A squad of eight Saffa shredders have assembled in Surf City, USA for the massive 8-day Vans US Open of Surfing, taking place at California’s famous Huntington Beach.
Surfing in four different divisions are; Bianca Buitendag (Open Womens WCT & Pro Junior Women); Jordy Smith (Open Mens); Travis Logie (Open Mens); Beyrick de Vries (Open Mens); Shaun Joubert (Open Mens); Dale Staples (Open Mens); Mikey February (Pro Junior Mens) and Rigard Smit (Pro Junior Mens).
Unfortunately for the Saffa squad looking to take names as they battle against the world’s best, they’ve already lost two from the roster, after Rigard and Mikey were eliminated from the fierce Pro Junior division. Rigard copped an interference (common in the random peaks of Huntington) and Mikey snapped his favourite board in his opening heat (which he still managed to advance from), but the new equipment didn’t serve him as well in Round 2, where he too was eliminated.
The feminine side of the Saffa squad is represented by Vic Bay’s Bianca Buitendag, who’s competing in both the Pro Junior division, as well as the 6th stop on the 2013 ASP Womens World Championship Tour – where she’s been having a stellar rookie season and sits in 8th spot on the rankings. Bianca has already advanced to the semi-finals of the Pro Junior division, and is yet to surf in the premier division – which she’ll hopefully get to do after the last event at Biarritz, France was called-off.
Three surfers looking to grab a coveted spot on next year’s Dream Tour are Beyrick, Dale and Shaun – all currently sit within the Top 100 in the world, which means they get to contest the Prime events, like the US Open, while the rest of the ASP’s over 600 registered competitors aren’t invited. The Prime events offer maximum points for surfers looking to qualify for the WCT, so you can bet this trio are going to be fighting their hardest. Beyrick has been showing solid form and currently finds himself in a good 38th spot in the world rankings – a win at Huntington will ensure that he not only paints his name among the stars, but he’ll be pretty close to scooping a spot alongside Jordy and Travis on the Dream Tour.
Shaun Joubert was recently crowned ISA World Champion, so we all know what he can do, and hopefully we’ll see it all over the tricky peaks of Surf City, USA. Dale Staples is a full-on standout in epic waves – his performance at the Volcom Pipe Pro earlier this year, plus his demolition of John John Florence at last year’s Billabong Pro J-Bay are testament to this. Whether he’ll be able to scrap out a win in the sloppy beachbreak is the question he’ll be looking to answer this week. You know he wants to get onto the Dream Tour and surf some quality waves.
Rounding off the force for the South Africans are Jordy Smith and Travis Logie. The Dream Tour duo need no introduction and are proven winners. A win for Travis will see him closer to once again requalifying for the elite tour – a place he’s proven he belongs. Jordy’s won in Huntington before, when he claimed the 2006 ISA World title, the rampy peaks suit his style and he’s an event favourite.
They’ll all be battling it out against some other event favourites like; Dane Reynolds (Yes, he’s surfing a contest and is automatically a fan favourite); Kelly Slater; Last year’s winner (and recent Mr Price Pro champ) Julian Wilson; as well as a list that goes on for eight days for this mammoth surf event that attracts the surf fans by the gazillions.
Watch it all unfold on www.usopenofsurfing.com from 20 – 28 July.
Check out the official press release below from Day 1.
ASP Pro Junior Action Kicks Off 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, July 20, 2013) – The 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing kicked off with Men’s ASP 4-Star Pro Junior action, narrowing the field down from 64 to the 16 Quarterfinalists in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) waves at Huntington Beach Pier.
Stop No. 3 of 5 on the 2013 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the Vans US Open Pro Junior plays a vital role regional surfers’ qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Championships. In addition, top international up-and-comers from around the globe competing in the men’s ASP Prime event are also in this year’s Pro Junior draw, elevating the under-21 event to new levels.
Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 20, defending Vans US Open Pro Junior Champion, moved one step closer to defending last year’s title, securing a Quarterfinals berth compliments of two solid performances.
“It’s important for me to do well in the Junior,” Coffin said. “When I was younger, I hated surfing the US Open because the crowd would make me so nervous. I surfed a bunch of amateur events and got really comfortable at Huntington and now I love surfing the Junior and the US Open. I haven’t really been doing the Juniors as much this year, but there are obviously a lot of really good guys in this event. It’s such an insane venue and I’m trying hard to win. I don’t want to lose before the final, that’s for sure.”
The Californian admitted that the international field in the Vans US Open Pro Junior always pushes the level of competition, and has his sights sets on a repeat performance entering the final rounds.
“With so many of the younger guys in the Prime doing this Junior, this event is always really hard,” Coffin said. “It’s probably the gnarliest Pro Junior around. It’s nice being a little older this year. I feel a little more confident and definitely winning last year was good for my confidence.”
Keanu Asing (HAW), 19, a perennial US Open Pro Junior standout, navigated the Huntington Beach lineup with confidence, building momentum throughout the day. The dedicated Hawaiian advanced through Round 1 with solid surfing and would go on to secure a Quarterfinals berth over ASP World Junior standout Cooper Chapman (AUS), 19, in a hard-fought Round of 32 heat.
