WSL: Wildcard Moana Jones Wong Wins Women’s Billabong Pro Pipeline
Moana Jones Wong (HAW) made surfing history over the weekend by winning the Billabong Pro Pipeline in a final against five-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW).
The first-ever full women’s event on the World Surf League Championship Tour took place at the iconic North Shore break.
“I can’t believe it, I’m just losing it right now,” Wong said. “This is the best moment of my life and I’m so baffled. I never thought I was ever going to accomplish this. Carissa Moore is my favorite surfer and my hero, I always wanted to have a Final at Pipeline with her.”
The 22-year-old local surfer that has committed her time to the Pipeline lineup has already proven herself at one of the most challenging waves in the world, and now has put the CT on alert with her performance in competition over the weekend.
A five-time finalist on the Qualifying Series at Pipeline, she won the HIC Pipe Pro last December and stepped up her game against the world’s best athletes to claim her first CT win, according to the WSL. She is the first wildcard to do so since two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in 2010 just up the road at Sunset Beach.
In the Final, Wong picked up right where she left off with two back-to-back rides on Banzai Pipeline to post an early lead of 12 points, according to a WSL recap.
As time ran out, Wong got a final opportunity when she started super deep, counter-peak on a left, and got a clean exit for a 7.67 (out of a possible 10) and a victory lap on home turf as Moore congratulated her opponent. Now sitting as World No. 1, Wong will also receive a wildcard slot into the next stop on the 2022 Championship Tour, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, which opens next week.
Now a two-time runner-up at Pipeline, Moore added another result on her resume to kick-start her defending campaign on the 2022 CT. Moore was humbled by the performance of her young opponent and gracious in defeat.
“I feel like I’m constantly learning,” Moore told the WSL. “Today was a little bit outside of my comfort zone, there was a lot of water moving and for me, it was just about putting in some more time with only another surfer out. Congratulations Moana, there’s no one more deserving, she’s put in years and years out here and you could tell she did a great job.”
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Final Results:
1 – Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 14.34
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 3.73
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Semifinals Results:
HEAT 1: Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 14.00 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.76
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.84 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 1.26
The 2022 Championship Tour Continues in Hawaiʻi
The holding period for the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO, the second stop of the 2022 Championship Tour, runs from Feb. 11 to 23, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com.