*Monday morning update: Competition will begin at 8 a.m. Hawaii-time, with 20-minute heats
The Reef Hawaiian Pro, the first jewel of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu's North Shore, is scheduled to begin Monday after a nine-day postponement because of a lack of swell.
The Nov. 12-23 competition window for the Haleiwa event ends Wednesday afternoon, so the contest will be run in only three days, with heats shortened to 20 minutes, at least for early rounds.
"In the 29-year history of running the Vans Triple Crown, we've never gone this far without running one competitive day," Randy Rarick, Executive Director of the series, said in a news release. "But we knew it was possible, given it's a La Nina year. We saw a similar pattern last year, but this year La Nina is more strengthened. This is precisely why we have a 12-day window. Without it, the event would not have been able to start."
A moderate swell is expected to arrive beginning Monday morning, providing shoulder-high waves with offshore winds and clean conditions.
Well-known stars scheduled to compete in the first round include Jamie O'Brien, Sunny Garcia, Tim Reyes and Nathaniel Curran. Many of the top surfers were automatically seeded into the second or third round.
Australia's Joel Parkinson, who won the last three Triple Crown titles, is skipping the event, citing a desire to relax before next month's Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline. The Pipe Masters is the next and final contest on the 2011 ASP World Tour. (It's also the third jewel in the Triple Crown.)
Carissa Moore,the reigning ASP women's world champion who was granted a wildcard entry into the Hawaiian Pro, will compete in the second round against Cory Lopez and two surfers from the first round. Moore is the only female in the lineup.
After the Hawaiian Pro are the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach (Nov. 25-Dec. 6) and the Pipe Masters (Dec. 8-20).
-- Image shows Joel Parkinson after winning a third consecutive Triple Crown of Surfing title in 2010. Parkinson is skipping the Hawaiian Pro this year but might compete in the second and third legs of the prestigious year-end series. Credit: ©ASP/ Kirstin