28 July, 2015 28 July, 2015

Surfing USA (Vans US Open of Surfing)

After an eventful few weeks in South Africa, the WSL have shifted their focus and athletes over to Huntington Beach, California, for the Women’s Vans US Open of Surfing, as well as the QS10000-rated Vans US Open of Surfing, plus a Pro Junior event with 1000 ratings points up for grabs. With three events to get through over the course of eight days it’s guaranteed to be action-packed.

Bianca Buitendag comes into the Women’s Vans US Open of Surfing on the back of two strong showings on the Dream Tour.

The waves at Huntington Beach are hardly worth writing home about usually, but at the very least it’s an even playing field for all competitors who will have their work cut out for themselves. After two successful final showings in a row on the Dream Tour, Bianca Buitendag will be focussed on making it three while also aiming for victory. As the tallest competitor on the Women’s Championship Tour, the often gutless surf at Huntington Beach will be tricky. But as the Southern Cape local proved at the Oi Rio Pro by making the finals, she is no slouch in beachbreak surf and her competitors will be wary.

When competition gets underway, Bianca will face Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and Laura Enever (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 3 – which should be an interesting match-up. Tatiana and Bianca in particular have had a number of good battles in the last two seasons, with Tatiana holding the upper hand with three wins to nil when the pair have faced each other. It was also Tatiana who knocked Bianca out of the Women’s Vans US Open last year in Round 2, so it’s a chance to get one back while jumping to Round 3 and bettering last year’s result.

Shane Sykes has been blowing up at Huntington Beach so far.

The Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior has already reached the quarter final stage, where two Saffas are still in the event and looking towards clinching the title. After ripping their way through two tough rounds, J-Bay’s Dylan Lightfoot and Shane Sykes from Salt Rock will now face each other in quarter final Heat 4. With some more good surfing, we’re hoping they’ll both be able to find their way past local phenom Kanoa Igarashi and Joshua Burke (BRB) in the four man heat.

Umhlanga Rocks local, Beyrick De Vries, is the only other South African left competing at Huntington Beach after Michael February made it through two rounds of the Men’s Vans US Open of Surfing trials before finishing third in Round 3. Beyrick will be facing the difficult Brazilian pair of Miguel Pupo and Bernardo Lopes, as well as Noe McGonagle from Costa Rica in Heat 16 of Round 1.

M-Feb ripped his way through two rounds of the trials.

Go to worldsurfleague.com and follow the links to the Women’s Vans US Open of Surfing, the Men’s Vans US Open of Surfing and the Vans Pro Junior to watch the events live. Beyrick is scheduled to surf his heat at approximately 6:00pm (SA time) this evening.

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