Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Welcomes Marty Thomas

Newly Appointed Managing Director Returns to North Shore Roots

2009 Triple Crown Winner, Joel Parkinson. Photo courtesy ASP Kirstin.

HONOLULU – June 17, 2009 – Vans is excited to announce the appointment of Marty Thomas as the Managing Director of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) series, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, effective July 1st, 2009.

Thomas, a former Top 10 ranked surfer on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, launched a successful pro career at the Triple Crown in the early ’80s and is ecstatic to bring his journey full circle. He will work alongside longtime Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Executive Director Randy Rarick.

Thomas’ appointment comes as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series continues to go from strength to strength. Celebrating 27 years this winter, the VTCS Series has maintained its position as the pinnacle, crowning moment of the ASP World Tour. It has gone from a 2-man, card table operation in the early ’80s that offered less than $30,000 prize money, to a world class sporting series that awarded more than $800,000 in prize money last year, employs over 65 people, features 150 of the world’s top surfers, and is a major visitor draw card that generates more than $14 million in revenue for the state of Hawaii.

“We’ve come a long way in 27 years and Marty is the latest testament to that fact,” says Rarick. “The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is pretty much a year-round operation these days, from planning to execution, and Marty will be an important addition to the executive team as we continue to grow the series for future generations of surfers and surf enthusiasts around the world.”

Thomas will be responsible for directing all aspects of the series: pre-promotion, execution of events, and liaison between the North Shore community, contest surfers and ASP staff.  As Managing Director he will also work with VTCS Contest Director Bernie Baker in determining competition days within the event period.

Thomas, 40, competed on the ASP tour from 1985 to 1997, reaching a career high of ninth in the world in 1990. Following his retirement, he worked as International Sales Manager for Sanuk footwear (1997-2004); Rip Curl Hawaii Sales Representative (2004-2006); Marketing Director for Rip Curl (2006-2008); and most recently as Senior Account Executive for ASG (Surfer  Surfing Magazines) in California (2008-2009). He will return to Hawaii with his wife, Shalom, and two young daughters, Emma, 9, and Malia, 5.

“It’s an honor to be given this opportunity having grown up and competed on the North Shore throughout my career,” said Thomas. “Randy Rarick was very influential for me, as was the Triple Crown, in being able to make a living as a pro surfer and to secure employment within the surf industry after that.”

Born in Southern California and raised at Seal Beach, Thomas made his first trip to the North Shore in 1980, aged 12, for the US Championships, where he placed second. Two years later the family moved to the North Shore for Marty to pursue a pro surfing career.

“Randy actually handed me my first check at Sunset Beach when I was 16, competing in the Triple Crown at the World Cup. He’s a legend of our sport and I can think of no other individual within the industry that I would like to follow.

“The North Shore community has also been very good to me. I owe them a lot and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to give back. Our entire family lives on the North Shore, so it’s great to be coming home.”

Sean Wingate, who acted as Managing Director in 2007 and 2008, has been promoted to Sponsorship and Marketing Manager and will contiune to build the strong sponsorship base as well as increase the marketing and media reach of the VTCS.