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The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a Hawaiian specialty series of professional surfing events, offering three events to men and three events to women. For the men, those events are the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Park; the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the Banzai Pipeline. The women's events are the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Park; the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay, Maui.
All events, with the exception of the women's Billabong Pro Maui, are staged on the North Shore of Oahu - a coastline world famous in surfing terms for its clockwork winter swells that reach 50 feet in height.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is second only to surfing's world title as it is considered to be the ultimate test of a surfer's ability to master the big waves at three unique venues - each with its own set of challenges for the surfer.
In addition to individual event champions, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing crowns an overall men's and women's champion each year. This goes to the surfer who has performed best across all three competitions, making them the most proficient big-wave rider in the world.
The 2009 Reef Hawaiian Pro (Men) and Vans Hawaiian Pro (Women) are currently both underway. These are the first legs of the Triple Crown. (last edited 20th Nov)
Winner (men): Joel Parkinson (Aus)
Winner (women): Stephanie Gilmore (Aus)
The final day of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Park took place on 20 November. Surfers experienced good clean four to five foot waves and a powerful display of Hawaiian teamwork secured a win for youngest ever champ,'super-stoked' 16 year old Carissa Moore. The event was particularly competitive due to the wide open WQS situation this year and when north shore local Coco Ho saw her chances of winning dashed she ensured Moore victory in the final minute by popping an air over Australian Layne Beachley to deny her the wave and the points she needed. This took nothing away from Moore who qualified via a wild card and surfed consistently throughout.
The men's Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Park was won by Michel Bourez from the French Polynesia by a slender margin of 0.27 from Brazilian Jihad Khodr. The final day of the event, held on November 22, was marked by dramatically inconsistent surf, typified by the semi-final heats. Despite running consecutively, the first semi-final saw Bourez almost eliminated in a 'barrelfest', despite scoring 9.93 on his best wave. In contrast the second semi saw big names Bede Durbidge and Joel Parkinson crash out with paltry scores as the sets failed to materialise.
|Michel Bourez||French Polynesia||16.77|
The women's Roxy Pro, Sunset Beach took place from 24 November to 1 December. Surfing began Friday 28th but was halted during the stormy conditions on day two.
The final on December 1 saw superb surfing from the Australians, especially Nicola Atherton, who knocked out Sofia Mulanovich and Layne Beachley on the way to the final. The day went to Stephanie Gilmore who not only won the event but with it, clinched the ASP title for the second consecutive year. She was pushed all the way by Brazilian Silvana Lima who was frustrated after Gilmore scored an excellent righthander in the final minutes.
The men's O'Neill World Cup, Sunset Beach took place from 24 November to 4 December with surfing beginning on Friday 28th. Sunset consistently provided huge surf, day two being particularly challenging due to stormy conditions.
Many competitors, including Brett Simpson and local veteran and former ASP champ Sunny Garcia, saw their hopes for ASP World Tour qualification dashed with early elimination, while Reef Hawaiian Pro champ, Michel Bourez and finalists Jihad Khodr and Kekoa Bacalso also crashed out before the quarter finals.
The final was contested in clean, twenty to thirty foot surf, with former ASP World Tour champ Floridan C J Hobgood taking the Cup. Marcus Hickman fell foul of poor wave selection, the Hawaiian finishing third, while Jordy Smith, who has never finished below the quarter finals in the triple crown, came in fourth after snapping his board and hurting his leg.
The competition now moves to the Banzai Pipeline for the final leg of the triple crown and final event of the ASP World Tour. Hawaiian Dusty Payne is competition leader so far, with C J Hobgood and Joel Parkinson second and third.
|C J Hobgood||USA||15.00|
|Jordy Smith||South Africa||2.86|
The men's Billabong Pipeline Masters took place from 8 to 20 December.
Surfing began on 9th Dec, employing a dual heat structure where surfers go head to head, and ended on 12th Dec.
Joel Parkinson became Triple Crown champion after 2009 ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater won an unprecedented sixth Pipeline Masters title. Riding a short five foot eleven board, Slater pipped fellow American Chris Ward in a low-scoring final, in what was the duo's eighth head-to-head. Although Slater was always in the lead, a low scoring second wave meant that Ward was always in the frame. However, a late 6.83 from Slater left Ward needing a combination with no time to realistically recover.
This year's Triple Crown hopefuls Dusty Payne and CJ Hobgood were eliminated in Round 3, by Parkinson and Evan Valiere respectively.
Surfing commenced on 10 December and progressed quickly up to the quarter-final stage, with 2009 ASP women's champion Stephanie Gilmore, Hawaiian Pro winner Carissa Moore and defending Triple Crown holder Layne Beachley among the qualifiers. Sofia Mulanovich was a noticeable early casualty after losing out to Moore.
However, delayed due to poor surf at Honolua, the final day of surfing on 19 December was relocated to Ho'okipa Beach Park on the other side of Maui. Stephanie Gilmore won an exciting contest against Melanie Bartels to claim her second Billabong Pro Maui and first Triple Crown title. Seven time world champion, Layne Beachley, bowed out of professional surfing with semi-final defeat by Gilmore. Brazilian Silvana Lima lost out to Bartels in the semi-finals but her consolation was taking second place in the ASP women's tour.
|2013||John John Florence||Hawaii|
|2011||John John Florence||Hawaii|