1975 Triple Crown Retrofit

Shaun Tomson
Governing Body:
Fred Hemmings


  • 1. Shaun Tomson (6th, 5th, 1st) (19,175)
  • 2. Ian Cairns (2nd, 1st, – ) (17,800)
  • 3. Rory Russell (10th, 3rd, 2nd) (16,965)
  • 4. Mark Richards (1st, 13th, – ) (12,360)
  • 5. Gerry Lopez (10th, 7th, 5th) (11,940)
  • 6. Michael Ho (10th, 2nd, – ) (10,880)
  • 7. Jeff Crawford (10th, 9th, 6th) (10,830)
  • 8. James Jones (10th, 4th, – ) (8,560)
  • 9. Peter Townend (10th, 6th, – ) (7,510)
  • 10. Mark Warren (10th, 8th, – ) (6,880)


  • 1. Margo Oberg
  • 2. Becky Benson
  • 3. Laura Blears
  • 4. Lynne Boyer
  • 5. Rell Sunn

There was no actual 1975 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 - Mark Richards
Duke Classic - Ian Cairns
Pipeline Masters - Shaun Tomson

Smirnoff Pro - Margo Oberg
World Cup - Margo Oberg

* * *


The World Cup was the only pro contest of the 1975-'76 North Shore winter season to feature a separate women's division. The Smirnoff, however, featured seven female pros surfing alongside the men, one in each prelim heat. Margo Oberg was given awarded $1,000 as the woman with the highest point total among the women; Laura Blears earned the second-highest total. Because there is no way to determine Triple Crown points for the Smirnoff for placings below runner-up, the women's Triple Crown ratings here are an educated guess in which we combined the World Cup placings and the incomplete Smirnoff results. To make this just a little more confusing, the World Cup was actually held in early 1976, not 1975.

The men's World Cup, also held in early 1976, was won by Mark Richards. While this was a major pro event, the results are not tallied in the men's Triple Crown standings, as we started this project using the Smirnoff-Duke-Pipe events, and want to follow through. The Smirnoff folded at the end of 1977. From '78 forward, the Triple Crown Retrofit results will feature the World Cup.

Ian Cairns did not get a start in the '75 Pipe Masters; if he had, even a last-place finish would have pushed him ahead of Shaun Tomson for the Triple Crown title.

The 1975 Smirnoff, like the year before, finished up at Waimea. The '75 version was nowhere near as spectacular.

The '75 Duke was also held at Waimea, in big-but-not-terrifying conditions. 18-year-old Michael Ho snuck into the prelims as an alternate, got the highest-scoring wave of the event, and took runner-up to Cairns in the final.

Australian surfers took the top-three places in the Smirnoff—Mark Richards first, followed by Cairns and Wayne Bartholomew—and if there was an opening moment to the entire year-long chest-thumping-and-retribution-harshly-served "Bustin' Down the Door" episode, this was it.

Overlapping the above, the 1975 North Shore contests were all folded into what has become known as the Free Ride winter.

Shaun Tomson's win at the '75 Masters was the first time a regularfooter took the title.