1974 Triple Crown Retrofit

Reno Abellira
Governing Body:
Fred Hemmings
  • 1. Reno Abellira (1st, 5th, 7th) (18,860)
  • 2. Jeff Crawford (7th, 14th, 1st) (16,235)
  • 3. Gerry Lopez (7th, 9th, 3rd) (13,520)
  • 4. Larry Bertlemann (9th, 1st, – ) (13,320)
  • 5. Jeff Hakman (2nd, 4th, – ) (13,280)
  • 6. Rory Russell (18th, 14th, 2nd) (11,185)
  • 7. Ian Cairns (9th, 2nd, – ) (11,120)
  • 8. Sam Hawk (5th, 3rd, – ) (10,830)
  • 9. Peter Townend (4th, 8th, – ) (9,2380)
  • 10. James Jones (6th, 6th, – ) (8,860)

There was no actual 1974 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 - Reno Abellira
Duke Classic - Larry Bertlemann
Pipeline Masters - Jeff Crawford

* * *

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.

1971 Pipe Masters winner Jeff Hakman did not receive an invite to the '74 Masters. Even a last-place finish at Pipe would have put him runner-up for the Triple Crown; a 3rd or better would have put him in first.

Six female pros competed in the Smirnoff Pro, along with the men, and Laura Blears was given $1,000 for the high score among the women. Other competitors: Rell Sunn, Nancy Emerson, Margo Oberg, Jeannie Chesser, Blanche Benson. No other international women's pro events were held in Hawaii in 1974.

Sam Hawk made the finals in both the Smirnoff and Duke events but was not invited to Pipe. A last-place finish in the Masters would have put him at 3rd in the Triple Crown. A victory at Pipe would have had him Triple Crown winner by a nearly 2,000 points.

Not being invited to Pipe similarly affected five other Triple Crown Top 10 finishers.

Butch Van Artsdalen, "Mr. Pipeline" from a decade earlier but more or less out of the Pipe game since 1969, was nonetheless invited to the Masters. He took dead last.