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FINALS DAY IS ON FOR TUESDAY

Priority Destinations Pro pres. by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard.

Surf Tuesday sees a solid new building 18 sec SSW from the east coast of NZ a week ago. Tho’  it is very inconsistent there are 2-3′ occ 4′ sets rolling in with long line. This swell will hold solid 3-4’+ later Tuesday into Wednesday before easing…it will be an epic final’s day for the 1000QS regional event at Bowls. SNN

Priority Destinations Pro presented by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard Moving Day Provides Moments of Brilliance

Day 2 went Monday June 20th as Next Gen Lite Up Ala Moana Bowls…

  • Moana Jones Wong Posts Near-Perfection, Puamakamae DeSoto Surges
  • Ezekiel Lau, Shion Crawford Shine With Lights Out Surfing In Debuts
  • Finals Day Draws Locked In For Big Finish

Pictured front page: Moana Jones Wong (HAW) put on the performance of the event so far in her Quarterfinal debut. Credit: © WSL / Heff

ALA MOANA BOWLS, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, June 20, 2022) – A stacked finals day draw is locked in at the World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Priority Destinations Pro presented by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard. Two-to-four foot swell continued to provide moments of brilliance as the men’s Round of 64 was finished in its entirety before the women got their historic debuts underway to determine Semifinalists. Now, a 7:00 a.m. HST call will determine a possible start to an all-important finals day with 1,000 points on the line.

CLICK HERE FOR DAY TWO RESULTS

Moana Jones Wong (HAW) led the women’s field in their big debuts with an awe-inspiring performance.

After showing her dominance over both the QS and Championship Tour (CT) fields at Pipeline, earning wins at the HIC Pipe Pro and Billabong Pro Pipeline, Wong displayed her ability to unleash her forehand attack for a near-perfect 9.50 (out of a possible 10) and 17.75 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Both account for the highest of both men and women’s competitions thus far, but the North Shore competitor knows the work isn’t done.

“It feels like a lot less pressure than doing the Challenger Series,” said Wong. “I’m at home. It’s free pretty much (laughs). I just feel way more relaxed and I really like it.”

Newcomer and event threat Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW) turned in two clutch victories to earn her spot into the Semifinals with a brilliant 15.50 heat total in her Quarterfinal bout with top-seeded competitor Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) and Round of 24 standout Eweleiula Wong (HAW). DeSoto took charge of the heat with her ferocious forehand as Wong overtook Bannert for the advancing position to eliminate her and Lucy Jarrad (ASM).

“I’m really stoked to get the win today and really grateful for the opportunity to surf at Bowls,” said DeSoto. “It’s been a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful place and I’m stoked to see all the people back at competitions.”

Pictured: Coco Ho (HAW) made her presence known among emerging talents and showcased her experience for a Quarterfinal. Credit: WSL/ Heff

Also advancing into the Semifinals, former CT competitor Coco Ho (HAW) and world-renowned surfer Bethany Hamilton (HAW) notched big wins as Brittney Penaroza (HAW) and Rumor Star Butts (HAW) also advanced to keep their event title hopes alive.

“It’s so nice to come home and get some reps in in some familiar territory,” said Ho. “This is a wave we don’t get to spend a lot of time, especially the girls so this has been great. It’s been great to get some heats in with some of the regional Hawaiian girls, a few of them just came up on my radar this year and they’re dropping big scores so it’s exciting.”

Men’s Field Dwindles to Round of 32

Adding his name to the list of emerging threats out of Hawaii, Shion Crawford (HAW) made a jaw-dropping debut to garner an event-high 17.50 heat total and single-wave score of a 9.50. The teenager made his name known in Haleiwa during the Challenger Series, but Crawford’s in no hurry to join the hunt toward Championship Tour (CT) qualification as he looks to continue building his surfing. (Full interview in video above)

“I’m not rushing to get onto the Challenger Series or anything so I’m just surfing contests, doing what I love,” said Crawford. “I’ll be stoked to do good here and make a name for myself. I’m just stoked to be surfing.”

Former CT elite and Ultimate Surfer winner Ezekiel Lau (HAW) delivered near-perfection at a wave he knows all too well. The South Shore competitor earned a 9.10 and 17.00 heat total in an immaculate debut, bringing his experience to the table while enjoying the stress-free mentality of competition at home. Now, Lau joins a ready-and-able field into finals day for the Priority Destinations Pro event title. (Full interview in video above)

“This is my actual backyard, I live in town so it’s only a five-minute drive to come surf a heat and that feels really good,” said Lau. “I’m stoked to be competing at one of my favorite waves here at Ala Moana Bowls and it’s a gift to be able to surf with no one out.”

Pictured: QS veteran Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) reminding his fellow competitors he’s still a force when wearing a jersey. Credit: WSL/ Heff

QS veteran Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) may not be chasing the CT dream anymore, but he relished on the opportunity to surf at his home break – earning an excellent 16.75 heat total in the process. Cazimero’s powerful surfing has made him a threat since he first started competing and showed he still has what it takes to win crucial heats.

