Billy Kemper Wins Jaws Challenge at Pe‘ahi, Maui
Maui’s own Billy Kemper won the Jaws Challenge at Peʻahi, one of three stops on the World Surf League Men’s Big Wave Tour. This is his third win of the event in his career.
Competition resumed with Round 1 Heat 2 after being called off on Monday. Kemper battled back and forth with Kai Lenny (HAW) in the Final, with Lenny finishing second ahead of Albee Layer and Tyler Larronde.
“Yesterday (Monday) was probably the most radical day of surfing competition and I’m glad I got to kick that day off and got to end this event,” Kemper said. “This is for my mom and if you’re looking down on me right now mom, this one’s for you.”
This marks a career-defining moment for Kemper as his third Big Wave Tour win on home turf. Kemper’s ability to hunt down some of the heaviest waves and attack the barrels on offer separated him from the rest of the competition with a brilliant 23.84 (out of a possible 30) heat total.
“I put everything into this year and I was second guessing if I’d be able to surf again by the end of the year,” Kemper continued. “My team got me back here and this is for us. I didn’t do this on my own. My beautiful wife, my children, I love you guys so much.”
Men’s Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi, Hawaii Final Results:
1 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 23.84
2 – Kai Lenny (HAW) 23.56
3 – Albee Layer (HAW) 17.40
4 – Tyler Larronde (HAW) 16.06
5 – Grant Baker (ZAF) 8.10
6 – Koa Rothman (HAW) 2.19