World Title Race Narrows at Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship

Finals Day is set at the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Presented by O'Neill, the third and final stop on the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour after a full day of competition. The current rankings' leaders were able to hold off their opponents, but several big upsets ensued and sent big names into the dreaded Elimination Round.


With the swell and pressure building into tomorrow, the stage is set for a finals day showdown. The Final Day of the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship will start tomorrow at 7:35 a.m. PDT.


Rankings' Leaders Shine in Seeding Round Debuts


Honolua Blomfield (HAW) demonstrates her World Champion style today at the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Presented by O'Neill. Credit: © WSL / Hughes

Current World No. 1 Kaniela Stewart (HAW) demonstrated that he is up for the task of holding off his opponents as he earned an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10) debut score in his chase for a maiden World Title. Stewart’s effortless approach of beautiful noserides, footwork, and railwork garnered him the day’s best 8.67 and 16.87 (out of a possible 20) heat total against former WSL Longboard Champion Steven Sawyer (RSA) and fellow World Title contender Kaimana Takayama (USA). “It feels super good to be back here at Malibu,” said Stewart. "The waves are fun, a little slow, but as they pick up it’ll get super fun. I’ve been training a bunch at DNA Performance with Bryce and working on a bunch of cardio, strength endurance, and fatigue. Just making sure that I’m on for this contest. With the right waves, I feel like I have a chance at winning it.”


Fellow World No. 1, and reigning WSL Longboard World Champion, Honolua Blomfield (HAW) put on a world-class showcase of her own to debut. Blomfield’s undeniable style on the nose and seamless transitions garnered her a 14.10 two-wave total in the Seeding Round before another 16.47 heat total in the Round of 16. The 23-year-old inches closer to pushing her own piece of history further, as she chases her fourth World Title.

“The whole heat I felt like I was just catching waves and having a blast,” said Blomfield. “I borrowed my friend’s board and liked it so much she sold it to me (laughs). I love the board I’m on, and the waves are so fun, and I’m very excited for tomorrow.”

Blomfield’s fellow World Title contender Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) also shined in both of her opening day heats as she styled her way directly into Round 3. Kaleopa’a is in her second consecutive World Title race and is looking for redemption and to take home her first World Title.


Harrison Roach (AUS) stands perched on the nose on an inside runner at Malibu. Credit: © WSL / Hughes


Current World No. 2’s Harrison Roach (AUS) and Taylor Jensen (USA) both earned their respective spots into Finals Day after masterful Seeding Round performances. A last-minute opportunity for Roach gave him the edge for the win in a nail-biting affair featuring 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal (USA) and Hawaii’s Keoki Saguibo. “I knew that when waves like that come through they’re really worthwhile and to make the most out of them,” said Roach. “I was riding one of my models last year, and I felt like I was surfing my best but couldn’t get out of the high seven-point-ride range. They were looking for more hang-tens, and so I changed my equipment to give them that.”


World Title contenders, former WSL Longboard Champions, Rachael Tilly (USA) and Soleil Errico (USA) both advanced in brilliant form. Malibu’s own, Errico, kicked off her morning with a big heat win before matching up with Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) in their duel as the Californian posted a jaw-dropping 16.90 heat total (out of a possible 20), including a day’s best 8.67 (out of a possible 10).


“After twenty minutes of not getting a wave I was just thinking, ‘This is not happening right now,” said Errico. “I just needed an opportunity and then, thank God, a couple of sets came in. In my heart I knew they were going to come, every other heat had sets prior. It was super stressful, but I made it out. I do feel pressure, but it’s also very exciting because everyone I love is here.”


Prominent World Title contender Ben Skinner (GBR) also debuted with an excellent 8.00, with WSL Longboard Tour newcomer Tosh Tudor (USA) advancing over veteran Tony Silvagni (USA). Tudor showed full control while perched on the nose through critical sections of the wave and now looks to find his way to the Final here at Malibu.


Kai Sallas (HAW) also kept on pace to continue his search for a maiden World Title with a clutch debut win. A heart-racing moment for World Title contender Chloe Calmon (BRA) nearly witnessed the multiple Title runner-up face elimination, but a critical 7.10 turned the tide for her in the dying minutes against an in-form Sally Cohen (HAW).




Declan Wyton (AUS) winner of men's Seeding Round, Heat 5. Credit: © WSL / Hughes


Potential Spoilers Begin to Make Their Moves


A showdown of World Title spoilers unfolded in men's Seeding Round 1, Heat 5 featuring Longboard Tour veterans Kevin Skvarna (USA) and Taka Inoue (JPN) taking on newcomer Declan Wyton (AUS). A flurry of opportunities pushed into First Point to offer a spectacle of world-class longboarding from each of the competitors, all posting 14-plus point heat totals, but it was Australia’s Wyton who stole the win with a 15.17.


