The field consisted of 24 elite international surfers at Pe’ahi (aka “Jaws”) Hawaii.
With $100,000 on the line all the competitors were beyond stoked to get started. Years of training and hard work as been leading to this moment for Will and was huge accomplishment to be on this list of 24. With Will’s finish of 5th place in the last event in Puerto Escondido he earned a spot of a Wild Card.
Will’s morning began with his preliminary heat finishing 3rd in his a nail biting finish which carries him onto the semi-finals. During the semi finals he found himself in the same situation and kept his game plan by going for more of the lefts than the rights. “He was really going for it out there, I could see he was waiting patiently for the tall racing lefts. They are very critical off drop and difficult to make the section. It’s also sketchy for any wipeouts because the channel isn’t as large as the one for the rights and makes it difficult for any jet ski assisted rescue. It looked a bit inconsistent all day so any wave caught on the bomb sets were going to be scored big.” said his brother Cliff Skudin. Will ended up catching one of the biggest sets of the day and helped him advance to the finals.
The final started off with epic exchanges between all the the surfers, leading to huge scores right out of the gate. There were big set waves as Will found himself with two mid range scores finishing 6th place in the event. Congrats to all the other competitors as they all surfed their hearts out and put it all on the line, and to local boy Billy Kemper on the Win.
“I just want to thank everybody watching today, all the good vibes and energy as I really felt it. I stuck to what I knew out there and was very blessed and grateful for this opportunity to be in this event. Thank you! ” Will Skudin
Being a finalist is huge accomplishment within itself and solidified Will being in the race for the World Title with back to back final heat appearances. There are two more events left on the 2016 / 2017 tour with stops at Nazare, Portugal and Todos Santos, Mexico. Looking forward to the the rest of the Big Wave Season!