Triple Crown of Surfing


Celebrated pro contest miniseries, founded in 1983, composed of three events held during the midwinter Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) competition season on the North Shore of Oahu. Some Triple Crown events are part of the World Championship Tour circuit; some are on the second-tier World Qualifying Series circuit. The Triple Crown is the second most honored title in professional surfing, after the world championship. Because the world tour usually finishes in Hawaii, it's often the case that the winners for both the Triple Crown and the world championship are decided on the same day; occasionally the same surfer will take both titles.

The Triple Crown grew out of a pro tour schism in 1983, when ASP officials, unable to work out procedural differences with North Shore contest promoter Fred Hemmings, removed the North Shore events from the world tour schedule. Instead of canceling his contests, Hemmings consolidated the three events—the Pipeline Masters, the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, and the World Cup—into the Triple Crown, with the surfer tallying the most combined points declared as the series winner. The ASP warned that surfers who entered the 1983 Triple Crown contests would be stripped of their world tour ratings, and virtually all international pros remained on the sidelines. Some of the top Hawaiians, including Michael Ho and Dane Kealoha, ignored the ASP and entered the three events. In what would prove to be the most remarkable result in Triple Crown history, Kealoha won both the Duke and the Masters (although did poorly in the World Cup), but lost the Triple Crown title to Ho, who won the World Cup and placed well in the Duke and the Masters.

The Pipeline Masters and the World Cup have always formed two-thirds of the Triple Crown. The third event has been sponsored by a number of companies, including Billabong, Ocean Pacific, Wyland Galleries, and G-Shock. Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Haleiwa usually make up the three Triple Crown surf sites. Umbrella sponsors for the Triple Crown include Red Dog, G-Shock, and Vans, among others. A Triple Crown women's division was added in 1997, using separate women's-only pro contests.

Hawaiian contest organizer Randy Rarick was the head of the Triple Crown from its inception until 2012, at which point the job went to former pro surfer Marty Thomas. In 2009, surf filmmaker Dana Brown released Highwater, a documentary chronicling the previous years' Triple Crown event.

Hawaii's Sunny Garcia, a six-time series winner, has the most Triple Crown titles.

Winners of the Triple Crown of Surfing are as follows:

1983: Michael Ho

1984: Derek Ho

1985: Michael Ho

1986: Derek Ho

1987: Gary Elkerton

1988: Derek Ho

1989: Gary Elkerton

1990: Derek Ho

1991: Tom Carroll

1992: Sunny Garcia

1993: Sunny Garcia

1994: Sunny Garcia

1995: Kelly Slater

1996: Kaipo Jaquias

1997: Mike Rommelse, Layne Beachley

1998: Kelly Slater, Layne Beachley

1999: Sunny Garcia, Trudy Todd

2000: Sunny Garcia, Heather Clark

2001: Myles Padaca, (no women's division)

2002: Andy Irons, Neridah Falconer

2003: Andy Irons, Keala Kennelly

2004: Sunny Garcia, Chelsea Hedges

2005: Andy Irons, Chelsea Hedges

2006: Andy Irons, Sofia Mulanovich

2007: Bede Durbidge, Megan Abubo

2008: Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore

2009: Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore

2010: Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore

2011: John John Florence, (no women's division)

2012: Sebastien Zietz (no women's division)

2013: John John Florence

2014: Julian Wilson

2015: Gabriel Medina

2016: John John Florence