The last time the women took part in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing was in 2009 -- just over a decade ago. And at the time, it did not include an event at Pipeline... But this year the women are back and ready to redefine what the premiere competition means to the sport, especially at the heaviest wave on the North Shore.
Four-Time World Champion Carissa Moore, free surfer Moana Jones and Big Wave surfer Keala Kennelly shared what it means to return to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. This winter they took full advantage of the opportunity to capture their best clips from Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.
What does this mean for women to once again take on the Triple Crown of Surfing with the inclusion of Pipeline?
"I'm so incredibly happy to have the women back surfing in the Triple Crown again" said Keala Kennelly in an interview with the WSL. "I don't know why they were excluded for the last decade to begin with, especially when the level of surfing just keeps getting better. I think this is a really great opportunity for women to push themselves in more challenging surf and will help Hawaii WCT hopefuls have the opportunity to compete on their home turf."
Keala is a pioneer of the sport in multiple aspects. She challenges herself to surf the biggest waves in the world and is consistently setting new standards when it comes to waves of consequence. In 2015, Keala won the Surf n Sea Pipeline Pro and took 3rd place in the Women's Pipe Invitational that same year. Her experience in big waves has translated to Pipeline over the years, and she's known as one of the standouts in the lineup.
"Pipe is by far my favorite because I spend the most time out here," North Shore local Moana Jones told us. "Growing up the women were kind of included in the Triple Crown with the Sunset and Haleiwa competitions, but never Pipe. This year they have Pipe."
Moana Jones has dedicated her young career to becoming a Pipe specialist, putting in the time to learn the wave. In 2015 she was the youngest finalist in the Surf n Sea Pipeline Pro at just 15 years old. Since then she's competed in the various Pipe specialty events.
Four-time World Champion Carissa Moore made the drive to the North Shore of Oahu from her home in Honolulu almost every morning this winter. Out of the three Triple Crown spots, she feels most comfortable out at Haleiwa. Because of this, she put in extra time to learn and practice at Sunset and Pipeline with the help of coaches Joel Centeio and Jamie O'Brien.
"Its really nice to have a female presence competitively on the North Shore of Oahu" said Carissa. "To compete digitally in the Vans Triple Crown has been a huge motivator to surf spots like Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipeline during the winter season. When given the opportunity the girls are eager to step up and perform."
And we have been blown away by the submissions entered in the competition. The winners of the digital Vans Triple Crown will be announced January 26th, 2021. For the current rankings and more information on the competition check out www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com.