Frederico Morais (PRT) was awarded an injury replacement slot for the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters to replace Alejo Muniz. This gives Morais a better chance of defending his lead in the 2016 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. 24-year-old Morais from Cascais, Portugal put up an incredible performance this season. He had back-to-back runner up finishes in the Hawaiian Pro and Vans World Cup events.
Coming into the final two Qualifying Series (QS) events in Hawaii, Morais ranked 28 in the QS rankings. By the end of the Hawaiian Pro event, he leaped to the 10th place. And with his second straight finals appearance at the Vans World Cup, he finished the year ranking number 3 in the QS rankings.
This result gave him an opportunity to compete in the 2017 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour. Morais was 2013 Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year and in three years time he is ready to make a run for the title. But he will have to get past John John Florence who currently ranks behind him in the Vans Triple Crown Rankings.
Florence, winner of this year’s Hawaiian Pro and newly crowned World Champion, is looking forward to finishing the year with a win at his home break in the Billabong Pipe Masters event. Florence already won two Triple Crown titles. He has high hopes of having a solid Pipe Masters performance to grab his third Triple Crown title.
Another contender for the Triple Crown is Jordy Smith. He is sitting at third place next to John Florence after winning the Vans World Cup. The Pipe Masters event will definitely be followed by everyone in the global surfing community to see who emerges as the winner of the highly coveted Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title.