“It just feels so good to surf my home break, anytime there’s waves you always want to hold it down for the boys,” said Cazimero. “Personally for me, I have a lot of things going on with my own business Ava but it’s important for me to do well in these events so I can continue to compete in my backyard. I love competing and surfing at home, there’s nothing better.”

Joining Lau, Crawford, and Cazimero into a big finals day with Round of 64 wins include the likes of top-seeded surfers Finn McGill (HAW), Eimeo Czermak (PYF), Ian Gentil (HAW), and Billy Kemper (HAW), along with event standouts Joshua Moniz (HAW), Kai Martin (HAW), Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Thatcher Johnson (HAW), and former event finalist Noa Mizuno (HAW).

Heavy upsets also unraveled as inconsistent swell provided moments of spectacle while competitors also dealt with lulls and those caught on the wrong side of opportunities faced elimination. Recent Challenger Series standout Imaikalani deVault (HAW), one of Maui’s charges Torrey Meister were eliminated alongside fellow top-seeded competitors Makai McNamara (HAW), Logan Bediamol (HAW), Luke Adolfson (HAW), Shiloh Tennberg (HAW), and Luke Swanson (HAW).

CLICK HERE FOR DAY TWO RESULTS

Event organizers will convene for a 7:00 a.m. HST call to confirm an 8:00 a.m. HST start for finals day.

The Priority Destinations Pro presented by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard will run on the best three days during the event event window beginning June 17 through 24 at Ala Moana Bowls.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Last news up day for day 1 Sunday: Joshua Moniz Makes His Pro Surfing Return,

The World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Priority Destinations Pro presented by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard, a Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 got underway with electric performances unfolding in three-to-four foot.

Front page: Eli Hanneman made his mark in 2020 and now looks to bring that confidence to this season. – WSL / TONY HEFF

Men’s Round of 96 ran in its entirety before Round of 64 Heats 1 – 4 closed out the day with early eliminations of event threats.

Women’s competition was called off for the day as a Monday, June 20, 7:00 a.m. HST call will determine a possible 8:00 a.m.

HST start to men’s Round of 64 Heat 5 before moving into women’s Round of 24.

Freesurf extraordinaire Eli Hanneman brought that flair into the jersey and matched Moniz’s 15.50, notching a brilliant 8.75 (out of a possible 10), and helping eliminate reigning event victor Eli Olson in the process. Hanneman continues to find his footing in competitive surfing, notching two Final appearances in 2020 and now looks to earn a maiden QS victory here at Ala Moana Bowls.”It feels really good to get off to a start like that,” said Hanneman. “Last year we didn’t know we were only going to have that one event so we weren’t really ready for that. It’s cool that this year we have a few more on schedule. Having a steady run of competitions again is great because it’s hard to keep that momentum when you don’t surf events. You don’t necessarily lose it, but you lose that contest feeling and being in jersey while feeling that pressure so it’s great to get it going.”

Only Sheldon Paishon was able to best Hanneman for the day’s top score in the final heat of the day with his backhand to earn a 8.90.

One of North Shore’s chargers Shayden Pacarro showcased a dynamic forehand attack to garner an excellent 8.25 for a commanding start in his Round of 96 battle before his Round of 64 bout with top seeds and was eliminated by Maui’s Cody Young and Kauai’s Tyler Newton. Also winning their Round of 64 affairs, Sheldon Paishon and Eala Stewart overpowered their way into the Round of 32

Kylen Yamakawa (HAW)

Six years later, Kylen Yamakawa (HAW) returned to the jersey in dominant form. – WSL / TONY HEFFThe Round of 96 finished with a flurry from Kylen Yamakawa with a 15.10 heat total win as Kaimana Jaquias earned the advancing spot, eliminating higher-seeded competitor Michael O’Shaughnessy. Yamakawa recalled the last time this event ran, enjoying time with family and friends before his heat, and now looks to add more memories alongside some of the region’s best.

“It was super fun going out there and surfing with all the boys,” said Yamakawa. “It’s been about six years since I’ve competed and have all our friends under the tents. I’ve got about ten coaches telling me what to do (laughs). Thank you to all the Ala Moana Bowl locals for letting us surf this wave, the WSL, and all the sponsors for putting this on.”

The QS newcomer came out swinging to drop a 14.50 heat total and steal the show in the Round of 96.

QS newcomer Kai Martin is no stranger to the Ala Moana Bowls lineup and showed that experience in his Round of 96 debut with a 14.50 heat total, including an excellent 8.00. The rising threats of Hawaii/Tahiti Nui continued to show their presence in Round of 96 debuts with Hendrix Frankenreiter, Tony Nunez, Kai Paula, Diego Ferri, and more taking big wins alongside Diesel Storm Butts earning his way to the Round of 32.

“Definitely a good confidence builder, first heats are always the most nerve-wracking because you just want to get it out of the way,” said Martin. “(This event) is really important to get that good start toward the rankings, always feels good and gives you that confidence going into the other events.”

Event organizers will convene for a 7:00 a.m. HST call to confirm an 8:00 a.m. HST start for men’s Round of 96 Heat 5.

The Priority Destinations Pro presented by First Hawaiian Bank and Mastercard will run on the best three days during the event event window beginning June 17 through 24 at Ala Moana Bowls.

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