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HAWAII Magazine spectator guide to the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

The late, great Andy Irons at the Banzai Pipeline. Photo: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing/Cestari, ASP

Hawaii’s big waves of November aren’t here just yet.

But that won’t stop the 28th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing from kicking off its official holding period today on Oahu’s North Shore. The 38-day, six-event professional surfing competition (three for men, three for women), is the surf world’s most prestigious annual contest. It’s also the final stop for surfing’s best on the 2010 Association of Surfing Professionals yearlong world tour.

Each Triple Crown event keeps an extended holding period, with competition happening only on days with big surf—in general, sustained wave heights of 15 feet or higher. The holding period for the first jewels of the Triple Crown—the Reef Hawaiian Pro and Cholo’s Women’s Hawaiian Pro—begins today and runs through Nov. 23.

With today’s North Shore forecast calling for somewhat miniscule one- to three-foot surf, fans shouldn't count on seeing the pros hit the waves just yet. The first decent swell of the competition, in fact, isn't expected until Monday morning.

Triple Crown pros have to compete in all three events in their respective gender categories, with each event crowning an individual champion. The male and female surfer who gains the most points over all three of their events wins the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing overall championship.

Beach view of Triple Crown action. Photo: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

If you’re on Oahu over the next month, Triple Crown competition is worth the drive to the North Shore—especially when surf is at its monster best. Click here to check on surf conditions and the status of events. All events run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect thousands of surf fans, media and the just plain curious on days when the waves are kicking.

In honor of Hawaii world champion surfer Andy Irons, the Triple Crown is halting all competition on Sun., Nov. 14—regardless of wave conditions—to allow surfers the full day to attend the Irons family memorial services and paddle-out on Kauai. A second memorial service and paddle-out ceremony before the start of the Triple Crown’s Billabong Pipe Masters on Dec. 8 at the Banzai Pipeline will also honor Irons. The Kauai-native won the monster wave contest in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Anything else you need to know before you go?

On the pages ahead, you’ll find our HAWAII Magazine Spectator Guide to the Beaches and Events of the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surifng—full of tips on getting to each beach, where to park, bathroom availability and videos from last year's competitions. We also tip you off on each event’s defending champion to watch for, and the surfer perils and pitfalls each beach is most famous for.

All Triple Crown surf competitions are free and open to the public. Beat traffic and get the best spots on the beach by leaving town for the North Shore early. And keep our Triple Crown Guide bookmarked.

Now ... let the guide begin ---->

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
HAWAII Magazine guide to watching the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
Holding period in place for 2012 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore
Got surf? Holding period under way for 2011 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu

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