HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Thursday, July 19, 2018) - The Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch is excited to welcome the world’s best surfers to Huntington Beach (aka “Surf City”) this summer. Starting July 28 through August 5, fans on the beach can watch a variety of surf events, including: Stop No. 7 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the WSL Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) event, the men’s and women’s WSL Pro Junior events, the first-ever all women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational longboarding competition, and the annual Vans Stoke-O-Rama, bringing local Huntington Beach youth together for friendly surf and beach activities.
Stop No. 7 of 10 of the Women’s Championship Tour will headline the Vans US Open of Surfing and feature the Top 17 female surfers in the world. Amongst the decorated CT veterans competing for the prestigious win, such as six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), will be 16-year-old rookie Caroline Marks (USA). Earlier this year, Marks made history as the youngest surfer to ever qualify for the elite Championship Tour. Now, with more than half the season complete and currently sitting at World No. 7 on the Jeep Leaderboard, Marks hopes to continue her previous success in Huntington Beach and earn a big result in her rookie debut.
“The US Open is a different event because there are so many competitive surfing events on display,” said Marks. “There is the men’s and women’s juniors, our CT event, and even a big men’s QS event, so everyone is there together and cheering each other on. It’s really cool. I grew up competing at Huntington through all the amateur and junior events, and I’ve had a lot of success there. That gives me a lot of confidence heading into the CT event. I’m just excited to have my family there, it’s been a long year on the road so it’s a perfect time to be home for a few months.”
Title contender Courtney Conlogue finished equal third in the VANS US Open of Surfing. © WSL / Morris
Ahead of the WSL Women’s CT event, Vans will highlight two cherished surf platforms in the US Open lineup, including the first-ever women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational longboarding competition and the Vans Stoke-O-Rama youth surf event. Celebrating style, creativity, and all-ages surf progression, Vans US Open weaves together a unique and inclusive showcase of surfing that shares the true passion of the sport throughout its entire programming.
Co-creator of the Stoke-O-Rama and current 2018 Men’s CT competitor Patrick Gudauskas remarks, “It wasn’t always about the jerseys for my brothers and I. As we grew older in professional surfing, it became apparent to us that we had the platform and ability to help other people. It’s so important to us to represent surfing in a way that promotes positivity and community. To have this influence on its future is so empowering, and to see this surf passion come to life on all levels at the US Open is exactly what makes the event so unique.”
“It wasn’t always about the jerseys for my brothers and I. As we grew older in professional surfing, it became apparent to us that we had the platform and ability to help other people. It’s so important to us to represent surfing in a way that promotes positivity and community. To have this influence on its future is so empowering, and to see this surf passion come to life on all levels at the US Open is exactly what makes the event so unique.”
2017 Stoke-O-Rama © Vans / Jimmicane
The Vans US Open of Surfing will bring the men’s Qualifying Series (QS) back to the southside arena for a shot at 10,000 highly sought-after points. Last year, it was hometown hero Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), now representing Japan, who emerged victorious with fans bombarding the shoreline in iconic fashion as he earned his first-ever Vans US Open chair-up the beach. Igarashi, the third year CT competitor, has a newfound rhythm and confidence that he is excited to bring to Huntington Beach.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the last couple months and improved my surfing,” Igarashi said. “I have a new motivation and a new aggressiveness that I haven’t felt before. I am ready to step it up. The US Open is a huge goal for me. I know I won it last year, but it is a new year. Hopefully, I get to do it in front of the 714. Huntington Beach is so special to me. I am so proud to represent Huntington Beach to the world. Having Huntington Beach supporting me and all my friends there, so hopefully it is another good year.”
Vans US Open of Surfing Champions Sage Erickson and Kanoa Igarashi. © WSL / Morr
But, the action doesn’t end with the men’s QS 10,000. The men and women’s Pro Junior competitors are set for battles of their own as North America’s top talents look to bring the trophy back to home soil after Cody Young (HAW) and Brisa Hennessy (CRI), now a Costa Rica representative, made it an all-Hawaii surfer sweep in 2017.
Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year's event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.
For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world's best surfing on the world's best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, and Junior and Longboard Championships. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL is a truly global sports and media company with regional offices in Australia, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe.
For more information, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.