Stop No. 2 on the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, started today in solid eight-to-ten-foot rights at Sunset Beach. The day completed the opening two rounds of the men’s event, closing the North Shore leg early for four competitors.

After a shaky and slow start to the first heat of the day, conditions gradually cleaned up and offered plenty of opportunities for the world’s best surfers to perform in a variety of sections, from the big open walls to the inside racing barrels and vertical lips.

Jordy Smith (RSA) found the wave of the day towards the end of the Opening Round with an extremely long barrel for Sunset, from which most thought he couldn’t exit, and somehow miraculously reappeared in the channel. The South African was rewarded with a near-perfect score of 9.33 (out of a possible 10) and backed it up with a couple of turns to claim the day’s highest combined heat total of 15.50 (out of a possible 20).

“The off-season for me was just a lot of training,” Smith explained. “The last three years I haven’t put too much effort in and obviously with the new rookie class, it just kind of motivated me to get back to it. I guess when you put the work in, good things happen. You kind of go out there trying to find an open face and get some turns in, and if a barrel comes your way you kind of luck into it. That’s exactly what happened to me there.”

Two-time World Champion and North Shore local John John Florence (HAW) once again showed his wealth of knowledge of surfing’s proving grounds as he skillfully navigated the heavy waters of Sunset to find two gems in a rough lineup. The current World No. 2 rode two nice barrels and put Jake Marshall (USA) and Keanu Asing (HAW) into a combination situation, needing two scores to come back in the heat.

“I was actually looking for turns the whole time, and I kept getting a good little double-up barrel, so I got kind of lucky,” Florence stated. “It is tough out there with a lot of water moving around, so I’m stoked to make it through that heat. It’s a long run this year so I’ll just keep moving forward and I’m stoked to be competing again after a little break after Pipe.”

11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Caio Ibelli (BRA) put on a masterclass in big, unruly Sunset and forced current World No. 1 Barron Mamiya (HAW) to face the treacherous Elimination Round fresh off a win at Pipeline. A former winner at Sunset, Mamiya was a favorite headed into his first heat, but he uncharacteristically seemed off-rhythm in the lineup while his opponents Slater and Ibelli were threading barrels and big open-face sections. The Brazilian got the nod with two good barrel rides and big turns for a solid 14.17 heat total (out of a possible 20).

“My Sunset practice unfortunately started the day Pipe started, so I got to put a lot of time in the lineup out here,” Ibelli said, referencing his early exit in the previous event. “The waves have been pumping, and I was surfing Waimea, so I jumped back 30 inches today, and it felt weird at first, but then I got into a good rhythm. Going into this heat I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, it took a little bit of time to find those waves, but I eventually did, you just have to trust the knowledge and the process.”

In a day mostly dominated by regular footers, the 2023 world runner-up, Ethan Ewing (AUS), and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) were among those finding high scores. Ewing was the first surfer to reach the excellent range with an 8.00 point ride, for an incredible display of rail surfing on the large canvas provided by a solid Sunset wall. Igarashi mixed his approach with a turn and barrel on the same wave for his highest number and a spot into the Round of 32.

The form surfer of the Hawaiian leg last season, Jack Robinson (AUS) suffered an unlikely blow to his 2024 campaign early at Pipe, but came back fired up today and put together a strong display of high-performance surfing to easily advance in first out of the Opening Round.

A rare Opening Round loss for three-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) proved no problem for the CT veteran. Medina’s decimating backhand attack on critical sections delivered an impressive 7.33 single-wave score and 13.83 heat total over fellow veteran Miguel Pupo (BRA) and wildcard Keanu Asing (HAW). Pupo’s ability to thrive under pressure kept Asing’s striking ability at bay as Medina and Pupo joined the world’s best into the Round of 32.

“It’s hard to lose the first heat and then you start thinking what went wrong but I tried to stay focused,” said Medina. “It’s challenging, it’s one of those days, but I’m happy to make it through. I haven’t spent much time here so I’m looking to make some heats and spend some more time out there, and also find the rhythm. Everyone is kind of looking for the wall and I found it on my last one. I knew it would be a good one and I’m just happy to make it through.”

After a tough Opening Round loss, Barron Mamiya (HAW) returned to form and took advantage of the opportunities in the ever-shifting Sunset Beach lineup in his Elimination Round bout. Mamiya faced returning CT stalwart Frederico Morais (POR) and wildcard threat Kai Lenny (HAW). But, the North Shore’s own Mamiya held firm and moved into the Round of 32, eliminating Lenny from competition and retaining his grasp on the yellow leader’s jersey.

“Little bit of a reality check, I just couldn’t catch a wave in my first heat,” said Mamiya. “It felt good to get that out of the way, brush it off, and just forget about it. It was really hard out there just now. It looks like it’s 10-to-12 foot, but the waves you’re actually riding are three-to-four foot. It’s kind of hard to find them. But I’m stoked to squeak in. I’m riding the same board I rode at Pipe. It worked insane at Pipe, and I’ve been riding it at Sunset. It feels really good, I just need to get some waves.”

Mamiya’s fellow Hawaiian competitors, Ian Gentil (HAW) of Maui and South Shore, Oahu’s CT standout Seth Moniz, also added their names to big Elimination Round wins to surge into the Round of 32.

For more information and highlights from today’s competition at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 7.20 DEF. Connor O’Leary (JPN) 7.07, Kade Matson (USA) 6.10
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 10.03, Deivid Silva (BRA) 8.47
HEAT 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 12.40, Barron Mamiya (HAW) 6.14
HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW) 14.83 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 7.50, Keanu Asing (HAW) 5.23
HEAT 5: Brodi Sale (HAW) 9.24 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 8.67, Seth Moniz (HAW) 7.37
HEAT 6: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Rio Waida (INA) 10.66, Kai Lenny (HAW) 9.13
HEAT 7: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.00 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 8.17, Frederico Morais (POR) 7.84
HEAT 8: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.50 DEF. Cole Houshmand (USA) 8.83, Callum Robson (AUS) 5.23
HEAT 9: Eli Hanneman (HAW) 13.27 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 12.60, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.60
HEAT 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 10.17, Ian Gentil (HAW) 10.00
HEAT 11: Jordy Smith (RSA) 15.50 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.77, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.93
HEAT 12: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.00 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 9.40, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 2.43

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 11.00 DEF. Frederico Morais (POR) 9.33, Kai Lenny (HAW) 7.77
HEAT 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.96, Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.60
HEAT 3: Ian Gentil (HAW) 13.00 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 8.24, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 4.53
HEAT 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) 10.77 DEF. Kade Matson (USA) 10.53, Callum Robson (AUS) 10.03

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Round of 32 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Kade Matson (USA)
HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Matthew McGillivray (RSA)
HEAT 3: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
HEAT 6: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 7: Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 8: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Rio Waida (INA)
HEAT 9: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
HEAT 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS)
HEAT 11: Connor O’Leary (JPN) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW)
HEAT 12: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Brodi Sale (HAW)
HEAT 13: Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Frederico Morais (POR)
HEAT 14: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 15: Ian Gentil (HAW) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 16: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Cole Houshmand (USA)

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Women’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA), Luana Silva (BRA), Sophie McCulloch (AUS)
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Zoe McDougall (HAW)
HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Brisa Hennessy (CRC), Alyssa Spencer (USA)
HEAT 5: Johanne Defay (FRA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Sawyer Lindblad (USA)
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), India Robinson (AUS)


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