Joao Chianca was the first to win his sesame following the elimination in the quarters of… Gatien Delahaye after being himself out of the 3rd round of the Hawaiian event. Landed on the North Shore of Oahu in 8th position CS, the boiling Brazilian will therefore find the CT in 2023 just a few months after leaving it, since this year he was part of the batch of surfers who were victims of the highly contested ” mid-season cut.
A rookie as flamboyant as it is promising, who notably tickled John John Florence at Pipe at the start of the exercise after having offered himself the scalp of Jack Robinson, the little brother of Lucas – star of big wave surfing – therefore performed a short first promotion to the elite. But significant enough to make you regret it. Here he is again, largely thanks to his final at the US Open and his 3rd place at Saquarema.
Liam O’Brien also belonged to the beginner class of this 2022 season on the CT. Alas, the 23-year-old Australian broke his right leg on the eve of the first meeting at Pipe, where he injured himself in a tube. Absent until the “cut”, the Aussie rookie saw the train of the second half of the season leave without him, without even having the opportunity of a wild card.
Physically restored, LOB returned to the path of the CS circuit in May where, after a timid Australian campaign (73rd at Snapper, 25th at Manly), he went crescendo during the following events: 9th at Ballito, 5th at the US Open, 3rd in Ericeira. Three results which, combined with a 17th place (at Saquarema and Haleiwa), propel him back into the elite. Hoping, this time, to see it at work.
Another failure of the very cruel mid-season “cut”, Ezekiel Lau, for his part, succeeded in the challenge of qualifying for the CT for the… third time in his career after a first passage from 2017 to 2019 enhanced by two halves at Bells Beach and Brazil then a second, more discreet, in 2022 (a quarter at Sunset all the same). The overpowered 29-year-old Hawaiian owes his immediate requalification mainly to his victory at the US Open and his 9th place at Snapper Rocks.
Dismissed in the 3rd round in Haleiwa, O’Brien like Lau took advantage of the eliminations in the quarters of Morgan Cibilic and Imaikalani deVault to validate their return to the CT.
A return that comes from further away for Michael Rodrigues. Resident of the elite in 2018 and 2019, with a half at Keramas for best result in 2019, the 28-year-old Brazilian started the Haleiwa Challenger out of the nails of qualification (he was 12th).
In the obligation to cross the quarter-finals to hope to integrate the top 10 qualifier in place of the Australian Dylan Moffat (big loser of this final competition of the year), the surfer from Florianópolis still occupied the 3rd place of his series at the edge of the last four minutes… 0.01 point behind Jesse Mendes. Before finally getting ahead of his ex-compatriot (turned Italian) by… 0.06 points to rally the semi-finals and take a decisive step towards the CT 2023 by signing his best performance of the season. Previously, M-Rod reached the quarters in Ericeira and took 9th place in Manly and Ballito, where he had to withdraw from the round of 16 due to injury.