Reef Hawaiian Pro Preview

Surfing Magazine previews the opening event of the 2007 {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown Of Surfing

WHAT: This $125,000 ASP World Qualifying Series event and first jewel on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is penultimate men's WQS event — and final women's WQS event – of the 2007 ASP World Tour
WHERE: Ali'i Beach, Haleiwa, Hawaii
WHO: ASP's top WQS and WCT surfers
WHEN: Nov. 12-24, 2007
WHO TO WATCH: Anyone Hawaiian from Andy Irons to Joel Centeio on the Men's side; Heather Clark, Sofia Mulanovich and Melanie Bartels on the women's. And, if it gets big enough, the surfer with the strongest arms – and biggest cajones.

Born in 1985, the Reef Hawaiian Pro may be the youngest contest in the Triple Crown, but it claims the most royal roots of all. The Hawaiian Pro replaced the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, the granddaddy of invitational events originated as a way to bring together the best athletes ever to brave North Shore and match them up in the gnarliest conditions available — from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay. With the addition of more winter contests, organizers decided they couldn't be mobile anymore, and settled on Haleiwa in for several reasons. Not just because Ali'i Beach Park offered crowd-pleasing views and historical appeal – going all the way back to '60s longboarding favorites like the Sea Spree – but also for the wave's many moods, from rippable 6-foot walls to rip-torn and downright hairy 12-foot clean-up sets that keep every surfer guessing and every fan's eyes on the water.

The six-star event's competitive impact can be just as heartstopping. After all, this is the place where Carissa Moore made her first pro appearance at only 11 years old, beating South African stompfoot Heather Clark before bowing out. And, as the final WQS event of the women's tour, you can bet every would-be qualifier from Karina Petroni to Julia Christian will be gunning for points. And while it may no longer be the season-ender for the men —Sunset Beach took that role three years ago — it's as cut-throat as ever for any surfer fighting either to make the WCT or stay on it. "I'll definitely be doing the whole Triple Crown this year," notes {{{CJ}}} Hobgood.

Back when he was a top-10 fixture, the 2001 champ always skipped the first event of the winter. But, as he — and other top Foster's ASP World Tour players — find themselves in tougher positions, they can't miss any opportunity for a big score, putting an increasing number of superstars in the race for the Triple Crown. That makes for an opening throwdown that matches local heavies like Myles Padaca against newly crowned world champ Mick Fanning and returning champs such as Andy Irons. And that gives every surfer who enters this contest an advantage. "Haleiwa really sets the pace," says Vans Triple Crown executive director Randy Rarick. "A lot of surfers get on a roll here and ended up doing really well the rest of the season. Look at Kaipo Jaquias. He won at Haleiwa and ended up winning the whole damn thing."

In other words: watch Haleiwa and you watch the 2007 Vans Triple Crown champ's winning performance — before he even knows it.

Haleiwa: The first jewel in the Triple Crown

For more on the Reef Hawaiian Pro and the rest of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, visit