Friday - December 16, 2005
At the All Pipeline Masters Party at Turtle Bay Dec. 6
are (front from left) Rory Russell, Kelly Slater and
Andy Irons and (back) Jeff Crawford, Larry Blair,
Derrick Ho, Shaun Thompson and Mark Richards
Aloha, Wave Warriors! Happy Hollow Daze! We’ve been scoring so many waves - pros and soul surfers alike. There’s more BIG stuff on the near horizon this Friday through Sunday, but what about the weather and winds? Yes, it takes several elements to make a perfect surf session ... so every time you get one, “Don’t worry, be happy!”
Wow, has the 2005 Vans Triple Crown been exciting! Hard to believe it’s winding down to about one more day for the Rip Curl Pipe Masters. The main deal for this prestigious 35-year-old event is to get “in” the barrel. The other main deal is to get “out” - safely. However, the world’s most dangerous wave is also one of the most popular. This makes it even more lethal. You can have 80 adrenalized madmen (and now women) all in one or two take-off “zones.” As if the wave itself isn’t enough to grab all your attention. It gets ridiculous out there. We really do need some “Pipe Cops” to direct traffic and hand out citations.
The third and final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown is the longest-running pro surfing event in the world. As we go to press we have a day and a half left for the battle royal! You don’t wanna miss it. It’s the only place where you can actually feel like you’re standing in the arena with the gladiators (I’m exaggerating, of course. There’s a huge difference between the safe sand and the steel water 50 yards out)! But even though it’s dry land, you’re so close you can feel the rush yourself. Your jaw will drop, your heart will skip, your will mouth will shout and scream! It’s so much fun.
I had the honor of hanging out with the Pipe champions of the past 35 years at Turtle Bay on Dec. 6. (See Honolulu Pa’ina, pages 58-59, for more pix.) What a tribute Rip Curl and Vans put on for these guys. I’ve never seen so many legends of the sport in one place. To see today’s champs such as Andy (‘02 and ‘03) or Bruce Irons (‘01) bear-hugging Jeff Hackman (the first Pipe Master in ‘71) or reigning ‘04 champ Jamie O’Brien’s respect for Tommy Carroll ( ‘90 and ‘91) - was just great. Who else was there? How about the guy who created the Tri-Fin, Simon Anderson (‘81) or four-time world champ Mark Richards (‘80) or Shaun Thompson (‘75), Rory Russell (‘76, ‘77), Jeff Crawford (‘74),Larry Blaire (‘78, ‘79), Michael Ho (‘82) and Derrick Ho (‘86, ‘93), Dane Kealoha (‘83), Joey Buran (‘84, Gary Elkerton (‘89), Rob Machado (‘00) and, of course, Kelly Slater (‘92, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘99)!
Did I miss anyone? How about Johnny Boy Gomes (‘97), Jake Patterson (‘98), Robby Page (‘88), Mark Occhilupo (‘85) and let’s see ... anyone else? We have a total of 23 Pipeline Masters, but I’ve only listed 22 ... Think! ... Give up? Have you ever heard of Mr. Pipeline? How about Gerry Lopez? Indeed, the ultimate original Pipe style master won in ‘72 and ‘73. However, we had to see Gerry on silver screen because this guy’s still chasing his adrenaline - only this time it was snow-boarding! He had just gotten hurt pretty bad so he couldn’t fly over to be with us. I’ll share more about this awesome evening next weekend ... but for now it’s time to buckle up for the final days of the final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown ... You know I’ll be there and covering it for you right here! To know when it’s ON or OFF…call 596surf, 596wave or 638rush, or log onto SURFNEWSNETWORK.com!
I’m GQ, dropping in 4 U!
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