There’s a lot at stake during the year’s final event, which is ideally the way it should always be. The Billabong Pipe Masters opened its waiting period Saturday to determine the 2018 world champion and a Triple Crown champion, as well as the completion of the qualification puzzle. Three men still have world title aspirations, more than that are alive in the Triple Crown hunt and a few nervous surfers need some specific results to hop back on the world tour in 2019.
The Vans World Cup of Surfing has had three consecutive lay days since Saturday’s full slate of action reduced the field to 32 competitors. That leaves just today and Thursday remaining in the waiting period, but a massive swell has entered the North Shore that doesn’t appear to be compatible.
With all the current reboots in movies and TV shows, we’re getting a lot of the same stories with just some slight variations thrown in. It’s usually not all that exciting because there aren’t many surprises. As viewers, we go in knowing the basic plot and how things will unfold since it’s been done before.
So many different things happened over the past few days that coming up with one encompassing theme is nearly impossible, except to say that Hawaii has been treating the surf world well and the local competitors have stepped up at the most opportune moments.
It’s all about quarterbacks this week. I mean, that’s how it is most weeks, right? The quarterback is always the face that runs the place. It’s been another good week for some of those more familiar faces. After the newest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings came out Tuesday, Central Florida has crept up to No. 9, hoping to possibly moves up further if mayhem ensues within the top six during rivalry week.
Former world champion Joel Parkinson announced earlier in the year that he would be retiring following this 2018 season. His reasoning for that decision included the notion that he no longer has the desire to put the jersey on. That was not evident on Saturday, as the three-time Triple Crown champion took the early lead on this year’s leaderboard with a high-scoring victory at the Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa.
With the conclusion of the Port Stephens Pro in New South Wales, the rookie qualifiers for next season’s Championship Tour have been finalized. Two fresh faces will make their full-time debuts in 2019, one of whom will be Oahu’s Brisa Hennessy.
It all gets underway on Monday as the 2018 Triple Crown of Surfing opens at Haleiwa with the Hawaiian Pro. It’s the first opportunity for anyone to begin their quest for points in the winter’s most prestigious and anticipated series. Past winners have run the gamut from renowned superstars like Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina, local legends like Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons and Derek Ho, or breakout stars like Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz in 2012 or defending champ Griffin Colapinto.