On Saturday, Paige Alms won the Women’s Big Wave Tour (BWT) Pe’ahi Challenge on Maui for the second consecutive year.
Wave faces ranged between 25-45 feet during the women’s one-hour heat.
Keala Kennelly took an early lead on a wave that she almost completed before getting clipped at the very end and breaking her board. Grant “Twiggy” Baker threw her another board in the channel and Kennelly paddled back out. The judges rewarded her commitment with a 7.17, which momentarily put her in the lead.
The scoring in the Big Wave Tour rewards taking off on the biggest wave one can and committing to critical drops and heavy barrels. The top two scores are counted with the top score doubled, meaning that scoring a 10 and a 1 is more advantageous than scoring two 7s.
Alms’ second wave put her ahead of Kennelly, scoring a 7.70 and creating a commanding points gap that no one else was able to close.
Dupont, who spent last week towing in at Nazare, posted three scores early, but none of them were high enough to surpass Kennelly and Alms.
Felicity Palmateer – who was surfing with a torn MCL – airdropped into a bomb that might have produced the day’s best ride, but took a heavy wipeout that momentarily sidelined her while she replaced her inflation vest cartridges and switched boards.
With just over two minutes to go, Kennelly tried to catch up to Alms but went over the falls and took a long hold down. Maui local Andrea Moller missed the next wave, creating an opening for Mavericks staple Bianca Valenti to grab her second wave. Moller and Valenti both posted two scores, and Palmateer one.
The single-heat format of this year’s contest differed from last year’s inaugural women’s Pe’ahi Challenge, which had two semifinal heats and a final. Conditions were also significantly better than last year’s contest, where the female competitors battled strong sideshore winds.
Congratulations to Paige Alms and all the women for a great showing. All six women will be a part of the Red Bull Queen of the Bay this winter, which will be the first big-wave women’s contest at Waimea Bay.
Paige Alms 21.23
Keala Kennelly 17.21
Justine Dupont 14.36
Bianca Valenti 10.86
Andrea Moller 6.41
Felicity Palmateer 4.54
Check out our story on the men’s finals results.
More about the Big Wave Tour on GrindTV
Here's who advanced to Saturday's semifinals at the Pe'ahi Challenge