The biggest contest of the year has begun on the North Shore of Oahu (we're actually on day 5 now). Made up of 3-separate contests - The Reef Hawaiian Pro (now@ Halewia), O'Neill World Cup of Surfing (Nov 24@ Sunset Beach) and the coveted Billabong Pipe Masters (Dec 8@ Pipeline, duh), which is the final and most challenging stop of the WCT. With over $1,000,000 in prize money, the overall best performer of the 3 contests wins the Vans Triple Crown Bonus and has bragging rights and priority for life at any surf spot in the world. Oh yeah, there are some girl contests in between.
I watched most of the Reef Hawaiian Pro yesterday, which was being held in pumping Haleiwa. The heat of the day was the Clash of the Legends - Featuring a 4-man heat with former WCT Champions and surfing legends Tom Curren, Mark Occy Occhilupo, Tom Carroll and Sunny Garcia. To see these 40 year olds all scoring 9's in huge, overhead surf was both inspiring and humbling. They definitely set the bar for the rest of the competition (some less than half their age). Watch the highlights of the heat here.
The Vans Triple Threat bonus goes to the Men’s Vans Triple Crown Champ ($50,000), Women’s Triple Crown champ ($25,000), ASP Men’s World Champion ($50,000), winner of the Billabong Pipe Masters ($50,000). This $175, 000 Triple Threat bonus is in addition to the $875, 000 Triple Crown prize purse and totals a whopping $1 million dollar prize purse for the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing