17.11.2005 30 °C
Days like today were what I'd dreamed of before moving to Hawaii. The kids were at school, C was at work, and it was Day 2 of the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition!
Being from Michigan and other non-surfing states, I had no idea how one of these events worked. It was amazingly well run and organized considering how many surfers there were to get thru.
So... on with the event report!
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a 3-part surfing event that runs from November 12 to nearly Christmas time. The 3 jewels of the crown are won at each of the 3 events: The OP Hawaii Pro, the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing and the grand finale event, Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters! Each of the events last roughly 2 weeks or so... just depends on how the waves behave whether or not they surf on any given day.
So event #1: The OP Hawaii Pro began officially on November 12th, but they didn't start the surfing until yesterday because the waves were non-existant. Today they were at 10-12 feet! The water temperature was 79* and the air temp was 86*.
I parked on the street just a ways from the beach, and as I was walking in, this was my first great view!
I took a lot of pictures of the signs and painted murals because I think they're so cool!
The crowd was really not bad! Hard to estimate how many people were there because we were free to sit anywhere we wanted, or wander freely as things were happening. Somewhere around 100 I'd guess while I was there... maybe 150.
Sitting on beach level doesn't give the greatest views... so all of the announcers, tv cameras, etc sit up in elevated tents! There were 6 or 7 of these across the beach, set up for different reasons. Vendors selling event shirts and posters, surfers area, announcers, etc. Here's one:
Ok, so they have 4 guys out surfing at one time... called a heat. Each guy wore a white, yellow, blue or red rash guard shirt, and during the competition they were largely referred to as the red surfer or the blue surfer. Each heat lasted something like 20 or 30 minutes. One heat would end with the sounding of a horn, and 10 seconds later, they'd sound the horn again signifying the start of the next heat.
Here's a picture of one set of guys paddling out in preparation for their heat:
I happened to be sitting where they did interviews after each heat was over, so I took pictures of several of the guys, tho I have no idea who they are. Well... one is Jamie O'Brien who is the reigning champion. He won his heat today, too. LOL
And now... finally for the action shots! My new camera (well the one I bought last Spring!) did pretty great for this sort of thing! The distance was pretty considerable... the big waves were far out and I was sitting a good way up the beach!
The best pictures would be taken from in the water, out where they are, but since I'm not allowed anywhere near there.... I had to settle from working from the beach. And I was straight in front of them, not off to an angle, so you can't see the big barrel, tube-like waves, like you can in a magazine.
Whew!!! If it gives you any idea of how many pictures I took today.... I stayed until the batteries in my camera died. =o) I am sharing 38 pics here. I haven't been posting much, so I have the space.
There were surfers from all over the world: Spain, Brazil, Australia and local boys from Hawaii! The whole thing was really great, and it's so close to our house! Only about 5 miles away! And what's maybe the best is that it's all free! Free parking, free entry in, and they gave away free souveineers: posters, a nice program and Vans stickers.
I will go back tomorrow in hopes of seeing some of the Women's Roxy Pro competition.
Here are a couple of scenic shots I thought were really beautiful:
I just LOVE crashing wave pictures!