Maui Surf

The Triple Crown of Surfing

October 29, 2012, 9:14 PM HST
* Updated October 29, 9:20 PM
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By Carlos Rock

Pipeline.

Every winter season surfers from all over the world compete in Hawaii’s most prestigious three-event series known as the Triple Crown of Surfing.

The three events are held at the most well-known and challenging spots on the North Shore, Haleiwa, Sunset Beach, and of course Pipeline.

All the spots have the capability of holding big surf which makes for very exciting surfing.

To do well in one of these events, let alone win the whole Triple Crown is considered by many to be just as good as a World Title. Every year surfers want to prove themselves in the heavy Hawaiian waters knowing that a good result of even a win in any of these events can serve as a jump-start to one’s professional surfing career.

These events give the underground Hawaii guys – who don’ travel full time on tour – a chance to compete against the best guys in the world at the best waves on the North Shore on Oahu, known as the proving ground in all of the surfing world.

Defending Vans World Cup and Triple Crown Champ John John Florence. Photo: SurfersVillage

Last year’s winner was Hawaii’s own John John Florence who bagged a win and schooled the field at Sunset Beach. Florence also did well at Haleiwa and at the last ASP event at Pipeline to earn him his first of possibly many Triple Crown titles. His name is now among surfing greats who have also won it in the past, names like Sunny Garcia , Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson, and the list goes on.

To do well in these events means cementing your place in surfing history, and it all happens in Hawaii. This is how important Hawaii and, more importantly, the North Shore of Oahu, is to the surfing world.

“It’s all about Pipe.”- Kelly Slater

This years Triple Crown has the 11-time champ Slater signed up for all three events with a number of WT guys doing the same. This year’s title race will most likely go down at Pipeline if the World #1 Joel Parkinson (AUS) doesn’t snag a win at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz.

With Parkinson, John John Florence, Kelly Slater, and Mick Fanning all in the title race, Pipeline will be guaranteed an epic showdown. With a long waiting period that allows for forecasters to determine the best days of swell to hold competition combined with the El Nino weather conditions, we could be watching the pros throw down at classic Pipeline.

Pipeline has always produced memorable finals like this one in 2003 with Andy Irons winning it all. Photo: ASP

The winter season is in full swing with the start of these events. The Reef Hawaiian pro at Haleiwa starts on Nov. 12, The Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach starts Nov. 25, and The Pipeline Masters is set to go same time same place every year Dec. 8.

Can John John do it again and pull an Andy Irons sweep of the World Title, The Triple Crown and the Pipemasters?

Why not?

Contest organizers are predicting record numbers watching on webcast, truly signaling the change of the tides and how technology can bring you right into the action and drama from across the world.

Make sure to tune in when the time comes; remember guys are surfing better than ever before.

Too bad there isn’t an event held here on Maui for the Triple Crown anymore. The women’s tour used to culminate at Honolua Bay before getting nixed by the WT officials.

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