Jack Robinson (AUS) has won the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, Stop No. 2 on the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in six-to-eight-foot perfect rights at Sunset Beach. The proving grounds of Oahu’s North Shore once again offered a real challenge to the best surfers in the world with solid waves, in shifting lineups, but overall plenty of opportunities to showcase their talent and kick off the new season.

A monumental shift in women’s professional surfing happened over the course of the season’s first two events, with the Top 17 taking on serious conditions at Pipe and Sunset and some of the youngest competitors showing up with massive performances and commitment to raise the bar.

Picklum Goes Back-to-Back at Sunset, Takes Over Rankings Lead

Picklum was an integral part of the charge in making history this month as she collected huge scores for her relentless approach to hitting the biggest sections of the waves, holding nothing back. Today she earned back-to-back titles at Sunset. This win marks Picklum’s second victory on Tour, out of four Finals surfed, and the Australian will be wearing the yellow Leader jersey heading to Portugal for the next stop of the 2024 CT as the new World No.1.

“What a moment! Defending a title is so hard in our sport because the ocean is in charge,” Picklum said, “The ocean played its part for me and I’m really, really happy it did that. Every event feels different, so I’m just taking it for what it is and trying to find the little fun moments in between it all. I definitely wasn’t as confident in this event but I always kept belief and I think that’s one of my strengths.”

The women’s Final was a rematch of the second Semifinal at Pipe last week between Picklum and Sakura Johnson, with a lot in the balance as the winning surfer would get to wear the rankings leader yellow jersey leaving the Hawaiian leg. Both surfers found similar waves to kick off the Final, but the Hawaiian won the first exchange with better-timed turns in the critical sections for a 7.17 (out of a possible 10) over the Australian’s 6.50.

Picklum backed it up quickly to take the lead midway through the heat and apply pressure to Sakura Johnson, who was surfing in her first-ever Final on the CT. But the Haleiwa local stayed patient, sitting in the lineup with priority waiting for the right wave. Her calculated approach, unfortunately, did not pay off as time ran down without offering any more opportunities for either surfer.

Picklum added yet another highlight to a spectacular four-week stint on the North Shore today with one of the biggest turns ever seen on the women’s Tour at Sunset Beach. In her Semifinal bout against Brisa Hennessy (CRC), the powerful regular foot posted a near-perfect 9.67 for a high-risk, high-reward single maneuver on a double-overhead wave.

Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) reached her first CT Final in her third year on Tour and has upped her game big time in 2024. The 18-year-old posted some of the event’s biggest scores, including a 9.17 in her first heat at Sunset yesterday. One of the most confident surfers in the Pipe barrels and the big open faces of Sunset, the Hawaiian will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

“It’s been an unreal last couple of days, we’ve been so fortunate to get good waves,” said Sakura Johnson. “I’m really just blessed to be home and to represent home, and have my coach behind me and have the confidence I needed to do well in this event. It’s pretty unreal. Molly and I talked about it two years ago, and now we’re doing it, and I’m really happy to be a part of it and to hopefully keep pushing this level, and it will be a new level of surfing for women’s surfing in the next few years.”

Robinson Posts Near-Perfection for Sunset Glory

Jack Robinson (AUS) continues to build his legacy on the North Shore, as he picks up win No. 6 on the CT, his first at Sunset. After an upset loss in the Round of 32 at Pipe, the Australian bounced back in the best way with total domination all week, an incredible display of his signature carves, and the ability to find the deepest, cleanest barrels at Sunset.

“It was a crazy last few months at home, I had a baby and everything before coming here and it’s all new and just adapting,” said Robinson. “I’m just enjoying it so much today. I know I didn’t start good at Pipe but it didn’t matter, I was just trying to enjoy it so much and it’s so special. It was a cool wave, almost bending, and I’ve never been tubed twice on the inside here. And to have a Final with Kanoa, we’ve grown up together, we’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s a cool history and a lot more to come.”

Two surfers with a lot of history, competing against each other since their early grom years, Robinson and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) met in the Final after dominating all week at Sunset. The Australian pulled the trigger first and wasted no time as his first wave went straight to excellence, an 8.17, to make his intentions clear to his opponent.

After an unlikely mistake on his first attempt, Igarashi fought back with a 7.33 to stay in fighting distance. But Robinson kept building momentum and found an absolute gem, locking into two barreling sections after a massive carve and was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.87 to put the Japanese surfer into an 18.04 combination situation (out of a possible 20).

Despite his best efforts, the gap was too much for Igarashi to overcome and Robinson claimed the win. The West Australian will leave Hawaii ranked second in the world.

Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) was in need of a big result as well after a disappointing early exit at Pipe and found his groove on the big open walls of Sunset where he could lay down his lightning-fast turns to overcome some of the toughest competition this week.

“Growing up in California, Hawaii was just one flight away and a place we had to come and train, and back when I was younger I would dread coming over because it’d be scary to be here on the North Shore to surf bigger waves,” said Igarashi. “But, over the years I would try to put as much time as I could, and I have a really good team in my corner. Thanks to them they always pushed me, and I knew that if I wanted to be a top surfer on Tour I’d have to get good results here. I’m really happy with my start so far this year and just want to keep it going.”

Florence Heads to Portugal as the World No. 1, Simmers Falls to World No. 2

North Shore local and two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) put up a great fight against Smith in the Quarters but ultimately fell short and had to settle for an equal 5th at Sunset after a runner-up at Pipe. His consistency at home has served him well, however, as he leaves Hawaii in pole position on the rankings and will be World No. 1 in Portugal.

The World No. 1 coming into this week at Sunset, Caitlin Simmers (USA), reached the Quarterfinals with fairly low scores and, by her own admission, average heat execution and unfortunately couldn’t turn on her magic against an in-form Hennessy this morning. Simmers spent most of the 30 minutes waiting in the lineup for set waves that never manifested and exited the heat with only 2 points on the board and an equal 5th-place result. She will head to Portugal, where she is the defending event winner, ranked second in the world.

For more news and highlights from Finals Day at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 – Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.83
2 – Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 8.67

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Final Results:
1 – Jack Robinson (AUS) 18.04
2 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.16

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) 17.44 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 9.07
HEAT 2: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 12.66 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 10.40

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.83 DEF. Jordy Smith (RSA) 12.50
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS) 16.10 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.10

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Quarterfinals Results:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.16 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 7.60
HEAT 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 11.67 DEF Caitlin Simmers (USA) 2.00
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 8.57 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.67
HEAT 4: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 15.50 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 10.65

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.67 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 10.90
HEAT 2: Jordy Smith (RSA) 15.16 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 14.26
HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.00 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 12.10
HEAT 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) 17.37 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.60


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