Honolua Bay’s Famous Right-Hand Point Will Again Provide the Finest Waves on the Tour
The sweeping view from the Ritz Carlton Kapalua Maui carries the rich palette of colors that set off Honolua Bay like an Impressionist painting. There are not many settings that are as representative of the Hawaiian Islands as this one. So it’s not hard to see why Billabong has picked this location to produce one of the finest women’s events in the world: The Billabong Pro Maui.
While the backdrop may be one of the most dramatic, so is the event itself – The Ninth Annual Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines may be the deciding event in the exciting WCT Women’s World Title race, the Triple Crown winner, and the Billabong Pro Maui event winner. With a holding period of December 8-20, the $80,000 prize purse promises to provide plenty of incentive for the 17 top female surfers and the 5 aspiring Maui locals who will be invited to compete.
But the most dramatic aspect of the event will be the showdown between the current rating leaders. This year its every women’s game. The tour has never seen as close a point spread as the current top 5 rated surfers have leading into the final event. The Billabong Pro Maui will determine who will wear the crown as the best female competitor on the planet.
“The Billabong Pro Maui is the premiere location for the women’s surfing contest," says Candy Harris, Billabong Women’s Brand Director. "One of the reasons is the open armed aloha welcome that has been given by the wonderful people of Maui. Everyone from the production crew, local officials, and the local surfers contribute to an atmosphere of harmony and enjoyment."
As the last Triple Crown contest of the year and only women’s stand-alone ASP event in Hawaii, the Billabong Pro Maui attracts a host of amazing international talent. Brazil’s Silvana Lima scored a perfect 10 on her first wave of her first heat as a wildcard the last time she surfed at the Bay and is now in contention for the ASP World Championship crown. Top competitor Keala Kennelly from Kauai, who has received the wildcard slot into the trials, made headlines and then appeared on TV screens last year when she left the tour to star as Kai on the HBO series Jon From Cincinnati. Kennelly is known for her tow-in rides in giant surf spots like Teahupoo, Tahiti. Other Billabong team riders will include Australia’s Rebecca Woods (rated #6) and seventeen year-old Maui local Monyca Byrne-Wickey, who earned a trialist entry. She will be one of the 6 surfers competing in the Billabong Trials for a chance to compete against the best 17 female surfers in the world. The other four trialists will be decided by results from other local Hawaiian surf events.
With contest sponsors like Hawaiian Airlines, Fiji Water, and Kapalua Resorts, you can bet the WCT girls will be flying high, well hydrated and sleeping sound, but the real luxury is the quality of surfers and the world-class wave they will be riding.
“There aren’t many five star venues where you can run a women’s exclusive event," notes Candy Harris, “The Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay is a rare gem and we feel fortunate to have it as our venue."