing are Malia Manuel, Coco Ho and Carissa Moore, who won the event at the ranch in 2018.

The Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe gets underway tomorrow, Friday, June 18, and runs through June 20, 2021. The contest is the final World Surf League event ahead of surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo and the sixth stop on the elite WSL Championship Tour.

Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe

*Format / Leaderboard info courtesy WSL


The Jeep Surf Ranch Pro will be broadcast live on from June 18-20 2021. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

Event Format: “Events at Surf Ranch are very unique and high pressure, completely different from what the surfers deal with when in the ocean,” said WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “This year we’ll have a one-on-one Final for each division, which is very exciting and different from past events at the Ranch. Whoever rides the best left and best right, wins.”

Qualifying Leaderboard – Runs 1 and 2:  Normal event seeding will determine the surfer order for the opening runs for the 36 men and 18 women in the draw. The brackets are six-person heats combining two runs of two waves each. The best-scoring left and right form each surfer’s total score. The top two surfers from each heat plus the next highest-ranked 12 men and six women on the leaderboard will win a Bonus Run of an extra two waves. This is the only time top scores from previous runs may be carried over.

Qualifying Leaderboard – Bonus Run:  The leaderboard determines surfer order for the 24 men and 12 women who are awarded a Bonus Run. The top eight men and four women on the leaderboard after the bonus run will advance to the Semifinal.


Semifinals:  The eight men and women will each ride four waves over two runs (a left and right back to back). The best scoring left and right from the Semifinal form each surfer’s total score. The top two men and women on the leaderboard advance to the Final.

Final: Each of the four finalists (two men and two women) will ride four waves over two runs (a left and right back to back). The best scoring left and right from the Final form the surfer’s total score and the highest scoring man and woman win the event.

Jeep Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Adobe full schedule.

Current WSL Women’s Championship Tour WSL Final 5:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 36,055 pts
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 28,185 pts 
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 27,540 pts 
4 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 26,050 pts 
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 24,645 pts
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 24,645 pts

Current WSL Men’s Championship Tour WSL Final 5:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 38,920 pts
2 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,325 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 22,505 pts
4 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 22,065 pts
5 – Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 21,290 pts

JD Pells
JD is a news reporter for Maui Now. He has contributed stories to TCU 360, Fort Worth Report and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. JD interned at Maui Now in 2021. He graduated from the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University, with a bachelor's in journalism and business in 2022, before coming back home to Maui with the purpose of serving his community. He can be reached at [email protected].
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