Eyes may be glued to screens syndicating camera feeds pointed squarely at Pipeline today. But, as a major pulse of North Pacific energy slowly fills in on the North Shore of Oahu, another one of Hawaii’s terrifying waves will soon compete for your attention.
On Tuesday, the World Surf League announced that the cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships will run on Maui on Thursday, December 12 as the Hawaiian archipelago braces for an XXL run of swell.
“The world’s best big wave surfers are now in transit to Pe’ahi, Maui, Hawaii to defy nature and challenge themselves in waves forecast to be in the 35-to-50-foot range on the face,” explained the WSL in a release.
All but one are in transit, that is. Defending Jaws event champ, Billy Kemper, had a monumental win at the Pipe Invitational on Monday earning himself a wildcard slot in the main event – the only surfer both in the heat draw at Pipe and Jaws. Depending on how well he does, he may be surfing a few heats at Pipe tomorrow and be forced to jump on a plane late to surf Jaws on Thursday.
“It’s gonna be the biggest challenge of his career,” said Pete Mel from the commentary booth.
When it runs, the cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships will be the first event of the newly revamped 2019/2020 Big Wave Tour – the reaction to which has been a bit mixed.
Whatever the state of the tour itself, looking at the forecast, this year’s event at Jaws is guaranteed to be a spectacle.
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