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By: Adam Espino – Huntington Beach
The morning’s gloomy fog gave way to pristine sunshine at 11:00 am today as Day 1 of the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing got underway in Huntington Beach.
Not one to let a little fog get in his way, South Carolina native Cam Richards came out firing with a total wave score of 15.06 in the first heat of the morning. Richards’ total would not be bested until the feisty Australian Matt Banting took to the water in Heat 8 and scored a wave total of 15.30.
The early morning’s fireworks were merely a prelude to standout Round 1 performances by Brazil’s Yago Dora [16.84] and Malibu’s Thelen McKinna, who ripped his way to a single wave score of 9.33.
In Round 2, the hometown kid Kanoa Igarashi threw his hat into the mix with the day’s best combined wave score of 17.16. Matt Banting and Cam Richards followed strong morning performances with stellar afternoon scores. They will advance to Thursday’s Quarterfinal.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the continuation of the start of the Junior Women’s competition. Additionally, the first surfers in the water tomorrow will be the Men’s Trials competitors. Always a cutthroat contest, the Men’s Trials decide which surfers—who are not automatically seeded in the Men’s Prime event—make their way into Round 1 of the Men’s Prime event on Monday.
2014 Vans US Open of Surfing. Photo: Brandon Means