Billy Kemper remains the only surfer ever to have won the Pe’ahi Challenge, after yesterday claiming victory in the event for the second successive year. The first ever Women’s Pe’ahi Challenge was won by a dominant Paige Alms, after three of the six finalists failed to make it to the start line due to injuries sustained in the previous round.
If the contest never quite matched the excitement of last year, it was largely because the bar had been set 60 foot high. Yesterday the surf was medium-sized by Jaws standards, and the swell wasn’t hitting the reef at the necessary angle to produce consistently makeable barrels. Damien Hobgood successfully pig-dogged a criminally underscored tube in Round 1, but the next legit barrel wouldn’t be ridden until the final. Foremost among the shock early exits were last year’s finalists Albee Layer and Shane Dorian, arguably the two standout performers at Jaws in recent years.