A Wildcard Just Won The First Ever Women’s Pipe CT Event
Who would beat Moana Jones Wong at G-land or Tahiti?
22-year-old local Pipe Kween and Haleiwa local just defeated 5x World Champ, and Olympic Gold medallist, Carissa Moore at her home break by a 10 point margin.
The WSL’s choice of running the early rounds was received with mixed feelings. When surfers are going to turns at Pipe and Backdoor in sub-six foot conditions and getting jet-ski assist on manageable days, it kinda undermines the whole #equality thing. Pipe is meant to be intimidating, running it on small conditions borders on patronizing, particularly given how good the waves were during this event window.
“We already got to surf Pipe when it was kind of small. Now I just want to surf it pretty big. I don’t want to surf it on another small day,” said Moana in the Day 2 post-show. Amen.
Today, the WSL sent the remaining four female surfers in proper 8-10 foot pumping Pipeline, the girls (Tyler and Moana) showed they were more than capable of handling the big stuff, and from an spectators standpoint, it was far more engaging. Let’s dive in.
Highlights: Moana’s dominance, the WSL’s decision to send the girls out today, Kelly in the booth (after a big night at Lei Lei’s no less w/ Moniz family)
Lowlights: Semi 2, leggy barrels
Moana vs Tyler
Moana kicked things off quickly, pulling into a double oversized tube that clipped her on her way out for a 3.17. Minutes later, she snuffed out another dreamy roll-in, but kind of outran it. Her leggie would’ve been stoked, a 3.67.
Moana’s third Pipe wave was her best, an under-the-lip takeoff on an airbrushed ten-foot postcard Pipe wave. The beach erupted as she was spat into the channel with her hands above her head, finished it off with a shmick but incomplete layback snap – 7.67.
Tyler Wright was the last female to win a CT event in their first appearance, the Beachley Classic in 2008. She also holds the accolade of the last wildcard overall to win a CT event, at Sunset in 2010 at O’Neill Women’s World Cup.
Today, Tyler waited 20 minutes before catching her first wave, a Backdoor bomb that collected her the only excellent score of the day an 8.83. Only needing a 2.51 to move into first Tyler needed only to pack a cone on a sizeable closeout to make the final. She paddled into Pipe bomb, went for a very stylish grab-rail, but then bogged and skipped on her backside – a 0.93. It was her last wave, Moana struts on through to the final.
Lakey vs Carissa
Slow heat. Low scores. A little underwhelming. Yawn.
Riss found a lumpy four footer on the inside, grabbed her outside rail and burst through a brief curtain – 3.17. Backed it up with a 4.67 for an ever-so-slightly bigger version of the same.
Lakey got two straight-handers and a heat total of 1.26.
Carissa vs Moana
Carissa’s first CT win was as a wildcard at the 2009 Gidget Pro at Sunset. 13 years later, she’s come full circle now experiencing the flipside of being beaten by a wildcard in a CT final. The first Hawaiian wildcard to win a CT was Melanie Bartels in 2006 replacing an injured Silvana Lima who went on to beat Steph G, Rochelle and Chelsea at the Roxy Pro Sunset.
In today’s Pipe final, Moana caught twice as many waves as Riss (3-6 waves), picking up where she left off with two back-to-back rides for an early lead of 12 points. The crowd erupted every time the local hero got up to her feet and as she made every wave she paddled for in the opening half, the momentum seemed to be on her side. Another successful ride on at Pipeline pushed the requirement for Moore further up and the World Champion was against the ropes with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.
As time ran out, Wong got a final opportunity when she started super deep, counter-peak on a left, and got a clean exit for a 7.67 (out of a possible 10) and a victory lap on home turf as Moore admitted defeat and congratulated her opponent. Now sitting as World No. 1, Wong will also receive a wildcard slot into the next stop on the 2022 Championship Tour, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, wearing the yellow jersey.
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Final Results:
1 – Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 14.34
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 3.73
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Semifinals Results:
HEAT 1: Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 14.00 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.76
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.84 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 1.26
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