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Pe'ahi Challenge gets greenlight to launch on Sunday

Shane Dorian © WSL / Chambers




Pe'ahi Challenge

Pe'ahi Maui, Hawaii
1 November - 29 February 2015

30-40-foot faces predicted for swell that will peak before dawn Sunday

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 December, 2015 - Pe'ahi, Maui - The Pe’ahi Challenge Big Wave Tour event is on Green Alert and will be held on Maui on Sunday, December 6 and carried on a live webcast. 

The World Surf League’s Big Wave Commissioner Pete Mel and event organizers assessed the complex swell and local weather forecast earlier this week and made the call to proceed with the first surfing competition of its kind to run at the infamous break known as “Jaws,” with competitors paddling into the notorious wave known for its incredible power and towering wave heights.

The remote cliff-edge location on Maui’s north shore is will be closed to the public due to safety requirements, but the entire event will be webcast live at  In Hawaii it will be carried on live television on Oceanic Time Warner Cable and there are several viewing parties scheduled at locations across the island of Maui for locals to take in the action.
“We have planned the best coverage in the history of a big wave surfing events for Sunday’s Pe’ahi Challenge,” Big Wave Tour General Manager Bill Sharp said. “With multiple cameras along the cliffs, boats and jetskis on the water and helicopter vantage points, we will have every angle to deliver a phenomenal webcast to the public. This is a potentially historic surfing event you won’t want to miss.”
The 24 man field of competitors will put their bodies on the line in six-man heat format, with the top three advancing from each round until the remaining six comprise the Final. After winning the Quiksilver Ceremonial in Punta de Lobos, Chile, the only event ran during the Southern Hemisphere window, reigning World Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) continues to hold the No.1 spot on the BWT rankings coming into Pe’ahi
BWT Commissioner Pete Mel has been following the incoming swell predicted very closely with his staff and knew it was the time to call a Green Alert for this unpresented event.
“Not only will this be a historic event at one of the most renowned waves on the planet, but we’re excited to be broadcasting it live for surf fans around the world,” Mel said. “The buoy readings are really strong and look to be well above the minimum requirement for a Big Wave event in the 35-to-45 foot range.”
Surfline, the official forecaster of the World Surf League, is calling for: The swell to peak in the early morning hours (~2AM) on Sunday for Maui, with peak surf size first thing at Jaws and a gradual easing trend through the day. Based on recent satellite data, 30-40’ faces are expected with some bigger sets lingering in the 45’ range early on. Easing for the afternoon. Wind direction is favorable with E trade-winds coming in at 15 knots.
The 2015/2016 Pe’ahi Challenge Competitor list is as follows:

Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Anthony Tashnick (USA)
Greg Long (USA)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Natxo Gonzales (EUK)
Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Nic Vaughan
Trevor Sven Carlson
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Shaun Walsh (HAW)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Tyler Larronde (HAW)
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
David Wassel (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Yuri Soledade
Koa Rothman (HAW)

Dave Prodan

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