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The tents and scaffolding have been struck from the sands and traffic has eased as the many hundreds of athletes and their support crews have headed back to town for flights out of HNL to their bases of operation all over the world.
But the weather remains ideal and the world-famous waves are still marching to shore from busy Haleiwa Town to sleepy Kahuku. The lines at the food, smoothie, and shrimp trucks have dwindled. Finding convenient parking is no longer a fool’s errand.
The month-long spectacle of the Vans Triple Crown has wrapped up and life is slowly returning to the smoldering routine that makes the North Shore so special. It was a banner year for the Triple Crown, with a world title battle for the ages coming down to the final heats of the Pipeline Masters. Worldwide viewership of this year’s Triple Crown climbed into the tens of millions.
Two-time world champion and humble North Shore hero John John Florence missed the Triple Crown due to injury this year. But that didn’t stop thousand of spectators from crowding the beaches at Alii Beach Park in Haleiwa, Sunset Beach, and Pipeline (Ehukai Beach Park).
For Oahu visitors hoping to experience the unique beauty and lifestyle of the North Shore, there is no better time to make the trip. The most popular beaches have cleared of gawking punters, and finding a small piece of sandy real estate to set up camp for a day is no longer a pre-dawn race.
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With the crowds that the Triple Crown attracts, it can be easy to miss the relative chill of the winds that come in from the vast oceanic expanse of the North Pacific. Coarse white sands smooth, no longer churned by the thousands of deep footprints of people looking for a spot to sit. This is when the North Shore begins its slow return to the pastoral day-to-day of life in the country. It’s quiet. It’s paradise.
You’ll no longer need to rely on a hope and a prayer to get a table at one of the many family run restaurants strung along Kamehameha Highway (or a Big Mac, for that matter). Of course, you’re not as likely to run into world-famous professional surfers in the aisles of Foodland, but at least you’ll be able to find parking when you stop for beach picnic supplies.
The North Shore of Oahu is a stunningly beautiful place to visit year-round. When the frenzy of the Vans Triple Crown subsides with the conclusion of the Pipeline Masters, it’s no longer a commitment to gridlock to make the trip from Honolulu.
The Triple Crown serves as a vital part of the North Shore economy. In fact, many businesses rely on it to keep their doors open for the rest of the year. But like the holiday season itself, when it’s over many breathe a sigh of relief. The sense of calm descends quickly on the North Shore. And it’s the best time of year to experience all that the country has to offer without having to share it with thousands of others after the same thing.