The Vans Triple Crown Has Gone Permanently Digital - Stab Mag
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Will 3x Vans Triple Crown winner make a return in 2021? Photo: WSL

The Vans Triple Crown Has Gone Permanently Digital

Plus, an update on the future of the Pipe Masters.

Words by Stab

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

Today, Vans announced their plans to make the Triple Crown a permanently digital event.

Coming off the success of 2020, wherein the VTCS winners John Florence and Carissa Moore were decided based on video submissions rather than points across three structured events (Sunset, Haleiwa, and Pipe), Vans has decided to abandon the traditional competition format that decided its first 37 Triple Crown Champions — from Michael Ho in 1983 to Kelly Slater in 2019 — and make the VTCS an online affair for the foreseeable future.

The new VTCS website outlines the changes in detail, but here’s the gist:

Registration begins on November 15 and ends on December 15. There are 125 spots available between men and women. At least 40% of the total spots will go to local Hawaiians.

The event window runs from December 21 to January 21. Counting waves must be caught and captured within this period.

To win, you must submit two video entries from each of the three Triple Crown venues: Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipe. At least one of those six waves must be ridden on a “progressive” (otherwise known as “alternative”) craft. Think twin fins, mid-lengths, etc. Waves will be judged by a panel of experts.

The winners will get $50,000 USD + an invitation into the 2022 Pipe Masters. This goes for the men and the women. There are additional prizes for the best clips at each of the specific venues, the clips with the most fan votes, and a prize for the winning surfers’ videographers.

Read the full rules here.

The Pipe Masters (Invitational)

Along with the Triple Crown announcement, Vans has revealed its plan to make the Pipe Masters an invitational event. In line with this change, the Pipe Masters will no longer coincide with the WSL’s Championship Tour.

To be clear, the CT will still have a Pipe event, it just won’t be called ‘The Pipeline Masters’, as Vans owns that title and IP. The WSL event will be the first CT of the year in late January, whereas the Vans Pipe Masters Invitational will take place in the original early-mid December Pipe Masters window.

There will be no Pipe Masters event in 2021. The first modern-day Pipe Masters Invitational will be in December 2022.

More info to come.

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