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The Pick Up: The Winningest Men In Triple Crown History

Only 5 people have won all three—Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipe.

vtcs // Dec 7, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Winning a Triple Crown is hard. Winning all three events of the Triple Crown throughout the entirety of one’s career? Statistically harder. Since 1983 there have been 16 Triple Crown champions, but only five people — Gary Elkerton, Mark Richards, Joel Parkinson, Michel Bourez, and Andy Irons — have won each individual event of Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipe. None has won all three events in the same year.

Some interesting outliers include Sunny Garcia, who holds a record six Triple Crowns but never won at Pipeline; Kelly Slater, who holds seven Pipe Masters titles but not a single win between Haleiwa and Sunset (if only Sunny and he could trade!); and more recently John Florence, who, despite being one of the best Pipe surfers in history, has failed to secure a win at his home break (his best result in a Pipe Masters is a second).

To win a Triple Crown, one needs to be comfortable in two-to-twelve foot conditions, have impeccable skills on rail and in the tube, and not falter once in an early round. To win all three Triple Crown events over the course of a career, one must possess these same skills in conjunction with an overflowing reservoir of good fortune. Oahu’s shifting peaks benefit the brave, but also the lucky.

Mostly the brave though. 

 

Still imagery by Dan Merkel + WSL, footage by the WSL + Freesurf magazine.

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