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Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa kicks off Vans Triple Crown this morning


    A screenshot of Joh Azuchi of Japan on a wave Monday morning at the Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa.

The World Surf League’s Hawaiian Pro, the first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, kicked off this morning on Oahu’s North Shore.

Twenty-five of the Championship Tour’s top 34 athletes are competing in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa’s Alii Beach Park, which is broadcast live on the organization’s website and on Facebook.

The competition series, in its 36th year, brings some of WSL’s top pro surfers together for some intense battles.

World Title contender and defending Hawaiian Pro winner, Filipe Toledo, is the No. 1 seed to beat this year. Toledo will be joined by Championship Tour rookie and 2017 Vans Triple Crown Champion Griffin Colapinto.

Last year, Colapinto, 20, was the runner-up to Toledo, with a fourth-place finish at the Vans World Cup of Surfing. He made history as the first ever Californian to be crowned VTCS Champion and the second youngest behind the North Shore’s own John John Florence, who won it for the first time in 2011, at the age of 19.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing takes place on Oahu’s North Shore from Nov. 12 through Dec. 20. The Hawaiian Pro is followed by the 44th annual Vans World Cup of Surfing from Nov. 25 to Dec. 6 at Sunset Beach, and the Billabong Pipe Masters from Dec. 8 to 20 at Ehukai Beach Park.

Florence will not be competing in the first two events of the Vans Triple Crown, according to WSL, but is confirmed for Billabong Pipe Masters, after sitting out the last five Championship Tour events due to a knee injury.

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