On the heels of an unforgettable 10th running of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, the World Surf League’s 2023 Championship Tour season is gearing up to launch later this week with the always anticipated Billabong Pro Pipeline.
The Billabong Pro Pipeline holds a competition window from Jan. 29 to Feb. 10.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
One of the Hawaii surfers hoping to ride a heavy wave of momentum to start the CT season is Honolulu’s Ezekiel Lau. The Kamehameha graduate placed sixth at The Eddie and was awarded with Wave of the Day honors.
“To be awarded the best wave of the day at the Eddie, which they’re calling one of the biggest ones they’ve seen in years, I can’t even believe that,” Lau told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “It’s not even like processing for me, but I feel like that’s just a blessing for me. Out there with the waves are that big, you don’t catch the wave. The wave catches you.”
Lau, who earned his way back into CT status for 2023 via the Challenger Series. will be one of eight surfers representing Hawaii, including four others in the men’s division.
“I’m just going to try to keep this energy up and take it right into the first event of the year pipeline,” he said. “I’ve been putting on a lot of work in in the off season and just been doing my best with recovering and and getting ready for the first event of the year at Pipe.”
|Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Opening Round Matchups:|
HEAT 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (POR)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW)* vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)* vs. Alyssa Spencer (USA)
HEAT 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS) vs. Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 5: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) vs. Caitlin Simmers (USA)
HEAT 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Molly Picklum (AUS)
Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Nat Young (USA) vs. Ian Gentil (HAW)*
HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS)
HEAT 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)*
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)* vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS) vs. Joshua Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 7: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)* vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
HEAT 9: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
HEAT 10: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) vs. Rio Waida (IDN)
HEAT 11: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 12: John John Florence (HAW)* vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
* 2023 World Championship Tour surfers
The Billabong Pro Pipeline will open on January 29 and holds a competition window through February 10, 2023. Once called ON, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.