HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii (Tuesday, November 29, 2021) – The World Surf League (WSL) Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger, the final stop of the 2021 Challenger Series, fired back into action with four-to-six foot swell delivering for competitors to put on a showcase of high-performance surfing despite the wind-swept and challenging conditions. Men finalized their stacked Round 3 draw after the conclusion of Round 2 before the women made their brilliant debuts in solid conditions to complete Round 1.
South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray already booked his spot in the Round of 32 when he finished behind Callum Robson (AUS) on Friday. McGillivray will be up in the first heat when competition resumes.
The Men’s Round 2 kicked off in difficult conditions and it all came down to wave selection. Shane Sykes (ZAF) opened the heat to get a 4.50 on the scoreboard and put pressure on the rest of the competitors. The tricky conditions meant Sykes couldn’t find a decent scoring potential and made some priority mistakes. He managed to get a wave right on the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Luke Swanson (HAW) and Samuel Pupo (BRA).
A tricky start to the morning provided more drama for the race to men’s CT qualification as tribulation continued for CT qualification hopefuls such as Imaikalani deVault (HAW) who fell to an electric performance from a Brazilian duo, former CT competitors Alex Ribeiro and Wiggolly Dantas. Ribeiro finished with a solid heat win, showcasing his dominant backhand attack to leave Kade Matson (USA) and deVault searching for a score.
However, it was Deivid Silva (BRA), who will return to the CT in 2022, that lit up Haleiwa with his insurmountable backhand attack to garner a 14.20 heat total, helping to eliminate current Challenger Series No. 29 Alejo Muniz (BRA), while No. 15 hopeful Jordan Lawler (AUS) advanced. Silva’s ability to read the conditions and deliver the day’s strongest performance put his fellow competitors on notice that his year is not quite done following his runner-up finish at the Corona Open Mexico CT finale.
“I have great memories here making the Final in 2018, I like these waves and I’m very happy (to make it through),” said Silva. “This event is a smart one for me to come to and get ready for the CT and I’m stoked to be here at Haleiwa and I’m looking for a good result.”
Fellow Brazilians Samuel Pupo, looking to jump into the Top 12 qualification bubble, and former CT competitor Caio Ibelli, both earned vital heat wins to secure their dominance of Round 2.