Taming the fury, Keala Kennelly was relentless during the Jaws Challenge to take first place. Photo Hallman

Keala Kennelly (HAW) is the 2018 event champion after Kennelly’s first-ever Big WT win yesterday in incredible 30-to-50 foot conditions. The women charged fearlessly and tackled death-defying drops and horrific wipeouts to take center stage and crown Kennelly after a sensational showdown. The 40-year-old’s bravery led the charge as she and fellow competitors pushed the envelope for big wave surfing. The Hawaii-competitor gave it all she had and didn’t back down in either her Semifinal or Final heats, keeping Andrea Moller (BRA), Emily Erickson (HAW), and reigning BWT World Champion Paige Alms (HAW) at bay.

French surfer Justine Dupont made it through to the final by taking off on enormous waves like this. Photo Hallman

Pe’ahi, known as “Jaws,” breaks off the northern coastline of Maui with the ability to produce waves in excess of 60 feet. The event premiered on the BWT in 2015 and has witnessed exceptional performances since its addition to the Big Wave Tour. Pe’ahi is also the venue that hosted the first WSL Women’s Big Wave Tour event and crowned the first Women’s Big Wave Tour Champion.

Andre Moller on a Jaws bomb.
Photo Hallman
Respect to Californian surfer Bianca Valenti as she takes the drop. Photo Morris

Women’s Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi, Hawaii Final Results:
1 – Keala Kennelly (HAW) 8.67
2 – Andre Muller (BRA) 7.97
3 – Emily Erickson (HAW) 7.86
4 – Paige Alms (HAW) 4.01
5 – Justine Dupont (FRA) 0.00
6 – Bianca Valenti (USA) 0.00

Women’s Jaws Challenge at Pe’ahi, Hawaii Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) 12.50, Paige Alms (HAW) 8.66, Andrea Muller (BRA) 2.00, Jamilah Star (HAW) 0.00, Raquel Hackert (BRA) 0.00
SF 2: Emily Erickson (HAW) 8.00, Bianca Valenti (USA) 5.80, Keala Kennelly (HAW) 4.23, Isabella Leonhardt (MEX) 0.00, Silvia Nabuco (BRA) 0.00

See the highlights of the Women’s Jaws Challenge here.