Wildcards and Injury Replacements, Moana Jones Wong, Teresa Bonvalot, Josh Moniz, Imaikalani deVault, and Alyssa Spencer, Ready To Mix up the Draw
In a truly historic moment, wildcard Moana Jones Wong won the 2022 Billabong Pro Pipeline. It was the first time a full-length women’s Championship Tour event took place at surfing’s ultimate proving ground. She overcame five-time World Champion Moore in the Final, earning the title “Queen of Pipe.” Jones Wong returns this year eager to defend her title, but she will have to face none other than the reigning, eight-time World Champion Gilmore in her first Heat of the event.
Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) missed qualification for the CT by the narrowest of margins, finishing No. 6 in the Challenger Series rankings. She will now get a shot to prove she belongs alongside the best in the world in her debut at Pipeline as an injury replacement for Johanne Defay (FRA).
Josh Moniz (HAW) gave an impressive performance at Pipeline to win the 2021 trials, earning him a spot to compete at this year’s Billabong Pipeline Pro. Now, the former Volcom Pipe Pro victor will get another shot at mixing up the draw to begin the 2023 Championship Tour season. He will be joined by fellow Hawaiian Imaikalani deVault, who earned his wildcard spot in the 2023 Billabong Pro Pipeline by being the highest-ranked Hawaiian surfer on the Challenger Series.
Sophie McCulloch (AUS) has withdrawn from competition due to an injury she sustained while training at Snapper Rocks. Alyssa Spencer (USA), who is next in line on the Women’s Challenger Series rankings, will replace McCulloch in the draw.