This photo is my desktop background (it has been it for years).
It shows a man in a cave of water.
The man is Derek Ho and the cave is Pipeline. I just received this press release and I'm happy to publish it.
Oahu north shore residents should be happy that the Superferry is not working, otherwise a big number of Maui cars and surfers would considerably increase the traffic on the already choked Kamehameha hwy.
Honolulu - (October 31, 2007) - Approaching its 25th Anniversary this winter, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a timeline of ultimate surfing master Derek Ho's life. From sandcastles to fatherhood, first wipeouts to world class titles, it has all happened on Oahu's North Shore during this prestigious series of events. This winter, Ho will be competing in his 25th Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series. At 43 years of age, he's still a contender - particularly when it comes to the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
When the Pipe Masters began in 1971, Ho was 7-years-old, playing in the sand and dreaming of a day when he might be the guy riding Pipe.
In 1983, the inaugural year of the Vans Triple Crown Series, Ho was a nervous 19-year-old looking to make his own mark. He would settle for the shadow of his older brother, Michael, that winter, who took the honor of being the first Vans Triple Crown champion.
Derek didn't have to wait long. In 1984 the Triple Crown was his, as it would be three more times in '86, '88, and '90.
His first of two Pipeline Masters titles came in '86, followed up seven years later with a victory in '93 that was his ultimate crowning moment. Ho was 29 years old that winter and surfaced above the rising tide of teenage sensation Kelly Slater to win the world title, the Pipe Masters, and the Vans Triple Crown.
But of the many highs, what stands out the most to Derek is the personal relationship he has fostered with Pipeline and shared with brother Michael.
"From the beginning, I remember being in total awe of my brother," says Derek. "I was so fortunate. He took me around the world, showed me everything it takes to be a winner, and showed me how to lose!
"As for Pipeline and the Triple Crown, after 25 years it's totally personal. There's not a whole lot of us who have been doing it for that long... basically me and Mike."
A lot has changed over 25 years: the stakes, the sponsors, faces in the lineup, the intensity of competition, and a shift towards friendly rivalries in the water.
"Back then, (the surfers) just didn't like each other, it was as simple as that!" says Derek with a laugh. "It was a different type of competitiveness, plus we were getting judged on our best four waves, not two, so it was dog-eat-dog... and pretty much all we got for it was a trophy."
Above: Master Tube-rider, Derek Ho. (JOLI)
This winter there will be $740,000 in total prize money, along with a $25,000 Chevy Colorado truck and a diamond-crusted Nixon watch for the Vans Triple Crown champion.
Still, some things remain the same, for Ho at least.
"The wipeouts - they're inevitable, and the odds are the longer you do it the more chance you have. The barrels - the best of life. And I still wear a 29" boardshorts - have since I was 19."
Still measuring five feet, four-and-a-half inches tall and 130 pounds, it's easy to mistake Derek as a ripping rookie when you see him stylishly slotted at Pipe. Perhaps the only person who sees any different is mom, Joeine. She's been watching her boys at Pipe for almost 40 years - from sandcastle-makers to Pipeline Masters - and will be back for her 25th Triple Crown, too.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing gets underway November 12 with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa (Nov.12-24), followed by the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing & women's Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach (Nov.25-Dec.6), and finally the Billabong Pipeline Masters & women's Billabong Pro Maui (Dec.8-20).
As the final stop on the 2007 ASP World Surfing Tour, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is critical in determining the world champion, the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title, the lineup for the 2008 elite World Championship Tour, and the division of more than half a million dollars worth or prize money.
All of the action of this year's Vans Triple Crown of Surfing can be experienced live via the internet at www.triplecrownofsurfing.com. Additionally, surfline.com will be offering original daily content, and Surfing Magazine will provide a daily blog.
Surfing is a great sport and I personally will always choose a perfect surfing day over anything else in life, including sex with Naomi Campbell, a Porcupine tree concert or a 4.7 mast high wavesailing day...
But... $740,000 in total prize money, along with a $25,000 Chevy Colorado truck and a diamond-crusted Nixon watch... and the PWA couldn't find sponsors for the Maui event?! Gimme a break!
What is it? What makes surfing a cooler perceived sport with way more people doing it?
In the end, on a planetary scale I think it's easier to find water with wind than water with waves!
The simplicity of the equipment must play a big role here, but overall I think that it's more the media that made of it a great vehicle to publicize all kind of products. And the number of people they can reach with the webcasts is huge!
That's what the windsurf contests need (I'll never get tired to say this): webcasts!
Here we go, just received this other one. Only $98,000 in price money...
