While the Pe’ahi Challenge may have come earlier than anticipated this year, Maui local Billy Kemper didn’t miss a beat. Billy knows the reef at Jaws like the back of his hand, and he was dominant there all day. However, his victory this year didn’t come easily, because a number of international standouts produced incredible performances. California’s Greg Long and South Africa’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker both scratched into a handful of bombs, and put up a solid fight in the Final against Kemper. Another California charger, Nic Lamb, also embraced Pe’ahi’s power and stuck a handful of heroic drops on his way to a fourth-place finish.
But no one could stop Kemper. He capped off his second Pe’ahi Challenge win in fairy tale fashion, earning a 10-point ride in a wide-open Pe’ahi cavern to seal the deal. Now Maui’s fans can celebrate two local champions: Kemper, along with women’s champ Paige Alms, are keeping the Pe’ahi Challenge title in the hands of island talent.
Story and Video by: World Surf League