For Immediate Release:
CARLSBAD, Calif.-- SPY® is proud to announce John John Florence is the 2011 Triple Crown of Surfing Champion. Showing versatility and consistency beyond his years, he bested the world's top surfers across three events to win Hawaii's most esteemed award.
“I’ve dreamed of this my entire life," said Florence. "For any Hawaiian surfer, a Triple Crown title is the achievement of a lifetime. Finishing with Pipe was incredible, a perfect day right in my backyard. I am really stoked and really thankful right now.”
Indeed, Pipeline roared to life for the young North Shore local, pushing 8-to-12-foot surf over the hallowed reef and propelling him into heat-after-heat wins. In Round 2, he posted his first 10-point ride of the event, followed by another in Round 4, comfortably advancing him in the competition. The quarters saw the most anticipated matchup of the contest with John John pitted against 11-time World Champ and two-time Triple Crown winner Kelly Slater. John John posted a 16.70 total, but it wasn't enough to hold-off Slater's last minute heroics, which retired the Hawaiian's run at Pipe in the fading minutes of the heat. With Michel Bourez needing a finals berth to take the ratings lead, John John could only sit and watch as the drama unfolded. As Bourez fell in the semis to Kieren Perrow, the beach erupted in cheers, heralding John John's first Triple Crown victory and establishing him as the youngest victor in the event's history.
"The waves were firing... it's the best Pipe has been in so long," said Florence. "There are so many waves that people don't really see. There are ones going underneath and wide ones--they're just everywhere. There is definitely a lot of pressure to do well with all of my friends and family here and to win the Triple Crown in front of them is unbelievable."
The journey to the Triple Crown throne began at Haleiwa, where John John earned a 5th-place finish at the Reef Hawaiian Pro. On the second stop of the trifecta, Sunset, he posted consistent highest-heat totals leading into the final, where technical skill in the barrel left would-be suitors comboed, ensuring John John the ratings lead into the last event of the race.
"John John has been with SPY since he was 10, so this is an incredible, long-awaited celebration for us," notes Devon Howard, SPY marketing director. "He has grown into such an incredible talent and he's already influencing the direction of progressive surfing in any condition and at every level. We’re stoked for him, and know that this is the beginning of many titles to come."