Billabong Pro Maui Day 1

posted by / Photos / December 9, 2009

By Joe Turpel

You cant put a price on perfection. And that exactly what was served up for the opening day of the Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines. The conditions and swell coming together for the very first day of the waiting period is a dream scenario for everyone — except maybe a few locals. The hype from the swell of the century kept everyone buzzing from hearing the Eddie was a go on Oahu and as the pumping Northwest weaved its way between the neighboring islands it presented 6- to 8-foot and immaculate Honolua Bay.

Minutes before the contest began, Keala Kennelly bagged the last freesurf wave and locked in a clean backside tube that got everyone psyching. The first one to come with a contest jersey would go to Samantha Cornish. She threw herself into a roomy shack right in front of the cave and earned every bit of her 9.5. That score remained the highest until Silvana Lima entered her Round 3 heat and jammed an opening snap under the lip and set herself up for a tube anyone would travel across the world to get. The judges unanimously typed perfect 10s across the screen meaning Silvana surfed it perfectly.

The wave is Upper Trestles juiced up with blue ater and Hawaiian power — and today there is no one out. Probably makes sense that Stephanie Gilmore lists this place as her favorite wave in the whole world. And yes, as expected she dominated in world champ form getting two barrels on one wave separated by the Gilmore hook and finished with the highest heat total of the event so far at 18.{{{80}}}.

Oahu’s standout, Melanie Bartels’ casual tube style was a highlight and was able to turn sleepers into big scores through the inside sections. She’s on her way to the quarters.

Triple Crown leader Alana Blanchard lost in Round 3. Alana’s loss was, however, the most exciting loss of the day. She pulled into the heaviest, cleanest tube of the day. But even with everyone onsite willing her to the shoulder she fell short.

Carissa Moore, coming off that big win at Sunset was another local fave that went down swinging in Round 3. Silvana opened with the perfect score on the very first wave and never looked back.

The last heat of the day threw a little wrench in the days perfection. Jessi Miley Dyer and Sofia Mulanovich were battling with just 5 minutes to go. Sofia got one of the better shacks of the day, garnering her 9 and the lead. At this point, the freesurfers were jonesing and started drifting into the outside position anticipating the end. Then one took off. Another took off. They couldn’t hold back any longer. A goofy footer took a high line toward Jessi and she took off in front. They surfed together for a bit as Jessi started swinging turns. The surfer finally kicked out giving Jessi the rest of her wave. She got a 5. She needed a 5.17. The heat is currently under {{{review}}} by head judge Richie Porta and Contest Director Rodney Kilborn to determine if it is a fair result. Just bit of controversy to end an unreal day of woman’s surfing. More drama and tubes to come today. Log on and watch live HERE.

Hawaiian power comes to the women’s world tour.

Straight and nowehere near narrow. Honolua Bay

Coco Ho looking right at home. Well she is, sorta. Only an island away.

Bronzing right bowls.

Coco Ho

Charging at the other bay.

After the Gidget scores perfect Sunset, Honolua shows off for the Billabong Pro Maui.

Coco Ho digs in on a bomb.

Silvana Lima didn’t show an ounce of fear all day.

Carissa Moore with her wings on and flying

Silvana Lima pulls the style card.

Girls were barreled…

…and girls were ripping. Coco Ho demonstrating.

Alana Blanchard again proving she can wear whatever she wants.

Steph Gilmore in what must be one of the most beautiful places to go surfing.

Silvana Lima showing why she’s favored to win this thing.

Alan Blanchard barreled.

Silvana Lima looking classic.

By the final heat the locals were ready to be on it.

Jessi Miley Dyer just before the crowd explodes.

Silvana Lima

Silvana Lima on her 10-point bomb.

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