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HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Wednesday, July 30, 2014) - Stop No. 6 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), the Vans US Open of Surfing ran through Rounds 2 and 3 in peaky two-to-four foot surf at Huntington Beach. The field of 18 was narrowed to 12, with top ASP World Title threats advancing directly to the Quarterfinals.
Malia Manuel (HAW), 20, current World No. 5, commanded Rounds 2 and 3 after an opening-day stumble, collecting the day’s highest scores. The Kauaian collected a 15.17 two-wave heat total in Round 2 in a victory against wildcard Leila Hurst (HAW), 20, and a near-perfect 9.67 in Round 3 while securing a Quarterfinals berth.
“It was a little nerve wracking at the beginning because there were no waves so it was a relief to get a restart,” said Malia Manuel. “I knew some waves would come and I took advantage of them and luckily got two good scores. This is definitely a favorite event for me and I’ve been surfing here since I was 14. I had an amazing run in my first year here and that puts a little pressure on. I’m waiting for that big moment again and I know it will come.”
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 23, 2011 US Open Champion and current World No. 2, continued her successful run in Huntington Beach, besting rookies Dimity Stoyle (AUS), 22, and Johanne Defay (FRA), 20, while posting a Round 3 win.
“I went out there wanting to start strong because it can be unpredictable here,” Sally Fitzgibbons. “You can’t rush Huntington, you just have to wait and be patient and hope you get some nice sets. This year has been great at the US Open and really special. There’s been big groups of girls around who have been sharing their stories and what they’re passionate about. I think it’s important for us to be out there inspiring the younger generation.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 26, who collected a US Open win in 2007, put together another dominant performance in Round 3. The Australian surfed the tricky beachbreak with a textbook approach, connecting strong outside turns and committed inside maneuvers on the reform for another convincing heat win.
“There was a lot of action at the start of the heat,” said Stephanie Gilmore. “Lakey (Peterson), myself and Paige (Hareb) all got quite a lot of waves and I knew I needed to get busy early because it could go quiet. I pieced things together well in that heat. I’ve been coming here since I was 13 and won it once in 2007 when it was a QS. It’s a wild event, there’s so much going on and it’s very colorful. It’s a lot of fun, a great experience and I’ve always had a good time here. I hope I can get a win in again.”
Following Women’s Round 3, the Men’s Qualification Series (QS) Prime-rated competition completed Round 2 as ASP Top 34 hopefuls clashed for a respective spot among next year’s elite.
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, current No. 2 on the QS, continued his hot streak, topping Dream Tour sophomore Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, progressive sorcerer Dane Reynolds (USA), 28, and American tactician Cory Arrambide (USA), 24, with a big Round 2 heat victory.
“I didn’t catch a wave for nearly half the heat. Filipe (Toledo) just got one at the 10-minute mark, which meant we didn’t get the restart, but it ended up working in my favor,” said Matt Banting. “You only have a couple of opportunities so you have to make the most of them. I’m stoked to keep the ball rolling and stay in the competition. I’m loving it here at the Vans US Open, there’s great people and it can’t get any better.”
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 33, contributed to the international field flaring in Huntington Beach, trouncing his Round 2 heat with a commanding run from start-to-finish. Gonzalez was surgical on both his forehand and backhand while securing a spot in Round 3.
“At the beginning when I started competing it was really hard for me to compete on these types of waves,” said Jonathan Gonzalez. “I’ve been practicing surfing beach breaks in the summer because it’s difficult for me. I started the year a bit lost with the new priority system and Saquarema was horrible for me. This event is looking better for me I hope.”
Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach, CA), 16, Vans US Open of Surfing wildcard, continued to establish himself among the world’s best surfers, taking an impressive Round 2 win. The local talent’s victory came over WCT surfers Jadson Andre (BRA), 24, Travis Logie (ZAF), 33, and Jake Halstead (La Jolla, CA), 20.
“I’m definitely feeling the pressure because I live here and I should know which waves to get and how to surf the wave,” said Kanoa Igarashi. “That was going through my head the whole time but I’m just so stoked I got the right waves and finished them. I think there was about 11 minutes where I needed a 5 to win and time was going by so I was nervous, but I managed to get in two good turns so I’m stoked.”
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.44 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.83
Heat 2: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.76 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 13.43
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.17 def. Leila Hurst (HAW) 6.67
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.67 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.97
Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.67 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.00
Heat 6: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.43 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.10
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 18.13, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.93, Tyler Wright (AUS) 7.77
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.37, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.00, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 7.10
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.03, Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.10, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 3.00
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.16, Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.50, Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.10
Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 3: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Paige Lareb (NZL)
Heat 4: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 7: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.87, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.94, Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.33, Cory Arrambide (USA) 10.26
Heat 8: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 14.50, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.93, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 13.07, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 12.63
Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.53, Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.77, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.67, Jake Halstead (USA) 11.16
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.30, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 15.26, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.27, Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.10
Heat 11: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.50, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 12.40, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.58, Santiago Muniz (ARG) 10.43
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.93, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.63, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 10.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS), Mitch Crews (AUS), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 2: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Tim Reyes (USA), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adam Melling (AUS), Charles Martin (GLP)
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Bino Lopes (BRA)
Heat 5: Matt Banting (AUS), Michael Dunphy (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 6: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA), Garrett Parkes (AUS), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)