1972 Triple Crown Retrofit

Jeff Hakman
Governing Body:
Fred Hemmings
  • 1. Jeff Hakman (2nd, 2nd, 5th) (20,345)
  • 2. Gerry Lopez (6th, out in prelims, 1st) (14,430+)
  • 3. Paul Neilsen (1st, 9th, out in prelims ) (13,320+)
  • 4. Sam Hawk (5th, out in prelims, 4th) (10,225+)
  • 5. James Jones (–, 1st, – ) (10,000)
  • 6. Mike Armstrong (16th, –, 2nd) (9,440)
  • 7. Gavin Rudolph (7th, 5th, – ) (8,860)
  • 8. Eddie Aikau (4th, 10th, – ) (8,560)
  • 9. Oscar Malpartida (3rd, 16th, – ) (7,725)
  • 10. Larry Bertlemann (–, –, 3rd) (6,085)
  • 10. Grant Oliver (–, 3rd, –) (6,085)

There was no actual 1972 Triple Crown. The North Shore-based three-event Triple Crown series, created by Fred Hemmings, was launched in 1983. But there were a lot of pro contests held on the North Shore (and occasionally Makaha) between 1971 and 1982, and we thought we'd compile the results year by year and figure out who would have won the Triple Crown between 1971 and 1981, had the Triple Crown existed.

1971 is our starting date because the Pipeline Masters debuted that year and because it was the first season where there were at least three international-level pro contests on the North Shore. EOS dug up the results from old surf magazines, newspaper archives, and (starting in 1976) early WCT printouts. Balyn McDonald of Surf Stats plugged the names into a points matrix similar to that used by today's World Surf League, with 10,000 points awarded to each event winner, 7,800 for 2nd, and on down.

Smirnoff Pro - Paul Neilsen
Duke Classic - James Jones
Pipeline Masters - Gerry Lopez

* * *

Results include each surfer's placing, in order, from the Smirnoff, Duke, and Pipe. Total Triple Crown points are also included.

An em-dash (–) result means the surfer did not compete in that particular event.

"Out in prelims" means the surfer was eliminated early, but their exact placing is unknown. While no points have been awarded for these placings, we are all but certain that the missing points did not change the surfer's placing in the final standings.

Just six surfers were invited to the 1971 Pipeline Masters; Triple Crown final results for this year are therefore weighted against all those who did not get a start in the Masters.

The Duke finals and the single-head Pipe event were held back-to-back, on the same afternoon. Jeff Hakman was the only surfer in both finals.

Gerry Lopez did not make the Duke finals, but his exact non-advancing finish in the prelims is unknown. While his Triple Crown points total is higher than noted here, he would not have passed Jeff Hakman for the Triple Crown title.

The second and final day of the '72 Duke

Larry Bertlemann, World Championships finalist in 1972, did not get invited to the Duke or the Smirnoff.

Duke winner James Jones did not get invited to the Smirnoff or Pipe.

No women's pro events were held in Hawaii in 1972.