“I knew I had to come with my A-game and the surfers in this event are some of the best Juniors in the world,” Asing said. “It’s a really prestigious contest and I’m just happy to make it through that heat. I knew I had to come with something strong and do whatever I could. I played to my strengths and it worked out.”
Asing, current No. 55 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, is using the Vans US Open Pro Junior as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the Huntington Beach lineup and hopes to carry today’s success over in to the men’s main event.
“I’ve got a big heat coming up in The Men’s Open and I’m blessed to be able to do the Junior,” Asing said. “It’s more of a practice for me, a warm up, and it gives me some more experience going in to the Prime. I’m just excited to be here and stoked I made a couple of heats.”
While many of the day’s dominant performances came at the hand of ASP Pro Junior veterans, young Hawaiian Seth Moniz (HAW), 15, was a standout during today’s early rounds, earning top scores while securing two heat wins and a spot in the Quarterfinals.
“I’m happy just to make two heats,” Moniz said. “This event is a big event for me and the waves are really fun. It’s probably the best Huntington I’ve surfed for a contest. This is only my third event in the Juniors, I’ve just started out. I got a second in Sunset Beach and I was so nervous starting out today, but making those two heats, I think I can do it. It definitely built up a lot of confidence.”
Tomorrow’s Vans US Open of Surfing action is set to see the Men’s Trials unfold, beginning at 8am local time. The Vans US Open of Surfing will run from July 20 through 28 and will be webcast LIVE beginning Monday, July 22 via http://www.vansusopenofsurfing.com/live
In addition to all of the ASP action, the 2013 Vans US Open is a massive action sports festival that will also include the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational, BMX and Skate Competitions, performances from Modest Mouse, The Faint, Matt Costa and more.
VANS US OPEN PRO JUNIOR ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Seth Moniz (HAW) 14.63, Conner Coffin (USA) 14.14, Nic Hdez (USA) 11.00, Nathan Behl (USA) 10.40
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.30, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 10.53, Ian Crane (USA) 9.53, Trevor Thornton (USA) 9.10
Heat 3: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 14.97, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 12.27, Cam Richards (USA) 11.87, Colt Ward (USA) 10.70
Heat 4: Joshua Moniz (HAW) 11.40, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.66, Parker Coffin (USA) 9.10, Jake Marshall (USA) 6.50
Heat 5: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 10.53, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 8.93, Kadin Panesi (USA) 7.56, Jake Davis (USA) 3.96
Heat 6: Derek Peters (USA) 14.06, Kalani David (HAW) 12.80, Michael February (ZAF) 12.10, Ethan Carlston (USA) 8.60
Heat 7: Taylor Clark (USA) 11.16, Jake Sylvester (AUS) 10.20, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 8.67, Koa Smith (HAW) 7.57
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.77, Jake Halstead (USA) 12.50, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 5.23, Keala Naihe (HAW) 4.66
VANS US OPEN PRO JUNIOR ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.33, Trevor Thornton (USA) 7.56, Matheus Navarro (BRA) 5.53, Knox Harris (USA) 4.17
Heat 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) 15.50, Ian Crane (USA) 9.77, Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.00, Travis Southworth (MEX) 5.94
Heat 3: Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 12.47, Nic Hdez (USA) 11.60, Taylor Mathiesen (USA) 8.07, Ulualoha Napeahi (HAW) 8.00
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.60, Nathan Behl (USA) 6.70, Daniel Glenn (USA) 6.64, Rigard Smit (ZAF) 1.03
Heat 5: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 12.27, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 9.97, Luke Davis (USA) 9.47, Dylan Kowalski (HAW) 7.77
Heat 6: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 11.00, Jake Marshall (HAW) 10.96, Kevin Schulz (USA) 9.93, Mason Barnes (USA) 9.00
Heat 7: Parker Coffin (USA) 12.14, Colt Ward (USA) 12.04, Colin Moran (USA) 11.44, Sam Orozco (USA) 9.20
Heat 8: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.67, Cam Richards (USA) 12.54, Kain Daly (USA) 11.13, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 7.93
Heat 9: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.50, Ethan Carlston (USA) 11.50, Timothee Bisso (GLP) 9.33, Ryan Croteau (USA) 6.57
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarahi (USA) 13.60, Derek Peters (USA) 12.74, Brogie Panesi (USA) 8.07, Luke Marks (USA) 7.00
Heat 11: Kalani David (HAW) 12.56, Jake Davis (USA) 8.86, Colton Sarlo (USA) 7.77, Tanner Strohmenger (USA) 6.03
Heat 12: Michael February (ZAF) 10.67, Kadin Panesi (USA) 5.90, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 5.57, Jonah Carter (USA) 3.87
Heat 13: Jake Sylvester (AUS) 15.30, Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.56, Pat Schmidt (USA) 6.10, Andrew Jacobson (USA) 4.50
Heat 14: Koa Smith (HAW) 13.17, Keala Naihe (HAW) 12.50, Conner Lester (USA) 8.91, Justin Croteau (USA) 4.63
Heat 15: Jake Halstead (USA) 13.00, Taylor Clark (USA) 11.05, Eros Exarhou (USA) 7.60, Robbie Merrell (USA) 3.73
Heat 16: Cooper Chapman (AUS) 16.43, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.20, Breyden Taylor (USA) 9.13, Noah Schweizer (USA) 8.13