Vans Triple Crown Updates
Mick Fanning is focused on the major task at hand this holiday season, and that's to crush his best friend Joel's childhood dream. Ho ho ho!
Mick wants the world title – which doesn't involve the Reef Hawaiian Pro (his own sponsor's jewel in the VTC) because it's a WQS event. So he's pulled out, opting instead to stay home in Australia a bit longer this year.
“I just feel that if I went over there I wouldn’t give it 100 percent,” said Fanning about the first VTC contest at Haleiwa. “I feel like I need a bit of a break.”
Mick added that he will surf the O'Neill World Cup at Sunset, but isn't sure yet when he'll leave Tweed Heads for Oahu.
There's a scene in Guy Ritchie's Snatch where Brad Pitt is supposed to throw a boxing match. He takes hit after hit but eventually just goes "Hey wait, f—k this" and knocks the guy out. It's sick.
In 2009, Vans is Brad Pitt, and the recession is the other boxer. Vans, and the rest of the surf industry, is supposed to be getting its face stomped by the "bad economy," but instead they've pumped a much-publicized pile of cash into the Triple Crown, making it surfing's first $1 million prize purse event.
Punk-ass recession is down for the count.
There's the quiet possibility of four new Californian faces on the ASP World Tour in 2010, depending on what happens here in Hawaii this month. Pat Gudauskas (2nd in the WQS ratings) is in like leather jackets, as is Brett Simpson (7th). Nate Yeomans (8th) just made a huge move with his O'Neill Coldwater Classic win. Tanner Gudauskas, meanwhile, is just outside the cutoff at 17th.
"I don't know exactly what I have to do [to qualify]," says Tanner, "but I know that with the position I'm in it's feasible. I need to better 1200 points by a fair amount, so I'm thinking I need to make the quarters or maybe the Round of 32."
It'd be a huge moment for the crew that's traveled together on the 'QS for years: Yeomans, the Gudauskas brothers, Mike Losness (who backed off from the tour this year in favor of freesurfing) and San Diego's Austin Ware, who sits right behind Tanner at 18th and could push the California count to five if he were to qualify.
Bruce Irons for Prez
What do you call a Twitter-vote? A Twote?
There's a Twote campaign to get Bruce Irons into the Pipe Masters. Bruce, a former champ of the event and easily one of the top 3 Pipeline surfers alive, hasn't been invited to this year's contest. People are perplexed by this. Some of those people are using Twitter to voice their concerns. For instance:
Joel Parkinson: "Just found out Bruce Irons is not in the pipe masters…He's the best surfer out there PUT HIM IN!!!"
"Need a vote to get Bruce irons into the pipe masters"
The Hobgoods: "if BRUCE IRONS is not in Pipe, then it can’t be called the Pipeline MASTERS????? BI 4 PREZzz"
Clay Marzo: "vote to get bruce in to pipe!"
Yeah OK but…why do these guys want Bruce in the draw competing against them? Seems like a bad strategy for, like, winning. Still, we agree: Bruce for PREZzz.
This year's local Pipe wildcards were chosen early in 2009 through a combination committee vote/surf-off. Bruce didn't come up with a golden ticket. Still, according to the ASP, it's possible for him to get in via the sole Triple Crown wildcard, which is awarded to the surfer rated highest in the VTC points standings after the first two events who wouldn't otherwise be in the Pipe draw. Confused? Pissed off? Watch The Bruce Movie and set fire to something*.
*Don't set fire to things.