Its was a beautiful day in Hawaii today and it was also the first day of the O’neill World Cup (men) and the Gidget Pro (women) surf contests at Sunset Beach, just a few short miles down the road from Turtle Bay Resort. The events can be watched live on the internet at www.triplecrownofsurfing.com from anywhere in the world but nothing compares to spending a day on the beach watching the events live, so I left my office at 9:30 am (I’m so lucky to be able to work at Turtle Bay), headed toward Sunset Beach.
The question was “how to get there?”
Its only a few miles away from the resort but parking can sometimes be a challenge. Sunset Beach sits right adjacent to Kamehameha Highway and cars are only legally allowed to park on the makai (ocean) side of the road. Park on the mauka (mountain) side of the road and you will get a ticket. So cars can end up parked along the side of the road for quite a distance from the beach.
So here’s an idea. Bus it!
I caught the “52 Honolulu” city bus at the end of Turtle Bay Resort’s parking lot just after 9:30 am. I have a monthly pass, so it did not cost me anything to hop on. For others the bus fare would be $2.25 for adults and $1.00 for students (high school and younger…so sorry college students, you have to pay adult rates). Exact change is required.
I arrived at Sunset Beach at 9:48 am. I got off the bus right in front of the Triple Crown of Surfing main tower. No parking problems.
I enjoyed very much watching all of the different heats. I have to admit that my favorite one was between Alana Blanchard, Bethany Hamilton, Paige Hareb and Sofia Mulanovich, mainly because I’ve been working with the producers of the upcoming Soul Surfer movie and as I’ve learned more and more about them I’ve become a big an of both Bethany and her childhood friend Alana Blanchard. Alana, the current leader in this years Triple Crown, easily won this heat.
Way too soon it was time to go back to Turtle Bay Resort so I walked across the street and waited only a few minutes before the bus came by and I was back in the resort’s parking lot only a few minutes later.
Here are some tips.
1- If you are a resident of Hawaii, be sure and check out Turtle Bay Resort’s Escape Club. This will give you the best, local rates available.
2- When getting on the bus at the edge of Turtle Bay Resort’s parking lot make sure the sign says “52 Honolulu” or “52 Pearl City”. The circle island buses change designation at Turtle Bay and the last thing you want is to end up at the Polynesian Cultural Center when you wanted to go to Sunset Beach. It is a good idea to check with the driver and make sure the bus is going to Sunset Beach before you get on it. You don’t have to worry on your return bus since all buses going that direction stop at Turtle Bay Resort. The bus has a weekday schedule, Saturday schedule, Sunday schedule and Holiday schedule. Schedules are available at www.thebus.org.
3- Bring some cash. Authorized vendors at the event are selling everything from T shirts to great barbecue and more.