John John Florence will be eager to start on a winning note in Hawaii ©Getty Images

The 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour is scheduled to begin tomorrow at Pipeline, on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

The first event of the new season will also feature the first full-length women's Championship Tour event at the iconic wave.

A record number of rookies are poised to make their Championship Tour debuts, while both the men’s and women’s draws have a good mix of world champions and veterans, plus the fresh faces.

Women's heat three stands out, with five-time WSL champion and Olympic gold medallist Carissa Moore - who hails from Hawaii - to be up against Costa Rica's Brisa Hennessy, who finished second at the Pipe Pro at the same venue in December.

Wildcard Moana Jones Wong, another Hawaiian, completes the heat.

Australia's Stephanie Gilmore - the seven-time WSL world champion - has entered the league's COVID-19 protocol, but is expected to be cleared to compete by Monday (January 31), the WSL said.

Gilmore is due to be in an all-Australian heat with Tyler Wright and India Robinson.

Among men, much of the focus will be on John John Florence after defending champion Gabriel Medina from Brazil pulled out of the event.

Florence, who is a two-time WSL world champion and from Hawaii, will be pitted against Brazilians Jadson Andre and Joao Chianca in his opening heat.

Pipeline has always been a proving ground and it will be interesting to see how the rookies tackle the waves.

As for the weather, the wind looks favourable and a north-west swell for the weekend is on track, so organisers are hopeful of action getting underway on schedule.

The event could last until February 10.