NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Billabong Pipe Masters is on.
Thousands of residents and visitors flocked to the North Shore on Thursday for the event, the "jewel" in the world-famous Vans Triple Crown of Surfing at Bonzai Pipeline off Ehukai Beach Park.
Honolulu police were also out in force ticketing illegal parkers along Kamehameha Highway in and around the contest area. They are calling tow trucks out to remove vehicles as well.
Contest organizers are asking the public to be respectful of local residents' property, be aware of where they're parking and be mindful of their belongings while attending the contest, which is anticipated to run in the morning.
Shuttle services are also available at the Turtle Bay Resort for a fee and a 10- to 15-minute ride.
Organizers say the public can also park near Sunset Beach or Sharks Cove and ride bicycles to the bike path to the event.
On Wednesday, 17-year-old Australian Jack Robinson won the Billabong Pipe Invitational, securing a wildcard seed in the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons. Local boy and 2004 Pipe Master, Jamie O'Brien, came in second in the $100,000 event, assuring his place in the third jewel contest as well.
High Surf Advisory conditions are forecast Thursday with wave heights between 12 feet up to 18- to 20-foot faces at Banzai Pipeline, with stronger winds out of the east.
The current VTCS ratings leader is Wade Carmichael ahead of defending World Surf League Champion Gabriel Medina followed by Dusty Payne, Mick Fanning and John John Florence.
You can watch the event live online or on your mobile device by clicking here.