The first jewel is on, and Pancho gives back

Gary Kewley
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Friday - November 16, 2007
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Speed, energy and power on Veterans Day, day one of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali'i Beach
Speed, energy and power on Veterans Day, day one of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali’i Beach

Aloha, surfers!

God bless America, our veterans and all those in service of our freedom! I write this on a perfect Veterans Day with a heightened sense of blessing.The surf is 3-5 feet and the Vans Triple Crown kicked off on day one of its holding period. The early morning hours didn’t have a cloud in the sky! The winds were so light, every wave was peeling glass perfection. All spots were on all cylinders. This kind of day just doesn’t come along very often ... the fact that it fell on a special holiday honoring our freedom fighters ... Wow!

Yes, it’s “game on” for the 25th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing ... the North Shore is living up to its reputation for consistency and variety. The first jewel is the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali’i Beach Park, Haleiwa. Director Randy Rarick gave it a go two days in a row at 6:35 a.m.

They scored overhead waves as both men and women hit the lineup. To watch it live on the Internet, log on to - or better yet, hit the beach ... there’s nothing like being there.

The forecast is looking great to finish the Reef Hawaiian Pro before Thanksgiving.We see back-to-back swells on the charts. This is exactly why our seven-mile miracle is world-renowned - for its quantity and quality surf. There are more good breaks per mile than almost anywhere in the world. When nature creates storms in the North Pacific, we get waves!

After the “Reef,“the whole crew heads up the coast to the famed Sunset Beach for the second jewel: The O’Neill World Cup and Roxy Pro, Nov. 25-Dec. 6. Then last, but definitely not least - the third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown - the Billabong Pipeline Masters Dec. 8-20! It is,in fact,the biggest and heaviest of all three contests! The Pipe Masters is the only World Championship Tour (WCT) event of the Vans.This is the 10th and final contest on the Foster’s ASP World Tour. The first two competitions are in the World Qualifying Series (WQS) ... these secondary tier events allow for the top 15 rated men and top six women to be awarded a spot in the following year’s dream WCT tour. Every contest,every wave counts.But the Vans Triple Crown is the most coveted with the exception of a world title.

Got to give “hats off” to power-house Pancho Sullivan, who’s pledging 10 percent of his Triple Crown winnings this year to “Keep the North Shore Country.” Currently ranked 12th in the world on his second year on tour,Pancho’s a gentleman and a wave killer. Nobody except Sunny Garcia can move as much water as this guy.

Everyone loves him and respects him.Pancho also holds the high distinction of being the oldest surfer ever (33) to enter the Foster’s World Surfing Tour. That’s an amazing accomplishment when you think that 20 years ago, surfing careers were nearly over by age 30. And, being No. 12 on a world tour that rewards the progressive aerial assault with younger guys light of foot. Given that our North Shore big boy is 6 feet tall and 210 pounds; his rating is even more impressive. Thanks, Pancho, for the inspiration ... for giving back to surfing and our precious North Shore.

To pay it forward, please click or call Gil Riviere at 808-220-2280, or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

GQ, dropping In 4 U!

P.S. Remember to call the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing hotlines first thing daily: 596-SURF and 638-RUSH. Log on to as well. Mr.Rarick makes the call by 6:45-7 a.m. daily.


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