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Surfing Company Rip Curl International is proud today to announce it has secured naming rights sponsorship of the legendary Pipeline Masters.
The 2004 Rip Curl Pipeline Masters will be the climax of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) - the sport's two most coveted series titles.
Pipeline, on the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, is where world championships are won or lost in the most fearsome, perfect, awe-inspiring waves on the planet.
"Crowning world champions in epic Pipe barrels seems like a great idea to Rip Curl," said Rip Curl Global Head of Marketing, Neil Ridgway.
Coupling the longest running World Championship event - the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach - with the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters as America's oldest, means Rip Curl now sponsors the two most prestigious events on the Foster's ASP World Tour.
Ridgway added: "Anyone who is anyone in pro surfing has won at Pipeline, it's a benchmark. And now every time we run the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters we help make more pro surfing history. It's the same deal when a surfer rings the coveted Bell at the Rip Curl Pro - only true champions win - and that's what makes this pair such special contests."
On the announcement, Rip Curl USA CEO Jimmy Olsson commented: "Pipe is the ultimate surfing venue, and the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters is a perfect fit for who we are as a company."
Rip Curl is no stranger to Hawaii, having proudly sponsored the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach for the past seven years. Rip Curl thanks all those surfers who have competed, everyone who worked on the event and the North Shore community for their support of the company's involvement at Sunset. However, the opportunity to become the sponsor of the Pipeline Masters - the greatest surfing show on earth - was one Rip Curl could not pass up.
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and Rip Curl Pipeline Masters contest director Randy Rarick said: "The Pipeline Masters is, without doubt, the most well-known contest held at the world's most famous break. The tradition and heritage that the Pipeline Masters has, combined with that of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells, means that Rip Curl will deliver the class of the World Championship Tour. I'm really happy to have Rip Curl as the new sponsor of the Pipeline Masters. After years of support on the North Shore, it seems only fitting that they should become sponsors of the final event of the Vans Triple Crown and I look forward to Rip Curl's support and promotion of this event as it so deserves".
Both Rip Curl and Vans are stoked to continue their partnership in Hawaiian surfing events. Chris Strain, Vans VP of Marketing said: "Vans' growing partnership with Rip Curl underscores our shared commitment to surfers around the world. The final jewel in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing could not have a better champion in Rip Curl."
The Rip Curl Pipeline Masters will run from December 8 to 20, 2004 at Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.