What sets the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing apart from every other professional surfing event in the world - aside from its rich heritage, is the magnitude and frequency of the giant winter swells that routinely pound the North Shore of Oahu, winter after winter.

Until now, the summer slumber has been tough to shake off, with the slowest start to winter swells since NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin.) record-keeping began in 1968.

But right on cue, the forecast calls for wave face heights in the 10- to 12-foot range for the first day of the holding period of stop #1: the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park which begins November 12.

While each of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing events have a 12-13 day holding period, all require a minimum of four days to run to completion. Putting an end to the morning go?/no? speculation is the Vans Text Alert that allows anyone - competitor or fan - to sign up for morning mobile text alerts that will advise of the current event’s status for the day. To sign up, log on to www.triplecrownofsurfing.com and click on the "Mobile Updates" box on the home page. Registration is free, however standard text messaging rates apply.

"We’re looking at our first real swell to build Monday, right on time," says Pat Caldwell, NOAA’s lead forecaster in Hawaii. "The models suggest seven to eight feet of open ocean swell - that’s around 15-foot faces.

"Beyond that, we’re looking at a new swell arriving every three to four days, and incrementing upward in size."

A 6-star rated ASP World Qualifying Series event, the Reef Hawaiian Pro features both a men’s and women’s division with each playing a critical role in final qualification for next year’s elite ASP

World Championship Tour lineup.

Featured in the men’s event will be world champion-elect Mick Fanning (Australia), defending Vans Triple Crown champion Andy Irons (Hawaii), Top 10 ranked California pair Bobby Martinez and Taylor Knox, as well as five-time champion of the event Sunny Garcia.

The women’s division will be headed by defending Reef and Vans Triple Crown champion Sofia Mulanovich (Peru). Sofia’s victory at Haleiwa last year set her on a roll that culminated in the overall Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. All of the Top 10 ranked women of the ASP World Championship Tour have signed up for the Reef Hawaiian Pro, including rookie world tour leader Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) and current No.2 Silvana Lima (Brazil). Mulanovich is presently ranked third in the world and remains in contention for the world title.

The $740,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing consists of the following events:

MEN:

Reef Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa, Nov. 12-24 (6* WQS)

O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Bch, Nov.25-Dec.6 (6*WQS)

Billabong Pipeline Masters, Pipeline, Dec. 8-20 (WCT)

WOMEN:

Reef Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa, Nov. 12-24 (6*WQS)

Roxy Pro, Sunset Beach, Nov. 25-Dec.6 (WCT)

Billabong Pro Maui, Honolua Bay, Maui, Dec. 8-20 (WCT)

In addition to $740,000 in prize money, both the men’s and women’s Vans Triple Crown champions will receive a limited edition $25,000 Chevy Colorado truck. The men’s champion will also receive a custom $10,000 Nixon watch.

All of the action of this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing can be experienced live via the internet at www.triplecrownofsurfing.com.