Rarick To Go

Gary Kewley
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Friday - November 18, 2005
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Vans Triple Crown director Randy Rarick (left) talks with legendary Rabbit Kekai at the opening of the OP and Roxy Pro
Vans Triple Crown director
Randy Rarick (left) talks with
legendary Rabbit Kekai at the
opening of the OP and Roxy

It’s on, surfers - the 23rd Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing! And its first gem? The OP Pro Hawaii and Women’s Roxy Pro at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park. I’m stoked, ‘cause we have a whopper swell today! So get sick or some excuse like that and hit the beach! You’re in for the best waves and the best surfers competing as if their lives depended on it - actually, they do. Go deep into the details at Surfnewsnetwork.com and call the hotlines to know daily - On? Off? Hold? - 596-surf, 596-wave, 638-rush. Be in the know.

A total of four days of action are needed to see who wins. With our big west-northwest swell, we’ll have several contestable days. Executive director and surf fanatic Randy Rarick is a very happy man. We’ve had a bit of a “small start” wave-wise for the average fall season. So what? The North Shore still cranks out waves like no other place on the planet.

It’s cool, ‘cause OP knows this and has returned to support this great contest. OP is the original surf wear company - it’s an icon in American surf culture. Perfect fit, seeing as Haleiwa is the cultural center of the North Shore! There’s $125,000 to go around - and lotsa surfers need the points in this event for next year’s tour. It’s a make-it-or-break-it scene. This leads to breakthrough performances at a spot that’s gnarly when it’s over eight feet.

There’s one man who does not care if it’s big and gnarly - but he does care if he wins or loses. Meet Sunny Garcia. Heard of him? If not, you don’t surf around here. This surfer dude has six Triple Crowns - more than anyone in history. He’s the current defending champ for both the OP Pro and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. You’ll wanna come down just to see him power through the Ali’i bowls and barrels. He likes to hurt waves that others run from. You actually feel for the waves. At 35 years young and with nearly two decades of professional surfing under his Velcro belt, Mr. Triple Crown will enter retirement after this series of events. Good luck, Sunny, and mahalo for all the fun, entertainment and honor you have given Hawaii.

Women charge these monsters, too - for cash and clout. They have $65,000 up for grabs in the 11th annual Roxy Pro. The men already have a World Champ (Kelly Slater) - the women do not. So here we go!

This contest is major for determining who’s No. 1 overall this year. Top contenders are current world champ Sofia Mulanovich from Peru and Chelsea Georgeson from Australia. Big wave maestro Layne Beachley has a neck injury and can’t compete. It’s scary how hard the girls charge these days - boys beware!

Randy Rarick and I were talking surf in last week’s MidWeek the Weekend, and I didn’t get to tell you everything. This is one busy man. He’s got a team of 60-plus people who start prepping for the six weeks of world class surfing competition a “year before” the next Vans Triple Crown. Yes, it is a year ‘round deal. But it does get seriously busy after August and crazy busy during the contests. Randy and his crew run them very well.

GQ: I got one for you. How many calls do you get in a day? How much are you on the phone?

RR: I start my calls to the Mainland about 4 o’clock in the morning, ‘til about 7 or so ... then about 7 the phone starts ringing here with guys wanting to know how the surf is and if it’s a go or not. I’m on the phone about five or six hours a day in the morning time. It’s crazy.

GQ: Nuts!

RR: Yeah, I mean I get anywhere between 75 and 300 calls per day!

GQ: Oh my God, you’re an animal.

RR: It’s tough. I had Liam MacNamara over here the other day and he was blown away. I had people on call waiting and popping by and he’s trying to talk to me. But I try to make myself real available, as you know.

GQ: Yeah, I do.

RR: You know, I don’t have a secretary unfortunately. But this isn’t a 9 to 5 job. It’s odd hours. Different places ... like I have to fly to Australia or Africa or France in the middle of the year.

GQ: Oh, I’m really so sorry to hear that ... my heart pumps peanut butter for you.

RR: Chuckle ... It’s a !@#$ deal ... really. You fly across the world for a meeting then head back after a couple days - I’m not going on vacation. I’ve been to Australia 50 or 60 times and most of that’s business. I try to plan my surf trips around my work, for sure, but it’s not all fun and games - super time-consuming. When I get to the contest and I say “Go,” that’s the best time for me, ‘cause all the organization and work comes into play. If everyone does their job, I don’t have much to do after the horn - except put out fires.

GQ: I love that ... that’s the opposite of what people think.

RR: I mean, I schmooze, etc., but just like you. You’re the first local call I make to tell you if it’s “on or off,” and as long as you do your job you’ve solved a problem for me - communicating to the rest of the world and all of Hawaii whether the contest is on.

GQ: I’m stoked and honored to be part of the program.

RR: It’s really good to have you on the team, GQ.

Thanks, Randy Rarick, for more insider information. There’ll be more from “Da Man” behind the Vans Triple Crown.

In closing, I have to congratulate everyone who helped make the first Annual DaHui/Wolfpac North Shore Beach Clean Up a tsunami of success! More than 200 participants! Amazing.

More scoops right here next weekend in MidWeek The Weekend. I’m GQ, dropping in 4 U.

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