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Maui’s Nora Liotta competing in upcoming World Surf League competition at Haleʻiwa : Maui Now

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Maui surfer Nora Liotta. PC: World Surf League

The Hawaiian Islands HIC Haleʻiwa Pro — a Hawaiʻi/Tahiti Nui qualifying series 1,000 event of the World Surf League — will begin Nov. 26 and continue through Dec. 7 on Oʻahu. It will be run on the best three surf days during that event window.

The competition at the world-class wave of Haleʻiwa will determine which women will secure positions in the 2024 Challenger Series and for the selection of Sambazon World Junior Championships representatives for both men and women.

Maui’s Nora Liotta, ranked No. 2 in the Hawaiʻi/Tahiti Nui qualifying series, has had a remarkable year, including consecutive final appearances and her maiden victory at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oʻahu. She already has secured spots in the Challenger Series and World Junior Championship.

Maui surfer Nora Liotta won her first Hawaiʻi/Tahiti Nui qualifying series event at Sunset Beach on North Shore of Oʻahu. PC: World Surf League (11.2.23)

At Haleʻiwa, she hopes to hold her ground ahead of current No. 3 Eweleiula Wong of Hawaiʻi and No. 4 Erin Brooks of Canada.

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“We’re really lucky to have Haleʻiwa in our region since it was a Challenger Series event last year and now we get to return to a wave we all surf a lot during the winter,” Liotta said. “I feel like I changed my mindset when I was so focused on specific things and just let myself surf.

“It feels so good going into the last event of the season with not so much pressure on myself. I’ve never experienced something like that so I hope I can just have fun, get some good waves, and there’s a lot of good girls at this event so hopefully some good battles.”

Liotta will face competition from elite Championship Tour surfers, including Gabriela Bryan, Zoe McDougall and Puamakamae DeSoto.

To watch a video about Liotta, click here.

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After an exceptional performance in 2023, Shion Crawford of Haleʻiwa is one of the local surfers to keep an eye on. The 19-year-old secured his first Qualifying Series victory at Sunset Beach and is now looking to use his home advantage to lead the rankings and earn a spot in the World Junior Championships.

“I’m still pretty stoked on my win at Sunset, but coming to my home break is going to be a special one,” Crawford said. “I grew up surfing Haleʻiwa a bunch and know that wave really well, but you can’t put any expectation on it and hopefully I do good. The Challenger Series definitely helped improve my surfing and what it takes to make heats. I feel like I learned so much, and the next time I get on there I feel like it’ll be a different story.”

Joshua Moniz of Hawaiʻi put on a show at the Haleiwa Challenger in 2022 and looks to deliver on the North Shore wave once more and bolster his 2023/2024 Qualifying Series season.

“I’m super stoked HIC and the Hawaii Tourism Authority are on board to back this event at one of the best waves we got,” Moniz said. “Haleʻiwa’s probably the best wave on the North Shore for high-performance surfing and it’s pretty special we get to compete out there again.

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“Now we have one of the better regions with events here [on Oahu] and then go to Tahiti. Qualifying for the Challenger Series is the goal. I have some work to do and I think that’s the goal for most of the guys competing. We have a strong contingent of guys so it’s fun to be a part of it.”

Moniz will compete against 2024 Championship Tour rookie Eli Hanneman (HAW), tour standout Barron Mamiya (HAW), current Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Mihimana Braye of France, in-form brother, Isaiah, reigning Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Regional QS victor Jackson Bunch (HAW), QS threats Mason Ho (HAW), Finn McGill (HAW), Cody Young (HAW) and Robert Grilho III (HAW).

Event organizers will convene on Nov. 26 to determine a possible 8 a.m. start.

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Source: Maui News

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