Stab Magazine | Two Of The Girls Are Sent To The Hospital And Billy Kemper Wins The Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge Again

Two Of The Girls Are Sent To The Hospital And Billy Kemper Wins The Men’s Pe’ahi Challenge Again

Paige Alms becomes the first Women’s Big Wave World Champion.

news // Nov 14, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Women’s Big Wave Tour is our new reality. And, as many pondered whether or not they’d catch anything of substance, they were more exciting to watch than the men (at least until the men’s final, when the swell fully filled in–we’ll get to the later). The girls were just charging, to the point that by the end there were only three left in the finals. Keala Kennelly and Emily Erickson were sent to the hospital after their round one heat  both made the finals. Miss Enever was giving Jaws a going over, and Jaws returned the favour. She made the finals, but after she suffered one of the heaviest wipeouts of the day before finishing off her round one heat, she sat the final out and joined the women’s disabled list.  

Paige BWT

“When you know how heavy that wave is, you have to figure out what calms down that fear.” – Paige Alms 

Paige Alms, the only woman to ever paddle into a barrel at Pe’ahi, and local favourite is the first women’s Big Wave World Title holder. There has been much discussion about history being made, and Paige just scribed into it. She’s mad in all the right ways. Even at with five minutes left in the final, when she was a shoo-in for the win, she proceeded to heave over a ledge, get caught in the wind and skip down the face of one of the biggest waves of heat. 


A victory lap, in the fashion of Miss Alms.

After last year’s theatrics, for the men’s, the Pe’ahi challenge at Jaws was somewhat of a bore (relatively). Anytime Shane Dorian doesn’t make the semis, that means conditions weren’t challenging enough. As Albee Layer, last year’s runner-up, said on Instagram in congrats to Miss Alms, “So proud of you Paige, you’re the world fricken champ! All the girls rushed it today. As for the men’s maybe one of these days we can have a comp when it’s barreling? haha”. From round one through the semis, his sentiment was warranted. 

But, that’s just talking as a spectator, who wouldn’t dare paddle out on a day half this size at Jaws. And for the competitors in the lineup, it’s a heavy flush of adrenaline and consequence. Early in the morning the waves were clean, hollow, big but not huge. A 30-foot wave that doesn’t barrel doesn’t thrill. That’s why Nazaré’s considered a novelty. Greg Long set the tone early with a hefty right-hand cover up that clamped him into the depths. He went on to win the first heat and the semis. Kai Lenny, eliminated in the semis, was toying with his Pe’ahi playground with rail grab cutties off the shoulder. The kid will live up to his hero, Laird Hamilton as one of the greatest big wave surfers to ever do the dance. 


Twiggy trying to find something of substance in the finals.

For the men’s final, it was the Greg Long, Grant “Twig” Baker and Billy Kemper (the 2015 champ) show. Greg started the heat off with a critical one, dragging his arms, shooting for a cover up but was unsuccessful. Twig was doing much of the same. And Billy at the 30-minute mark found that hard-sought tube, came out the other side and was rewarded a perfect ten. It was enough to pull in front of Greg and Twig. Then to top it off, at the buzzer, pulled into a massive closeout, inflated his vest and took the accolade of back to back Pe’ahi champ. The surf in the final made up for the previous rounds ten-fold. Finally, Jaws thrilled. 

“This year I’m going on eight weeks of training seven days a week,” Billy told Strider, $25k richer and taking the honours of being the only surfer ever to win at Jaws. “I’ve never felt this good in my life. I came here to do the same thing I did last year, and it worked. It feels good. I grew up here; I actually hit the reef on my last wave. This is what I grew up to do and I love it; I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m over the moon!”

Final Results:
1 – Billy Kemper 29.07
2 – Greg Long 26.69
3 – Grant Baker 22.47
4 – Nic Lamb 18.89
5 – Pedro Calado 18.04
6 – Will Skudin 14.41
Women’s Final Results:
1 – Paige Alms 21.66
2 – Justine Dupont 10.77
3 – Felicity Palmateer 1.63

Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Greg Long 16.66, Billy Kemper 13.97, Grant Baker 13.51, Cristian Merello 13.26, Kai Lenny 10.36, Josh Kerr 8.97
SF 2: Nic Lamb 16.41, Pedro Calado 12.67, Will Skudin 10.53, Aaron Gold 10.14, Yuri Soledade 6.73, Shaun Walsh 1.74
Women’s Round One Results:
Heat 1: Keala Kennelly 13.66, Justine Dupont 7.59, Emily Erickson 2.34, Polly Ralda 2.00, Andrea Moller 1.40, Silvia Nabuco 0.00
Heat 2: Paige Alms 12.34, Felicity Palmateer 11.00, Laura Enever 2.67, Bianca Valenti 2.29, Jamilah Star 1.46, Tammy-Lee Smith 1.06

Men’s Round One Results:
Heat 1: Greg Long 11.66, Josh Kerr 11.56, Cristian Merello 11.33, Tyler Larronde 9.33, Jamie Mitchell 6.00, Gabriel Villaran 1.00
Heat 2: Billy Kemper 18.20, Grant Baker 16.67, Kai Lenny 11.60, Ian Walsh 9.36, Carlos Burle 8.03, Dege O’Connell 7.07
Heat 3: Aaron Gold 18.97, Yuri Soledade 18.29, Will Skudin 15.77, Mark Healey 12.56, Makuakai Rothman 11.53, Albee Layer 9.14
Heat 4: Nic Lamb 16.96, Shaun Walsh 16.83, Pedro Calado 14.66, Damien Hobgood 13.57, Shane Dorian 12.27, Francisco Porcella 9.73


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