“It was firing out there in my heat,” said Wyton. “It was a bit of a slow morning, but I’m gassed now. It was non-stop out there. At the moment the tide is really perfect, and the wave has a good pace on it, and it was easy to connect them through. I felt like I didn’t need to do much.”


Also, 2021 Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic winner, and 2021 World Title contender, Edouard Delpero (FRA) took over his opening heat against three-time WSL Longboard Champion Jensen and Peru’s Lucas Garrido Lecca. The Frenchman started the match with a brilliant 7.50 and 6.53 to eclipse his opponents' opening rides.


While the top women held their ground, Mason Schremmer (USA) took down World Title contender Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) in their stout, Round of 16 battle.


Tomorrow, the remaining competitors will battle for the event win and the 2023 Longboard World Titles. The competition will start at 7:35 a.m. PDT with the men's Round of 16, followed by the women's and men's Quarterfinals, women's and men's Semifinals. and women's and men's Finals.


For highlights from today's competition at the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:

Heat 1: Taylor Jenson (USA) vs Edouard Delpero (FRA)

Heat 2: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs Kaimana Takayama (USA)

Heat 3: Harrison Roach (AUS) vs Steven Sawyer (RSA)

Heat 4: Cole Robbins (USA) vs Justin Quintal (USA)

Heat 5: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) vs Keoki Saguibo (HAW)

Heat 6: Taka Inoue (JPN) vs Tony Silvagni (USA)

Heat 7: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs Tosh Tudor (USA)

Heat 8: Declan Wyton (AUS) vs Kevin Skvarna (USA)


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:

Heat 1: Soleil Errico (USA) vs Alice Lemoigne (FRA)

Heat 2: Chloe Calmon (BRA) vs Mason Schremmer (USA)

Heat 3: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) vs Sophia Culhane (HAW)

Heat 4: Rachael Tilly (USA) vs Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW)


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Women’s Round of 16 Results:

Heat 1: Soleil Errico (USA) 16.90 DEF. Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 12.33

Heat 2: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 10.60 DEF. Tully White 7.80 (USA)

Heat 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 12.93 DEF. Sally Cohen (HAW) 12.66

Heat 4: Mason Schremmer (USA) 12.56 DEF. Kaitlen Mikkelsen (USA) 12.50

Heat 5: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 16.47 DEF. Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 13.97

Heat 6: Sophia Culhane (HAW) 12.70 DEF. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 7.10

Heat 7: Rachael Tilly (USA) 10.90 DEF. Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 7.80

Heat 8: Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW) 10.63 DEF. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 9.30


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Men’s Elimination Round Results:

Heat 1: Keoki Saguibo (HAW) 11.67, Taka Inoue (JPN) 9.94, Phil Rajzman (BRA) 9.50

Heat 2: Tony Silvagni (USA) 13.84, Steven Sawyer (RSA) 13.33, Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 10.17


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Women’s Elimination Round Results:

Heat 1: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 11.50, Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 11.03, Victoria Vergara (FRA) 9.80

Heat 2: Mason Schremmer (USA) 11.83, Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 11.23, Avalon Gall (USA) 10.30


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Men’s Seeding Round Results:

Heat 1: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 14.03,Taylor Jensen (USA) 13.06, Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 3.50

Heat 2: Harrison Roach (AUS) 11.33, Justin Quintal (USA) 8.60, Keoki Saguibo (HAW) 8.17

Heat 3: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 16.67, Kaimana Takayama (USA) 8.43, Steven Sawyer (RSA) 6.47

Heat 4: Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.33, Tosh Tudor (USA) 10.73, Tony Silvagni (USA) 9.84

Heat 5: Declan Wyton (AUS) 15.17, Kevin Skvarna (USA) 14.16, Taka Inoue (JPN) 14.00

Heat 6: Kai Sallas (HAW) 11.83, Cole Robbins (USA) 11.03, Phil Rajzmn (BRA) 9.17


Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship Women’s Seeding Round Results:

Heat 1: Soleil Errico (USA) 11.17, Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 6.33, Victoria Vergara (FRA) 2.80

Heat 2: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 9.20, Sally Cohen (HAW) 7.23, Mason Schremmer (USA) 5.67

Heat 3: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 14.10, Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 12.33, Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 12.06

Heat 4: Rachael Tilly (USA) 9.60, Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 5.74, Avalon Gall (USA) 4.67

Heat 5: Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) 10.83, Sophia Culhane (HAW) 10.33, Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 7.54

Heat 6: Tully White (AUS) 12.17, Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.04, Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 8.93Watch LIVE

The Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship will run tomorrow, October 5, 2022, at 7:35 a.m. PDT. The competition will be broadcasted LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL's YouTube channel, and on the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.


The Cuervo Classic Longboard Championships are proudly supported by Jose Cuervo, O’Neill, Hydro Flask, Flying Embers, 805, Aviator Nation, Gibson, Turtle Bay, and Boxed Water.


For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.