TOP SURFERS CHASE VANS TRIPLE CROWN

posted by / News / September 9, 2003

NORTH SHORE, OAHU, Hawaii –
On the Hawaiian Island of Oahu lies the most notorious seven-mile stretch of surf on earth, the world famous North Shore. It is in this mythological place, surfing the biggest waves in the world, that legends are made and lives are put on the line. Once a year for nearly two months it becomes a surfer’s Mecca. From Nov. 12 through Dec. 20, the world’s top men and women surfers will chase professional world titles, a $750,000 purse and the glory of the greatest achievement in surfing, the {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown of Surfing title.

The Series begins with the $125,000 six-star, World Qualifying Series (WQS)-rated Vans Hawaiian Pro, Nov. 12-23 at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach. The break at Haleiwa features a fast ride that peels off over coral reef, allowing a full spectrum of maneuvers. As the season-ending men’s World Qualifying Series event, the Hawaiian Pro will determine those who advance to the elite World Championship Tour (WCT) for a shot at the world title in 2004.

Stop number two is Sunset Beach (Nov. 24 – Dec. 7) for the $250,000 Rip Curl Cup, also known as the 29th annual World Cup of Surfing, the penultimate event on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour. Only the world’s Top 45 ranked pros and three wildcard entrants are permitted to compete in this event. In contrast to Haleiwa, the break at Sunset Beach is almost a half-mile out to sea and in very deep waters. Subsequently, the waves can be up to 20 feet thick and up to four stories high.

The finale of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is at the infamous Banzai Pipeline for the $250,000 Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters (Dec. 8 — 20). Entering its 33rd year as the longest running and most famous professional surfing competition in the world, the Xbox Pipeline Masters decides both the ASP World title and Vans Triple Crown title for 2003. In addition to the world’s top 45 surfers plus three wildcards, this year 16 Pipeline “specialists” will advance directly into the 64 man main event, foregoing the “trials” of previous years.

Pipeline rears up less than {{{100}}} feet from shore and showcases waves of up to five stories high that march shoreward before exploding upon a barely submerged coral reef. Hitting with speed and power, these swells launch abruptly, ‘jacking up’ from just a few feet in height to 15 or 20 feet in a matter of seconds. The effect of this is a hollow, barreling wave that has made the name “Banzai Pipeline” famous around the world. This, the premier event of the 2003 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, will air on network television, with an hour-long special on NBC {{{Sports}}} on January 25 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title for women showcases the world’s top pro female surfers in their own three-event lineup that runs concurrently with the men’s Series. The six-star WQS, $30,000 Roxy Pro at Haleiwa (Nov. 12-23), the four-star WQS, $20,000 Turtle Bay Resort Women’s Pro in the waters off the world class Turtle Bay Resort (Nov. 24 – Dec. 7) and the final WCT event for 2003, the $60,000 Billabong Pro at Maui’s Honolua Bay (Dec. 8-20). Collectively these three events determine the women’s ASP World Champion, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion, as well as the WCT and WQS lineups for the 2004 circuit.

“For more than two decades the combined events of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing have showcased many of the sport’s most dramatic moments,” said Executive Director Randy Rarick. “With the best male and female surfers competing at five different locations, with back-to-back WCT’s for the men and multi-island venues for the women, now virtually every major title in the sport is on the line.”

MEN’S SURFING EVENTS
Vans Hawaiian Pro
A men’s $125,000, 6-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) competition. This is the first men’s event in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the final WQS on the 2003 ASP tour.
Date: November 12-23 Location: Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, Oahu
Defending Champ: Sunny Garcia (Hawaii) First Place: $15,000

Rip Curl Cup
A $250,000 World Championship Tour (WCT) competition. This is the 29th annual World Cup of Surfing and the penultimate WCT event of the 2003 ASP World Tour.
Date: November 24 – December 7 Location: Sunset Beach, Oahu
Defending Champ: Joel Parkinson (Aus.) First Place: $30,000

Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters
The $250,000 final WCT event of 2003 will determine the ASP world and Vans Triple Crown champions. This 33rd annual event is the longest running professional surfing competition in the world.
Date: December 8 – 20 Location: Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu.
Defending Champ: Andy Irons (Hawaii) First Place: $30,000

WOMEN’S SURFING EVENTS
Roxy Pro
A $30,000, 6-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) competition. This is the first women’s event in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the penultimate WQS on the 2003 ASP tour.
Date: November 12-23 Location: Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, Oahu
Defending Champ: Neridah Falconer (Aus.) First Place: $6,000

Turtle Bay Resort Pro
A $20,000, 4-star WQS competition. This is the second leg of the Vans Triple Crown and the final WQS on the 2003 ASP women’s tour.
Date: November 24 – December 7 Location: Sunset Beach, Oahu
Defending Champ: Julia Christian (Carlsbad) First Place: $3,500

Billabong Pro
The $60,000 final WCT event of 2003 will determine the ASP world and Vans Triple Crown women’s champions.
Date: December 8 – 20 Location: Honolua Bay, Maui
Defending Champ: Jacqueline Silva (Brz) First Place: $10,000

The Vans Triple Crown Series features the world’s top athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Snowboarding, BMX and {{{Freestyle}}} Motocross. The Series is made possible through the support of Vans, the Xbox? video game system from Microsoft, Mountain Dew, {{{Ford}}} {{{Trucks}}}, Right Guard Xtreme Sport, {{{Fox}}} Sports Net, Surfing Magazine and NBC Sports.

For media information on the U.S. Mainland contact Mike Kingsbury or Cherie Garcia, MKM, at (714) 375-2188. For international media information and on-site in Hawaii contact Jodi Young, Ocean Promotion, at (808) 638-7700. Broadcast quality video and color art are available upon request. Consumer information is available at www.triplecrownofsurfing.com.

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