The World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour 2024 kicked off in spectacular fashion at the Lexus Pipe Pro Presented by YETI, with Australian surfers commanding attention in the opening rounds. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, competitors navigated three-to-five-foot waves with skill and precision, setting the stage for an electrifying contest.
Molly Picklum, hailing from Australia, emerged as a standout performer, demonstrating her mastery of the waves with confidence and flair. There’s definitely been tough heats this morning and I was fortunate enough to get waves,” remarked Picklum after securing a solid win in her heat. With her sights set on the World Title and Olympic Gold Medal, Picklum’s stellar performance underscored her determination to excel on surfing’s grandest stage.
Two-time World Champion Tyler Wright also showcased her prowess, comfortably advancing into the next round with strategic maneuvers at Backdoor. Reflecting on her experience, Wright expressed, “I don’t know if I’ll ever feel a sense of confidence out here… I’ve put a lot of energy in the pre-season and I really want to focus on doing my best.” Wright’s unwavering dedication and competitive spirit set a formidable precedent for the challenges ahead.
The women’s division witnessed a formidable display of talent from American surfers as well. Reigning World Champion Caroline Marks navigated challenging conditions with poise, securing a hard-fought victory in a wave-starved heat. “Wearing that yellow jersey obviously brings a lot of confidence,” remarked Marks, highlighting her resilience and determination to defend her title against formidable competition.