After decades of competing in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Hawaiian legend Sunny Garcia, a former World Champion and 6x winner of the prestigious series, says 2016 will be his final run at it. The 47-year-old's big hope is to earn enough points at the Hawaiian Pro and Vans World Cup events to earn a spot in the series' crown jewel, the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
The Hawaiian Pro begins Saturday at Haleiwa, with a wave-rich forecast that looks promising for Garcia's power game.
Garcia grew up on Oahu's West Side, but groomed his lead-footed approach all over the island, including the renowned Triple Crown venues. To this day, between his powerful approach and wealth of local knowledge, he still poses a major threat to the younger generation who have far less experience navigating the tricky North Shore lineups.
While Garcia's last Triple Crown win came more than a decade ago, physically he's in better shape today than he was in 2004, or even during his title run in 2000. That's because his newest hobby is participating in triathlons, and he's worked himself into incredible shape in preparation for events like Hawaii's world famous Ironman competition.
Garcia's always been known for his competitive fire, so when he hangs up his competitive jersey it's likely he'll be utilizing his legend status and new fondness for fitness in a new role as mentor and coach to Hawaii's next generation.