Master of all conditions and expert in diversity, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion is an esteemed title awarded each year in Hawaii to one surfer who has proven himself to be the unsurpassed champion of surfing's ultimate playground: the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. From weather to waves, the three locales that comprise the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing are exceptionally diverse yet equally challenging in their own right, boding well for action, athleticism and high performance surfing. It is the perfect culmination to the World Surf League's (WSL) 2015 season.
The first gem of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing - the Hawaiian Pro - begins on Thursday at Haleiwa's Ali‘i Beach, set for four days of competition on the best days of surf available through November 23. Surfline, the official forecaster of the series, calls for head-high surf that will favor both local knowledge and those with a full arsenal of aerial maneuvers. Haleiwa is known to throw a bag of tricks at competitors with its hollow rights, racing walls and ripple sections. Interestingly, it is a break that becomes even more challenging at smaller wave heights.
"Make no mistake," says Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Director Marty Thomas, "it's going to be challenging at Haleiwa this year. The short-range forecast predicts small surf, but that will lend itself to exciting aerial maneuvers. You can be sure that this year's Vans Triple Crown champion will most certainly be a master of every type of ocean condition the North Shore famously dishes up."
Look for the young and dominant Brazilian squad to take advantage of the smaller surf forecast for Haleiwa, with World Title contenders Filipe Toledo, Adriano De Souza, Gabriel Medina, joined by standout rookie Italo Ferreira leading the charge skyward. On the home front, North Shore's very own John John Florence will also be a highly backed favorite. Other standout aerialists to watch include defending Vans Triple Crown champion Julian Wilson (AUS) and California's Kolohe Andino.
Fresh off a win at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Filipe Toledo, 20, is in excellent form to take on the dynamic, high performance surf of Haleiwa. Defending champion Dusty Payne, 26, from Maui will return, along with other outstanding local athletes to round out the competition. Current WSL Hawaii regional ratings leader and recent HIC Pro champion Ian Walsh, 32, will be among the top local athletes in the Hawaiian Pro, as well as veteran favorites Sunny Garcia, 45, and Bruce Irons, 35.
The first call for the Hawaiian Pro will take place this Thursday at 7:30am. Expect to witness a high level of surfing from athletes, regardless of conditions, and an exciting start to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Beyond Haleiwa, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing will present the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach November 24 - December 6), and the Billabong Pipe Masters - the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour World Title showdown will crown the 2015 World Champion December 8 - 20.