Checking in with Brisa Hennessy

Hennessy Wins Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, Takes Yellow Leader Jerseys

After four straight days of heavy, unrelenting action on Oahu’s North Shore, it was a career moment for Brisa Hennessy and Barron Mamiya. They have not only won the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach but also taken over the top spots on the WSL Leaderboard. They will be wearing the yellow leader’s jersey when the Championship Tour heads to Portugal next month.

Brissa Hennessy Wins Sunset

Brisa Hennessy of Costa Rica wins the Final at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League)

For Hennessy, who faced Hawaiian veteran Malia Manuel in the Final, this marks her first Championship Tour victory, and the first CT win ever for a surfer from Costa Rica. 

“I have no words, I’ve dreamed about this moment, but I never thought it was possible,” Hennessy beamed from the water immediately after the Final. “To all those people that supported me, I did it.” 

Hennessy represented Costa Rica in last summer’s Olympic debut in Japan and requalified for the CT after finishing second on the 2021 Challenger Series. 

Brisa Hennessy Rip Curl Profile Video


The seventh career Final for Manuel, unfortunately, she has now finished runner-up in all of them. However, she will take solace in knowing she had a great Island leg of the Tour and goes into the Europe leg in prime form.

For the women, in a generational battle of surfers from Hawaii, veteran Manuel took on rookie Gabriela Bryan. Leaning into her years of CT experience, Manuel fought through a grindy heat, which provided more evidence that the next generation of women has arrived on the CT.

It was a similar scenario for Hennessy in her Semifinal against Bettylou Sakura Johnson. Again, Hennessy was the in-form surfer of the day from start to finish, but watch out for that youth movement once again.

Brisa Hennessy of Costa Rica at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League)

“Bettylou’s so dangerous out there. Her carve is so dangerous,” Hennessy explained afterwards. “These rookie girls are so good.”

The 2022 Championship Tour will head to Supertubos in Peniche, Portugal, for the MEO Pro Portugal. The waiting period kicks off on March 3. So keep it locked right here at as the race for the Rip Curl WSL Finals continues.

Last week’s column – 

JBay Surfer Matt McGillivray and Jordy Smith Advance At The Hurley Pro in Hawaii