Hawaii-born surfers hoping to crack top-five at WSL’s Corona Open at J-Bay

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The holding period for the World Surf League’s Corona Open at J-Bay begins Tuesday in South Africa.

Five-time World Champion Carissa Moore is set to hit the waves — already a lock for the upcoming WSL Finals — but there are more Hawaii surfers looking to make their way into the final five.

The second to last stop on the WSL’s Championship tour will feature Hawaii-born surfers on a late season push to crawl up the leaderboard, like Kauai’s Gabriela Bryan — the Rookie of the year looking to finish her season in the finals.

“I mean I definitely want to make the top five it’s a big goal of mine.” Bryan told reporters.

Bryan joins five-time champ Moore along with fellow Garden Isle surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb who reps Brazil and North Shore’s Brisa Henness who surfs for Costa Rica in the women’s division — with the previous two ahead of the rookie in the overall standings.

The 20-year-old is looking to leap frog them to solidify her spot in the finals and she’ll be doing it on one of the world’s premiere waves, but Bryan says her upbringing on Kauai prepared her for the difficult task at hand.

“Growing up I had a lot of different waves on Kauai.” Bryan said. “So I think I’m used to them, but yeah going into a right handed point break I feel is fairly easy for me.”

“I’ve been here for a couple of days and I’ve had a few practice sessions in so far and I’m getting fun waves and it’s definitely everything I expected it to be.”

Bryan also trying to fight off the rest of the pack in a women’s division that is as competitive as ever, according to Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore.

“I still feel there is a bit of pressure on me to keep the number one spot and you know all the girls are hungry.” Moore said. “All the girls are right there, the pack is like super tight and everybody wants that win, everybody wants to perform well.”

For the Kauai surfer, a shot at the finals would be the cherry on top of a stellar first season.

“I’ve already accomplished so much in my rookie year and I’m having a great time on tour, so I’m going to give it my best shot and most importantly I just want to put on a show for everyone and do some really good surfing.” Bryan said.

On the men’s side, two Hawaii surfers will be hitting the surf in South Africa — Baron Mamiya and Seth Moniz.

First call for the 2022 Corona Open at J-Bay is set for tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. South African time, 7:30 p.m. Hawaii time.

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