Billabong Pipe Masters

Billabong Pipe Masters/ Handout

Pipeline, the jewel in the highly-coveted Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Photo: ASP/SCHOLTZ

Once again looking to consolidate their presence by reclaiming competitive surfing's media rights, the ASP recently acquired Hawaii's renowned Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series, one of surfing's most coveted titles out there. Vans will remain the title sponsor of the series but the event licence now belongs to the ASP going forward.

So what does this change exactly? Well, it means the ASP will now take over the production of the events from A-Z, ensuring that Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline all conform to the ASP's event and marketing criteria such as a higher quality webcast and the like. With the new licence also allowing the ASP to bring in more sponsors, the prize purse is also set to go up to a total of $1.25 Million.

“Hawaii’s place in the history of surfing cannot be overstated," Paul Speaker, ASP CEO, said. “They have a proud heritage of producing world-class surfers and boast some of the best waves on the planet. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is one of the premiere series in all of sport and we’re thrilled to be supporting it more comprehensively this season and we’re very excited about reinstating the world’s best female surfers to Hawaii as well as providing a platform for local talent to shine. Our commitment is to the local community and to creating programs that will leave a legacy for them throughout the coming years"

Along with the re-instatement of a women's WCT event at Honolua Bay after a three-year pause, as well as a women's Pipe Masters, the ASP will be introducing a new trials event for the Pipeline Masters. With a a minimum of 26-spots (of 32) being reserved to Hawaiian pros, the Pipe Trials will now determine the two Pipe Masters wildcards and offer locals an unprecedented opportunity to shine.