Rising Contenders Set the Standard for Haleiwa Challenger at home in The Hawaiian Islands.
HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii (Tuesday, November 29, 2022).
The Haleiwa Challenger at home in the Hawaiian Islands, the final stop of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series (CS), opened yesterday. Waves were consistent, with six-to-eight, occasional ten-foot faces to get competition underway. The men and women battled through their respective opening rounds, setting up world-class draws. Electric performances set the standard of what can be expected as all-important Championship Tour (CT) qualification scenarios are now on the line moving forward.
Shane Sykes (DBN) and Zoe Steyn (EL) both advanced through their first-round heats, while Slade Prestwich (DBN) was eliminated.
One of 2022’s standout competitors, Kauli Vaast (FRA), continued to show his world-class ability with a near-perfect 9.00 on a powerful set wave steaming into Haleiwa in Round of 80, Heat 5. Vaast’s versatile backhand attack led the way to his debut heat win over a stacked heat. It included the Australian threat, also advancing, Chris Zaffis (AUS), Olympian Billy Stairmand (NZL), and Maui, Hawaii’s Jackson Bunch.
“I was just waiting for a good one, I had the priority at the beginning of the heat, and when I saw that one, I thought, this is what I like,” said Vaast. “When I heard 9, I knew I needed a backup, so I got another small wave straight away, made the heat. I’m stoked. There is a good Tahitian crew here, and we’re coming (laughs).”
The Haleiwa Challenger holds a competition window November 26 – December 7. Once called ON, the contest will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.