Pe'ahi Surfing Contest Set for Thursday

Big swell makes Jaws competition a go

Jan 21, 2015
Outside Magazine
jaws maui hawaii surfing world surf league big wave tour pe'ahi challenge

The event will take place at Jaws, a legendary reef break on Maui, on Thursday.    brant hardy/Flickr

The World Surf League Big Wave Tour has postponed Thursday's Pe’ahi Challengeafter a forecasted swell proved underwhelming.

The event at Jaws, a legendary reef break on Maui, was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Thursday and feature some of the best big-wave surfers on the planet, according to Surfline. The event has been postponed until a big enough swell arrives. With five weeks left in the season and a very active North Pacific, tour coordinators will be monitoring Pe'ahi, Todos Santos and Nelscott Reef.

The league’s forecasting experts will assess the conditions on Thursday morning to assure the swell is up to the 30-foot contest standards.

The 2014-2015 tour season divides into Southern and Northern Hemisphere elements, each with three possible events. Pe’ahi, the Todos Santos Challenge in Mexico, and the Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country comprise the Northern portion. Events in Chile, Peru, and South Africa make up the Southern half, though the tour this season held just one event, the Pico Alto event in Peru. Hawaiian Makua Rothman won Pico Alto, placing him highest in the rankings going into Pe’ahi, the second event of the Northern Hemisphere and third event of the season.

“Twenty-four hours ago, the elements were aligning for Thursday and our Green Alerts go out 72 hours in advance to get all the various event mechanisms into gear,” said tour commissioner and big-wave surfer Peter Mel. “The swell looked good and so we called it on. Today, it's a different story unfortunately and we're calling the event off for now.”