INTERNATIONAL LIST OF INVITEES FOR 2007/2008
THE QUIKSILVER BIG WAVE INVITATIONAL IN MEMORY OF EDDIE AIKAU
LOCATION: Waimea Bay, North Shore, Oahu
OPENING CEREMONY: Thursday, November 29, 2007. 3pm
HOLDING PERIOD: Dec. 1, 2007 to Feb. 29, 2008.
To be held on one day when surf measures at least 20 feet.
BIG WAVE RIDERS: 28 of the world's best.
PRIZE MONEY: US$98,000 in prize money. US$55,000 for first place.
Above: Defending champion Bruce Irons (HI) Photo: JOLI
Huntington Beach, California, November 1, 2007 (NYSE:ZQK) Quiksilver, the leading brand in boardriding and presenters of The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational, In Memory of Eddie Aikau, has officially announced the Invitees and Alternates to this year's event. For the first time in the event's 23-year history, the list of Invitees has been extended from 24 to 28, reflecting the growth in international big-wave riding talent.
Starting this year, the regions of Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe have each been awarded one Invitee slot for their top big-wave rider, taking the total number of Invitees to 28. (Those four Invitees are denoted by ** in the official list.)
"We are extremely pleased to announce the growth of this year's event and to welcome elected riders from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe," said Bob McKnight, CEO, Quiksilver, Inc. "The quest to ride the world's biggest waves has become a truly international and influential sport, complete with an ever-growing depth of talent and the discovery of big-wave riding locations around the globe.
"Eddie Aikau was a man who loved to ride big waves and who shared his passion with many during his own travels to places like South Africa, South America, and Australia. We believe that the growth of this event, in his honor, is becoming a truer representation of how far Aikau's life and legacy have traveled with each passing year."
For the first time the event website, www.quiksilver.com/bigwave, will host a live webcast of the Opening Ceremonies on November 29th, 2007. The actual contest, if and when it goes, will also be broadcast live on the internet. The event website, which is live today, also features photos, videos and text from the event's storied history, links to purchase limited edition merchandise and profiles of each competitor.
Scheduled to take place at the hallowed grounds of Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu, between December 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008, the event, otherwise known as "The Eddie", requires a minimum of 20-foot surf (based on Hawaiian scale measurement, translating to 30-40 foot face waves) in order to run.
Created in 1984 (first year event ran) to honor the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational, In Memory of Eddie Aikau gathers the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the world as polled by a comprehensive panel consisting of influential watermen, members of the surf industry, internationally recognized surfing Associations, as well as a public poll.
Past winners include Denton Miyamura, Clyde Aikau, Keone Downing, Noah Johnson, Ross Clarke-Jones, Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons. Following is a complete list of invitees and alternates for this year's event.
For further information go directly to http://www.quiksilver.com/bigwave
Andy Irons (HI)
Brian Keaulana (HI)
Brock Little (HI)
Bruce Irons (HI)
Carlos Burle (BRZ)**
Clyde Aikau (HI)
Darryl Virostko (CA)
Greg Long (CA)
Ibon Amatriain (SPN)**
Jamie O'Brien (HI)
Jamie Sterling (HI)
Keone Downing (HI)
Jason Ribbink (ZAF)**
Kelly Slater (FL)
Makua Rothman (HI)
Mark Healey (HI)
Michael Ho (HI)
Noah Johnson (HI)
Paul Paterson (AUS)
Peter Mel (CA)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Rusty Keaulana (HI)
Shane Dorian (HI)
Sunny Garcia (HI)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)**
Titus Kinimaka (HI)
Tom Carroll (AUS)
Tony Ray (AUS)
Darrick Doerner (HI)
Chava Greenlee (HI)
Kalani Chapman (HI)
Pancho Sullivan (HI)
Taylor Knox (CA)
Reef McIntosh (HI)
Tony Moniz (HI)
Garrett McNamara (HI)
Ross Williams (HI)
Dave Wassel (HI)
Ian Walsh (HI)
Braden Dias (HI)
Myles Padaca (HI)
Anthony Tashnick (CA)
Kala Alexander (HI)
Keoni Watson (HI)
Derek Ho (HI)
Tom Curren (CA)
Nathan Fletcher (CA)
Danny Fuller (HI)
Dustin Barca (HI)
Koby Abberton (AUS)
Laurie Towner (AUS)
Manoa Drollet (TAH)
Mark Foo (HI)
Todd Chesser (HI)
Tiger Espere (HI)
Jay Moriarity (CA)
Oh, well... I wonder if wearing that cologne that Laird uses would make me a cooler windsurfer...