The 2009 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is underway on the North Shore of Oahu. Last week saw the completion of the O’neill World Cup of Surfing: Sunset Beach, HI in maxing conditions! Three separate solid NW swells hit the North Shore perfectly between the November 24th opening day of the contest window and the December 4th Finals heat. The cleanest and most organized of the three swells occurred on the final day of the tournament. After spending the morning surfing just up the reef from Sunset at the Backyards I pedaled to Sunset Beach to catch the final few heats of the event.
The Conditions on the final day of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing were quoted by many of the surfers as being as good as Sunset gets! 12 to 15 foot NW swell with light winds and sunny skies. The top 16 surfers on Thursday December 4th included rookies Dusty Pane and Yadin Nicol (named rookie of the year later that day), and and Triple Crown vets Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson alike. But what it came down to were the final four; Marcus Hickman, Tommy Whitaker, CJ Hobgood, and Jordy Smith.
South African, Jordy Smith surfed an outstanding day scoring the days only perfect 10. However in the finals heat he broke a board and pulled a muscle in his groin sending him home with 4th place. Local sunset surfer Marcus Hickman took third with his local knowledge and great performance surfing. The Aussi representative in the final, Tommy Whitaker, took second with some amazing waves. But it was east coaster, and the first Goofy footer in eleven years to win the event, CJ Hobgood who scored the win and took home the trophy and $15,000 in prize money! It was an amazing week of surf with an epic final day!
For more info, photos, and full results check out; the Surfline Slideshow