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HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Friday, August 1, 2014): The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Prime-rated Vans US Open of Surfing completed Round 4 in one-to-three foot waves at Huntington Beach Pier, whittling the field down to the final 16 surfers remaining.
The Qualification Series (QS) event is the third of seven Prime-rated events on the 2014 calendar, offering maximum points towards qualification for the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).
Josh Kerr (AUS), 30, current ASP World No. 10, looked electric in this morning’s challenging conditions at Huntington Beach, connecting crisp snaps and lofty airs against South African dangerman Beyrick Devries (ZAF), 21. Kerr overtook the lead in the back half of the heat to take the win.
“It was one of those one mornings and I was hoping that one maneuver would get me into the nines but it didn’t quite so I had to keep searching,” said Josh Kerr. “For today’s conditions it was tough. I’m lucky that I got a wave right at the end that gave me the opportunity. I just made sure I got the job done. It’s all about timing with airs, the timing of your acceleration to the lip.”
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 26, combated fellow ASP Dream Tour campaigner Aritz Aranburu (ESP), 29, in the Round of 24, and the South African powerhouse relied on his refined small-wave equipment to secure his Round of 16 berth.
“I’m riding a board that’s been shaped specially for these conditions,” saidJordy Smith. “It’s got the same dimensions as what I normally ride but I just beefed it up and made it thicker. I’m really excited to be here and I’ve been living in Newport Beach for the last few years so I’ve had lots of opportunity to surf at Huntington Beach. Each wave on the Tour takes a little getting used to but I focus on being familiar with the boards I’m riding so I’m well prepared.”
Jordy Smith. Photo: Michael Lallande
Filipe Toledo (BRA), 19, entangled in a tight battle with Virginia Beach darkhorse Michael Dunphy (USA), 24. Dunphy held the lead until the dying seconds of the affair, but the Brazilian connected a clean outside snap followed by an air-reverse, overtaking the American for a Round of 16 spot.
“That was a tough heat and Dunphy (Michael) is an amazing surfer, especially in these conditions,” said Filipe Toledo. “I started off good with an 8 and so did Dunphy. In the last minute I just got that little one and hit the lip on the outside and the air reverse on the inside. Luckily I made it. I got hurt in Ballito and twisted my ankle on a backside air reverse. I’ve been going to the physio and it’s feeling better. Good confidence for the next round and I’m feeling good.”
Brett Simpson (USA), 29, capitalized on his local knowledge of the Huntington Beach lineup, catching crucial waves under the priority of Peterson Crisanto (BRA), 22. While Simpson fell on a crucial wave at the dying minutes of the bout, the ASP Top 34 campaigner edged out the Brazilian by a score of 10.83 to 10.20 while moving to the Round of 16.
Local boy Brett Simpson. Photo: Michael Lallande
“I did everything wrong,” said Brett Simpson. “My first wave could have been a good score and I fell. I was pushing a little too hard and the waves are really flat and you have to skate across. I was trying to chase him into the worst waves possible. He only needed a 2.9 in the end and I think I was able to fluster him a bit and he wasn’t able to sit where he wanted to sit. Either way, I’m stoked to be making rounds and sometimes you need a little bit of luck. It’s been a rough year competing and I’m stoked to be home.”
Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 12.63 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 11.76
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.77 def. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.90
Heat 3: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.90 def. Bino Lopes (BRA) 13.80
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 12.77
Heat 5: Matt Banting (AUS) 11.67 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.17
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.23 def. Michael Dunphy (USA) 14.17
Heat 7: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.83 def. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.20
Heat 8: Garrett Parkes (AUS) 12.76 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 9.17
Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior Women’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Brianna Cope (HAW) 12.16, Bailey Nagy (HAW) 8.27, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 4.94, Reika Noro (JPN) 1.00
SF 2: Meah Collins (USA) 11.37, Mahina Maeda (HAW) 10.13, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 9.75, Tia Blanco (USA) 2.46
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Quarterfinal Match-ups:
Quarterfinal 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Quarterfinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Quarterfinal 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
Quarterfinal 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)