Carissa Moore won the Billabong Pro Pipeline, the first stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT). Five-time World Champion Moore took her win at the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. Moore defeated two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Final.

With the first event of the season complete, competitors will now prepare for the second event of the season just down the road at Sunset Beach. Moore will wear the coveted yellow Leader jersey, taking the rankings’ lead from eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore

Carissa Moore has been runner-up at Pipeline for the past two years and finally achieved her breakthrough victory today. In a rematch of their 2020 Final, Moore and Wright once again faced each other in the 11th Final matchup between them.

After a slow start, Moore found herself needing a score of significance to overtake Wright. Moore’s patience paid off as she was able to capitalize on a Backdoor gem, spending time behind the curtain before re-emerging to earn a near-excellent 7.17 (out of possible 10). But, Wright immediately answered back, using her forehand attack to regain the lead once again and leave Moore needing a 2.83 with just seven minutes remaining. As time dwindled, Moore was given one last opportunity, and she was able to earn a 3.83, taking the heat win and confirming her first CT Pipeline victory.

“I’m so happy, and there are just so many emotions just to get this win,” said Moore. “For the women, it’s been so many years in the making, and having us out at a crazy wave like Pipeline and just trying to spend more time has been such a process. After finishing the season like I did last year, it’s nice to come away with a win and wipe that slate clean. To win an event that’s in honor of Andy Irons is so special. He’s one of my favorite surfers of all time, and I always appreciated the time he took for me.”

Moore’s day began with a matchup against tour newcomer, fellow Oahu competitor, 17-year-old Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW). Although a slow heat, Moore managed to find a Backdoor wave barrel and earn an excellent 8.0. Sakura Johnson put up a valiant effort, but it wasn’t enough to take down the experienced World Champion. The five-time WSL Champion now returns to No. 1 after falling just short of her sixth World Title in 2022. She will have the yellow jersey and plenty of momentum going into stop No. 2 on the CT, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach.

Tyler Wright Earns Second-place Finish at Billabong Pro Pipeline

Two-time World Champion, Wright, started her Finals Day campaign with a narrow win over Lakey Peterson (USA) in the women’s Semifinal, Heat 1. Wright came flying out of the gates with a backdoor barrel and solid finishing maneuver, notching an excellent 8.00 in the opening minutes. Peterson responded with a Backdoor barrel of her own to earn a 7.00. The two traded off leading the heat, but it was ultimately Wright who emerged victorious by just .10 of a point.

This marks Wright’s second Final at the renowned wave of Pipeline. She previously won here in 2020 after the women’s event was moved from Maui. Her runner-up finish will jumpstart her 2023 season toward the mid-season cut and road to the Final 5.

“The women deserve to be at Pipe, and you can see how much comfortable women have got here just knowing the event is going to be on tour from now on,” said Wright. “Massive shoutout to the WSL for supporting women’s surfing and seeing how it can grow. Honestly, we had a really nice offseason, and a lot of work went into performance and a lot of work went into building my body back. I’ve been working with Surfing Australia, and they’ve been amazing for me, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Actually, it’s a really enjoyable process for me, and I just want to say thank you to those guys.”

Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Final Results:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.00
2 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.00

Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.43 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.33
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.17 DEF. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 6.67

Photos courtesy WSL / Tony Heff / Brent Bielmann

Next Stop: Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, Stop No. 2 on WSL CT 
The next stop on the WSL CT will be the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, which holds a competition window from February 12 – 23, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app.  Check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on and SporTV.