Watch the best waves of the 2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships, held in 30-to-50-foot waves at Peahi, in Maui, Hawaii.
The winners of the 2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships are Billy Kemper and Paige Alms.
The Maui natives swept the event for a second time in their respective careers with Alms earning a historic third victory and Kemper an unprecedented fourth Jaws Challenge title.
The ocean came to life after a slow 20-minute start that Alms was able to scratch into and drop down the critical face before being swallowed by a mountain of white water.
The 2016 and 2017 Jaws Challenge champion sustained a hamstring injury in the process but grabbed a backup jersey and returned to the lineup.
“It’s the ultimate feeling being on a giant wave. It’s when I feel the most alive, and so it’s the double-edged sword,” expressed Alms.
“You’re putting your body and life on the line to ride these waves, but when you successfully ride one, nothing beats it.”
Fellow Maui native and one of the crowd favorites Annie Reickert made her incredible Big Wave debut at just age 18 and stunned those in attendance to earn a third-place finish.
Runner-up Felicity Palmateer threw herself over the ledge into death-defying drops to put on a showcase throughout her performances.
The men’s side also proved historic as Kemper claimed an unprecedented fourth victory, going back-to-back once more, at his home break of Peahi – winning the event in 2015, 2016, and 2018 previously.
The 29-year-old put on a clinic performance at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons and carried that momentum into a dominant performance with the event’s highest heat total, a 21.26 (out of a possible 30), in the final to defend his title.
Kemper locked into a massive barrel, which he was able to find an exit from to earn a 7.83.
“I did what I wanted to do, and this was just my day. I told myself when I went out there in this final, there’s no way I was coming home with second place,” concluded Kemper.
2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships | Finals
1. Billy Kemper (HAW) 21.26
2. Ian Walsh (HAW) 20.03
3. Nathan Florence (HAW) 16.76
4. Kai Lenny (HAW) 16.59
5. Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 9.37
6. Lucas Chianca (BRA) 1.40
1. Paige Alms (HAW) 12.34
2. Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 10.86
3. Annie Reichert (HAW) 9.13
4. Keala Kennelly (HAW) 8,17
5. Emily Erickson (HAW) 1.40
6. Michaela Fregonese (BRA) 0.00
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