It’s November and that can only mean two things… Christmas shopping is well under way and the professional surfing circus has descended on the North Shore of Hawaii for the last events of the year.
I’ve never been to Hawaii but having literally watched hundreds of hours of surfing films, videos and live broadcasts from the spiritual home of surfing I sorta feel like I know the place. Most surfers can spot on a surf film a decent wave at Pipe, Sunset or Waimea.
The end of the year is always exciting with the promise of big surf at Pipeline, Sunset and other legendary spots along the North Shore. Throw in the world’s best surfers and live broadcasts and anticipation gets high.
In the old days you would wait months until the latest Tracks surf magazine hit the counter of your local newsagent before you knew who had won the Hawaii contests that year (and the world title). Today you can watch all the action live on Foxtel or via the internet. With drones and water cameras it’s like you are almost on the beach!
This year the race for the World Titles will go down to the wire at Pipeline next month. Brazilian surfers Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo are still in the hunt with Aussie Julian Wilson a strong chance to win his first world surfing title.
The Women’s Title race is just as exciting with six times World Surfing Champion Stephanie Gilmore currently ranked number one in the world heading into the last event of the year next week in Maui. Win the title for a seventh time and Gilmore will equal the record of seven world titles won by Layne Beachley. Standing in her way will by Lakey Peterson from the USA who is has been surfing well all year and chasing her first world title.
Overall, it’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks in Hawaii as world titles are decided in hopefully some really big waves.
Three time Aussie surfing champ Mick Fanning summed up winning in Hawaii recently as he described how mother nature can have a big say in the winners; “At a lot of waves on tour you can find a way to sort of manufacture a win no matter what, but at Pipeline, you can’t. Pipeline picks the winner.”
Written by John Foss