The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Must Go On(line)! - Stab Mag

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Must Go On(line)!

Boots on the ground events were the first thing to go in 2020, but this year’s also demonstrated what can be done with a modem and a can do attitude.  Thus, the Vans Triple Crown 2020/21 is going online in a bid to avoid the dreaded “NA” on the honours board. The locations of the […]

Words by stab

Boots on the ground events were the first thing to go in 2020, but this year’s also demonstrated what can be done with a modem and a can do attitude. 

Thus, the Vans Triple Crown 2020/21 is going online in a bid to avoid the dreaded “NA” on the honours board. The locations of the hallowed event (which has been up and running since ’83 for the men, and ’97 for the women, respectively) – Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipe – are the same, but instead of hooters, scaffolding and priority flags, it’s going to be filmers on the beach, and two best waves on celluloid from each of the locations, running for four weeks from the 21st December.

There’s nothing like the gladiatorial atmosphere that surrounds the Hawaiian events, but Vans has the potential to make digital lemonade with this (hopefully) one off format. Here’s why. Firstly, anyone on the North Shore during the period is eligible, so the opportunity for talented fresh blood to make a statement is wide open. Secondly, with only a limited amount of sessions set to occur during the four weeks the contest’s open for, the atmosphere in the line up at each spots on the best days is sure to intense, with each set more precious and coveted than perhaps it ever has been in the past. It’ll also force surfers to get creative, both with their submissions/lines, but also with where they choose to surf. For instance, is it worth paddling out on the biggest ugliest Pipe day of the period and trying to stuff a wild one, or wait for the perfect day and surf it in a dinner suit?

Furthermore, if there was ever a chance for a woman to put her mark on the notoriously macho North Shore season, then surely this is it. Pipeline: same waiting period as the men, potentially less punters in the water (although that remains to be seen) and one golden opportunity to scratch over the ledge and make a statement. Also, seeing Steph, Carissa, Tyler, Coco, Caroline and a whole heap more flowing through hacks at big Sunset and Haleiwa is sure to be a beautiful celebration of where surfing’s at in 2020.

As usual, the Vans Triple Crown is WSL certified, and the combined cash is a cool US $200,000, so it’s going to be everyone in. It’s two waves from each event, a winner from each, and then an overall Vans Triple Crown champ for the men and women as usual, only not. There’s also going to be a fan voting period of the contest window, where you can hop online and have your say. Whilst COVID’s put a pin in most sporting events around the globe this year, and changed others beyond recognition, one thing that endures is the pleasure of watching the best surfers in the world surfing pumping waves. If blessed with a good winter, we may just be in for some of the best surfing we’ve seen from the Islands to date. 

For all things Vans Triple Crown of Surfing 2020/21 head here.

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