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HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Tuesday, July 29, 2014) - The world’s best female surfers took to the water for Round 1 of the Vans US Open of Surfing in peaky one-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at Huntington Beach Pier. Stop No. 6 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), the Vans US Open of Surfing, plays a vital role in deciding the 2014 ASP World Champion.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 26, five-time ASP Women’s World Champion and former US Open winner, was excellent in her opening campaign despite wave-starved conditions. The Australian veteran capitalized on excellent wave selection and did not stumble, posting the day’s highest two-wave heat total of 15.77 (out of a possible 20) for the win.
"My strategy was to go out there and stay active, but you also have to have an open mind and look at waves that might not be an option when you're free surfing," Gilmore said. "Sometimes they'll give you the opportunity to get a score. I got a wave that Coco (Ho) didn't want and that luckily turned into a score. It's hard out there, but you just have to be positive about it and find the best waves you can."
Carissa Moore (HAW), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending Vans US Open of Surfing Champion, continued her successful run at Huntington Beach. Moore claimed a Round 1 win with a pair of modest scores, securing a Round 3 berth in the process.
"You have half an hour and I was watching the waves and knew there would be some lulls," Moore said. "It was hard to be patient when Leila (Hurst) only needed a five. All of the girls are surfing really well and you have to look at what they're doing for inspiration. Sally (Fitzgibbons) is surfing really well and I'm going to have to do my best if I want a good result here."
Dimity Stoyle (AUS), 22, ASP WCT rookie and current World No. 8, looked at home in the Huntington Beach lineup, taking a heat win over top seed Malia Manuel (HAW), 21, and Johanne Defay (FRA), 20.
"Huntington Beach is similar to what I surf at home on the Sunshine Coast and I'm used to these conditions,” Stoyle said. “I came a few days early, but I've been surfing the North Side of the pier mostly. I can't believe it's the second half of the year already. I'm having the best time and I'm going to try not to change that and take the same mentality in the back half of the year."
Lakey Peterson (USA), 19, 2012 US Open Champion, was in rhythm with the Huntington Beach lineup from start-to-finish, posting a commanding Round 1 win over Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), 20, and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), 19.
“Steph (Gilmore) was watching it for a long time before my heat and she’s really good at knowing where to sit,” Peterson said. “I was looking at the lefts, that’s the spot, the lefts into the pier. I’m glad I got a couple and it feels good to be home. This is the event that is awesome for Californians. The crowd is amazing, the fans are amazing and I’ve always done well here. I won here in 2012 and haven’t won since. It’d be nice to get back up on the podium.”
Following Women’s Round 1, the ASP Qualification Series (QS) Men’s Prime competition returned to action with electric performances from the next generation in Round 2.
Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), 21, current No. 39 on the QS, attacked the improving conditions brought on by the dropping tide, belting the highest score of competition. The South African smashed a near-perfect 9.23 en route to a 16.40 heat total.
“When I was out there, it was mellow because I got my two waves very fast and I was able to relax in the last half of the heat,” De Vries said. “Nate (Yeomans) is really good and then with Mitch (Crews) and Miguel (Pupo), they’re on the CT (Championship Tour) and you know they are going to get scores so I couldn’t relax that much.”
Willian Cardoso (BRA), 28, was not hindered by the small Huntington conditions, despite his size, throwing his powerful frame into the best waves of his heat. The Brazilian’s excellent 17.20 heat-total would propel the Brazilian to a Round 2 win.
“I got off to a weird start but after I got my second wave I felt better,” Cardososaid. “I just try and find the good ones and put some power behind it. Moving through that Round 2 is important and it’s one of my better results of the year so I’m stoked to make it through. I want to get back on the WCT.”
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round 1 Results:
Round 1: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 14.03, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.97, Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.75
Round 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.16, Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.53, Laura Enever (AUS) 5.86
Round 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.16, Leila Hurst (HAW) 12.60, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.00
Round 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.67, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 7.87, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 2.23
Round 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.77, Coco Ho (HAW) 12.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 6.57
Round 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.70, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.84, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 8.00
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round 2 Match-ups:
Round 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
Round 2: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Round 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Leila Hurst (HAW)
Round 4: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Round 5: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Round 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 19: Garrett Parkes (AUS) 16.16, Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.00, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.80, Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.10
Heat 20: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.23, Jake Halstead (USA) 11.16, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.83, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 7.67
Heat 21: Mason Ho (HAW) 13.27, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.06, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 11.94, Vicente Romero (ESP) 10.33
Heat 22: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 15.04, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.26, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.73, Brian Toth (PRI) 7.43
Heat 23: Brett Simpson (USA) 14.50, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.10, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.60, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 7.60
Heat 24: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.27, Santiago Muniz (ARG) 12.17, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 10.47, Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.13
Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.34, Tim Reyes (USA) 13.33, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 11.20, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.94
Heat 2: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 16.40, Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.34, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 10.53, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.00
Heat 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 17.20, Maxime Huscenot (FRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.16, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 9.84
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.66, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.30, Joan Duru (FRA) 12.17, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.53
Heat 5: Charles Martin (GLP) 13.64, Bino Lopes (BRA) 13.33, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.60, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.60
Heat 6: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.34, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.56, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 10.66, Perth Standlick (AUS) 9.83
Upcoming Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 7: Cory Arrambide (USA), Matt Banting (AUS), Dane Reynolds (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 8: Carlos Munoz (CRI), Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Michael Dunphy (USA), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Jake Halstead (USA)
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Garrett Parkes (AUS), Granger Larsen (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 11: Mason Ho (HAW), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Santiago Muniz (ARG)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), Hizunome Bettero (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)