Coco Ho, Laura Enever, Layne Beachley, Carissa Moore (left to right)
All Photos by Covered Images/Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

In our ongoing series covering the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing taking place now through December 20 on the North Shore of Oahu, and Maui, the first event for women closed Thursday, November 20th, with 16-year-old Carissa Moore from Honolulu winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, and marking the changing of the guard for women pro surfers towards a younger generation. As a wildcard choice for the event, it was exciting to see her make it to the finals and beat out world leaders like 7-time world champ Layne Beachley, Stephanie Gilmore, and Megan Abubo, among others.

While Layne ended up coming in 2nd, it was the crop of other young surfers, Laura Enever, 17, in 3rd, and Coco Ho, 17, in 4th. In the final, it came down to Layne, Carissa, Enever, and Coco. With less than a minute remaining, Layne was in need of little more than six points to steal the win from Carissa. Coco took off, dropping in on Layne, popping an air above her head and effectively shutting down Layne%uFFFDs scoring potential in a classic case of what the event press is calling “schoolgirl tactics.”

According to Ocean Promotion, while it will never be known if Layne would have earned the score she needed to win, it’s indisputable that Moore earned the victory on the merits of her surfing alone.

Carissa Moore, 17, Winner of the Reef Hawaiian Pro

“It was my dream to one day win out here and I%uFFFDm really happy,” said Moore.

“I was just praying that Layne wouldn%uFFFDt get one. I was really thankful that Coco ended up getting that one. I%uFFFDm definitely thankful that she is one of my best friends.

“It was an honor to be in that heat with all those girls. It was so close [of a heat] with Layne. And then my really good friends Laura and Coco were surfing really well the entire event.”

As with all the ups and downs of Layne%uFFFDs 19-year career, she took today%uFFFDs encounter in her stride.

“It was pretty good Hawaiian teamwork,” said Layne. “I%uFFFDm sure if Coco kicked out of that wave I could have still hit the lip, but as I was bottom-turning I saw Coco go for an air. And, well, that just ruins any chance of doing anything. That%uFFFDs what happens here in Hawaii’s.

For Enever, third place in her maiden Hawaii season was a solid result, but news that she had won the ASP Rookie of the Year Award topped off an incredible birthday week. She is also on track to win the Vans Triple Crown NoseGuard Rookie of the Year award.

As the final ASP women%uFFFDs World Qualifying Series (WQS) event of the year, all eyes will now shift to the next two stops on the Vans Triple Crown to determine the final lineup for the 2009 women%uFFFDs ASP World Tour: the Roxy Pro (Nov.24-Dec.6) and the Billabong Pro Maui (Dec. 8-20).

In the Men’s competition, it’s up to heat 13 so far at the time of this reporting. Hawaii%uFFFDs highest ranked pro on tour, Fred Patacchia, went down, though retiring Pancho Sullivan advanced through the same heat. 2007 world champion Mick Fanning also lost heavily in his opening heat of the event.

In addition to $815,000 in prize money, which includes a $10,000 bonus for both the men%uFFFDs and women%uFFFDs Vans Triple Crown champions, the men%uFFFDs champion will also receive a custom, one-of-a-kind Nixon tide watch featuring over two-carats of diamonds and valued at over $10,000.

Stay tuned for more action and results soon.