4 times Hawaiian Pro winner Sunny Garcia displaying the meaning of raw power
33 Years of the Hawaiian Pro
Hawaiian Pro

33 Years of the Hawaiian Pro

Nov 11, 2018

By Sean Martin

Since the inaugural event in 1985, surfers from Hawaii have dominated the Hawaiian Pro, the first stop of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing taking place at Haleiwa.

Haleiwa is an excellent, but temperamental righthander that is positioned well to absorb the West and Northwest swells generated in the Pacific during the winter season. Below eight feet, it's a hollow, high-performance wave. At 10-15 feet, it's a thicker version of itself with a higher-consequence closeout finish.

As the waves get bigger, a strong current develops from the east, providing an additional positioning challenge for surfers in the lineup.

The lineup at Haleiwa on a breezy offshore day. WSL / TONY HEFF

Local knowledge of these differentiating factors has prevailed over the years, as Hawaiian competitors have the most event wins (with 15). Australia occupies the two spot (12 wins), followed by the USA (2), Tahiti (2) and Brazil (1).

Hawaiian Sunny Garcia holds the record for most wins by a single surfer, clinching the event four times ('93, '00, '02, '04).

Hometown advantage aside, the Australians are not far behind with wins under their belt by legendary names like Taj, Parko, Barton and Mark Richards.

2017, however, saw Brazilian Filipe Toledo land his first win at Haleiwa, also Brazil's first national win, an indicator of his country's growing dominance in global competitive surfing.

2017 Hawaiian Pro Final

The reef at Haleiwa has a rich history in competition, beginning with the 1964 Dick Brewer Championship, the North Shore's first surfing event. A litany of surf contests have been held at Haleiwa in each subsequent decade, including World Cup events during the ‘70s and ‘80s with some notable wins by Mark Richards, Shaun Tomson and Margo Oberg.

Although the new generation of competitors have traded transition-era single fins for high performance thrusters, the same spirit on the North Shore still burns as bright.

With his historic win behind him - and coming into the Vans Triple Crown with his eyes on a world title - Toledo is currently listed in the Heat Draw as a return contestant with hopes of defending his Hawaiian Pro title.

Other notable Brazilians listed include Italo Ferreira, Yago Dora and Caio Ibelli. Ibello is returning to the tour after an injury plagued season. With this much talent potentially in play, this could be the start of Brazilian domination at Haleiwa.

John John Florence followed a long line of Hawaiian competitors by clinching a win at the 2016 Hawaiian Pro. WSL / TONY HEFF

Hawaiian Pro Champions:

2017 Filipe Toledo | BRA 
2016 John John Florence | HAW 
2015 Wade Carmichael | AUS 
2014 Dusty Payne | HAW 
2013 Michel Bourez | PYF 
2012 Sebastian Zietz | HAW 
2011 Taj Burrow | AUS 
2010 Joel Parkinson | AUS 
2009 Joel Centeio | HAW 
2008 Michel Bourez | PYF 
2007 Roy Powers | HAW 
2006 Andy Irons | HAW 
2005 Pancho Sullivan | HAW 
2004 Sunny Garcia | HAW 
2003 Troy Brooks | AUS 
2002 Sunny Garcia | HAW 
2001 Andy Irons | HAW 
2000 Sunny Garcia | HAW 
1999 Conan Hayes | HAW 
1998 Kaipo Jaquias | HAW 
1997 Tony Ray | AUS 
1996 Kaipo Jaquias | HAW 
1995 Richard Lovett | AUS 
1994 Chris Brown | USA 
1993 Sunny Garcia | HAW 
1991 Tom Curren | USA 
1990 Nicky Wood | AUS 
1989 Cheyne Horan | AUS 
1988 Barton Lynch | AUS 
1987 Gary Elkerton | AUS 
1986 Mark Richards | AUS 
1985 Mark Richards | AUS

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