Let’s Do An Autopsy On Haleiwa - Stab Mag
Joao Chianca just qualified for the World Tour with one of his best buddies, Samuel Pupo. Photo by WSL

Let’s Do An Autopsy On Haleiwa

Something tells me John’s knee is better.

news // Dec 6, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

JJF are you kidding me?

John just wiped the floor in the Haleiwa final in very commanding fashion, posting a 7.33 for two critical blasts before deciding to back it up with the least controversial 10 of all time for a lightning fast rev spinner, to layback gouge, tube, and lofty end section punt – all within the space of 10 seconds. Everyone comboed, game over. 

JJF just reminded everyone why he’s the world’s most exciting surfer. Who else could do that? This marks John’s second Haleiwa win, joining the likes of multi-time winners: Sunny Garcia (93’, 00’, 02’, 04’) and Mark Richards (85’, 86’). 

The final was stacked with the big dogs, 3 CT vets: JJF, Kanoa, and Robbo, and, as of today, another CT surfer in Sammy Pupo who just qualified for next year’s elite tour after winning his quarterfinal heat. Sammy will be joining big-bro Miguel, and fellow countryman and CS sparring partner, Joao Chianca as the newly recruited Brazilians. 

In addition to Sammy and Joao, we will also be seeing Novacastrian powerhouse, Jackson Baker and Costa Rica’s first ever CT surfer, Carlos Munoz on tour next year. After a cagey week of arithmetic and restless nights, Jackson and Carlos were praying for a mid-table massacre.

Their dreams came true, and despite valiant efforts from Stanwell Park native and fresh O’neill recruit, Kalani Ball, and West Oz tube-savant, Jacob Wilcox, who needed to win the event to make the cut, they were able to retain their positions and will move to the big leagues next season. 

You can take a breath now, lads. Time to rip the lid off. 

The 12 CS qualifiers are as follows 

  1. Zeke Lau
  2. Liam O’Brien
  3. Connor O’Leary
  4. Jake Marshall
  5. Callum Robson
  6. Samuel Pupo
  7. Nat Young
  8. Imaikalani deVault
  9. Lucca Mesinas
  10. Joao Chianca
  11. Jackson Baker
  12. Carlos Munoz

Some things to note 

9 rookies and 1 CT surfer who immediately requalified via the CS

This guy will be the talk of the town on the North Shore today. Sammy held his nerve in the Quarters, and then let loose in the Semi’s and Final. He’ll be joining big-bro, Miguel, and close friend, Joao on the CT next year. Photo by WSL

9/12 qualifiers are new to the tour. That is they’ve never surfed CT events without holding wildcard status. The 3 other surfers who are requalifying for the big leagues are Zeke Lau, Nat Young and Connor O’Leary. 

At the end of this CT season, we lost a total of 15 surfers. The bottom 12, plus Jeremy Flores, ADS, and Julian Wilson who all qualified within the cutoff but are not competing next year. Only 1 of those bottom 12 requalified immediately via the CS in Connor O’Leary.

Australia crushed it

The LOB. The 210 IQ understated accountant and 1/4 of the Aussie qualifiers. Expect LOB to fetch a hefty tax return next season. Photo by WSL

It’s been 8 years since Australia won a World title with Mick Fanning being the last to clinch one in 2013. In the seven years since, a Brazilian has won the title 5/7 times. 

This year on the CS, Australia has been reinvigorated by a new culture of camaraderie and support that saw 4/12 surfers coming from the land down under. Connor O’Leary told Stab, “When I first started, along with Wade (Carmichael) and all that, the guys older than us weren’t overly supportive. There was a lot of rivalry between those older guys so no one went down and watched each other’s heats unless there was someone in the final or something like that.” 

“Now we’ve become those older guys and the younger guys are all about backing each other. At the end of the day, it makes so much more sense. Everyone’s got that in their heads now — you’d way rather see your mate get through than some other bloke you don’t really care about. Everyone wants to support each other and it fires everyone else up because they want to be in that spotlight and have that Aussie backing as well. Fuck, it’s been a full generation shift for us which has been mad.”

Australian youths know better than to inherit the toxic tall poppy syndrome rife in the old-guard of Australian culture. Fingers crossed that the new culture of camaraderie will see Oz re-establish itself as the dominant surfing nation that it once was. 

CT guys who surfed on the CS dominated

When the WSL announced their policy change that would not be awarding the double-qualifier spots to the next highest-ranked surfer, it started a shit-storm. No competitive surfers, including CT folk, were happy about it, the reason being it is so incredibly difficult to make the tour, and handing them out arbitrarily would only diminish the sports professional integrity and unfairly award those who hadn’t put the time in. 

The WSL heard their pleas and heavily-inked petition (well over 100 signatories) and reneged on their proposal. This was lucky, particularly for Jackson Baker, Carlos Munoz, and Joao Chianca who would have potentially not made the tour next year had the double-qualifiers in Kanoa Igarashi, Griffin Colapinto, and Jack Robinson’s qualification spots not been handed down the line. 

*The girls are currently underway. We will update this post as qualification spots/results are updated*


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