Hawaii’s Billy Kemper and Imaikalani deVault earned first and second place, respectively, at the Pipe Invitational to clinch wildcard spots into the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT).
2019 will mark Kemper’s second appearance in the Billabong Pipe Masters, his first being in 2012 where he was defeated by eleven-time World Champion and seven-time Pipe Master Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 3.
Today, he went against an all-Hawaii Final that included runner-up deVault, Keanu Asing (HAW) and Koa Smith (HAW) and put on a powerful performance that included a 7.67 in the Final for a set wave at Backdoor and a 5.50 for a technical, late drop into a Pipe barrel that he wrangled to remain on his feet.
While Kemper has seen a lot of success at Sunset Beach just up the road, his best result at Pipeline was a 5th place finish in the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro, making today’s victory a feather in the cap for the Big Wave World Champion.
Kemper’s family greeted him on the sand and he was chaired up the beach to the cheers and applause of fans and friends.
As the Pipe Invitational wildcards, deVault and Kemper will have the opportunity to play spoiler to the World Title once the Billabong Pipe Masters is called on.
DeVault will compete in Heat 5 against two-time World Champion and current No. 2 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Willian Cardoso (BRA), while Kemper will match up with World No. 1 Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Michael Rodrigues (BRA).
Pipe Invitational Final Results:
1 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 13.17
2 – Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 12.50
3 – Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.56
4 – Koa Smith (HAW) 3.83
Pipe Invitational Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.33 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 6.03, Jack Robinson (AUS) 5.90, Eli Hanneman (HAW) 4.90
HEAT 2: Koa Smith (HAW) 14.57 DEF. Billy Kemper (HAW) 12.90, Benji Brand (HAW) 12.10, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 4.10
Pipe Invitational Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 8.67 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 8.00, Torrey Meister (HAW) 7.07, Kalani David (HAW) 3.54
HEAT 2: Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.00 DEF. Eli Hanneman (HAW) 9.83, Cody Young (HAW) 6.30, Finn McGill (HAW) 3.33
HEAT 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.73 DEF. Billy Kemper (HAW) 8.94, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 8.87, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 3.83
HEAT 4: Benji Brand (HAW) 10.67 DEF. Koa Smith (HAW) 10.17, Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.76, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.40
Pipe Invitational Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 15.73 DEF. Eli Hanneman (HAW) 13.44, Tyler Newton (HAW) 6.60, Harry Bryant (AUS) 2.87
HEAT 2: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 11.44 DEF. Cody Young (HAW) 7.73, Shayden Pacarro (HAW) 3.93, Kainehe Hunt (HAW) 3.80
HEAT 3: Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.14 DEF. Kalani David (HAW) 6.66, Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 5.57, Brodi Sale (HAW) 2.73
HEAT 4: Finn McGill (HAW) 14.26 DEF. Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.53, Liam O’Brien (AUS) 9.44, Nathan Florence (HAW) 7.10
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 8.06 DEF. Benji Brand (HAW) 4.20, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 4.20, Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.46
HEAT 6: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 9.34 DEF. Koa Smith (HAW) 5.40, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 2.53, Eithan Osborne (USA) 1.56
HEAT 7: Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.00 DEF. Billy Kemper (HAW) 3.70, Ian Gentil (HAW) 3.53, Michael O’Shaughnessy (HAW) 1.80
HEAT 8: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.17 DEF. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 10.50, Justin Becret (FRA) 8.27, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 4.26
Billabong Pipe Masters Seeding Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Conner Coffin (USA), Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Deivid Silva (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Willian Cardoso (BRA), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
Heat 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Billy Kemper (HAW)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Jack Freestone (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA), Michel Bourez (FRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 12: Seth Moniz (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA)