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SURF’S UP: Who to watch
BY DAYTON MORINAGA / Special to The Pulse
The greatest surfer in the history of the sport. He clinched his record 10th world title earlier this month (no other male surfer has more than four). He has proven his worth in Hawaii, with two Triple Crown championships and six victories in the Pipeline Masters. In recent years, he has opted to compete in just one Hawaii contest — the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
JOEL PARKINSON, 29, Queensland, Australia
The two-time defending champion of the Triple Crown. No Australian surfer has ever won the Triple Crown title three times. In 2008, Parkinson made history by scoring two perfect 10s in the same heat at the Billabong Pipeline Masters (Slater is the only other surfer to ride two perfect waves in a single heat). Last year, he won the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach en route to the Triple Crown title.
Although he no longer competes on the world tour, Garcia is still a stalwart in the powerful Hawaiian waves. He owns a record six Triple Crown championships, and was in contention for a seventh last year until he missed his heat in the final contest due to a miscommunication of the starting time.
In the absence of Andy Irons, Patacchia will enter the 2010 Vans Triple Crown as Hawaii’s top-ranked surfer at No. 23 in the world standings (Irons was No. 17). Patacchia learned to surf on Oahu’s North Shore, so he is familiar with all three venues in the Triple Crown.
The woman to beat. She clinched her fourth consecutive women’s world title last month, and is also the two-time defending women’s Triple Crown champion. Last year, she reached the finals at all three events in the Triple Crown.
Hawaii’s fastest rising star in the sport. She is in her rookie season on the ASP Women’s World Tour, and is currently ranked No. 3. A 2010 graduate of Punahou School, Moore already has won two contests on the world tour this year. During last year’s Triple Crown, she won the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach.
She won the 2009 Women’s Rookie of the Year award, and is currently ranked No. 8 in the world in 2010. She is the daughter of renowned North Shore surfer Michael Ho (winner of the first Triple Crown in 1983).
Currently ranked No. 7 in the world, she is always a threat in the powerful North Shore waves. She won a Triple Crown event at Sunset Beach in 2006, launching her career on the ASP Women’s World Tour.