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The 2019 Vans US Open of Surfing Presented by Swatch, opened today on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier. Running today until August 4, the US Open will host the annual week-long summer festival featuring elite surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions, in addition to creative activations for all ages.
The WSL competition commenced with the first two rounds of the Men's Pro Junior even in two-to-four foot (0.6 - 1.2 meter) waves. Surfing's next generation put on a great performance for the weekend crowd at the US Open, narrowing the under-18 men's field to the Top 16 competitors who will later compete in the event's Quarterfinals.
Crosby Colapinto with a strong start to this year's Vans US Open. WSL / KENNY MORRIS
The opening heat of the men's Pro Junior saw San Clemente local Crosby Colapinto take the win with France's Tiago Carrique advancing in second, eliminating Americans Nick Marshall and Jojo Whelan. Colapinto is no stranger to the excitement of the US Open with this being his fourth time competing in the event. The Californian's success will now see him in the Junior Quarterfinals against Jett Schilling, Taj Lindblad, and Alan Cleland, who all advanced out of their heats today.
"I think this is my third or fourth year at the US Open," said Colapinto. "I've never done too well here, I think Semifinals has been my best result. This is my last year in the Pro Juniors too, so I am hoping to do better and make the Final. I for sure have the home feeling here because I grew up doing all the NSSAs and primes at Huntington so it is pretty cool and I love the crowd."
Excited fans gather to watch the event kick off. WSL / KENNY MORRIS
Kade Matson has the unique opportunity to compete in both the Pro Junior division, in addition to the Trials heat for a shot at the QS 10,000 event. After placing within the top 2 in his heats today, Matson will now advance to the Junior Quarterfinals.
"The Trials will be a huge opportunity for me to get into the 10,000 event," said Matson. "It is only one heat so it is a big shot for me to hopefully be in that event and it has always been a dream of mine to be in the QS, so I am glad to have a shot at it. It is super cool to have all the fans behind you. I love everything about this event and it is really cool to have a contest like this so close to home."
Mateus Herdy earns a spot in Round 2 of competition despite his injury. WSL / KENNY MORRIS
Mateus Herdy, reigning World Junior Champion, is no stranger to elite competition after competing against the world's best surfers on the elite Championship Tour (CT) earlier this year on the Gold Coast and at the Oi Rio Pro. Herdy's time was cut short in Rio with an ankle injury sustained during a freesurf but is powering through the Vans US Open with second in Rounds 1 and 2 in the Pro Junior division. Herdy will also compete in the men's QS 10,000, starting in Round 2 against Joan Duru, Jacob Willcox, and a winning surfer from Round 1.
"My ankle is still hurting a lot," said Herdy. "I tried to surf this morning but a lot of things happened, like my flight got canceled and then the next one got delayed and my boards did not arrive. This is a new board and the first time I have surfed it, and my ankle was hurting, so to make it through these two heats was a big win for me. I am just super stoked. I am glad that I am in Round 2 of the QS so I have more time to get better. I am doing everything I can to get better before then. My goal is to just find the best two waves and actually wait for the good ones because that is all I've got in me."
Tommy Coleman joins a hefty American crew looking to bring the title back to home soil. WSL / KENNY MORRIS
Jackson Butler, a usual standout in North America's Pro Junior events, was eliminated early in Heat 10 of Round 1 by Jabe Swierkocki and Isauro Elizondo.
Kicking off the weekend with an exciting event debut, the Vans Rebel Jam BMX street competition saw the world's best riders christen a brand new custom-spec BMX street course. For the first time on American soil, the Vans Rebel Jam showcased 34 talented street riders in a unique competition that celebrates fun, creativity, and innovation.
Nick Marshall goes big to win his Round 1 heat before being eliminated. WSL / KENNY MORRIS
Local kids also flocked to the beach for the Vans' annual Stoke-O-Rama surf celebration, hosted by the non-profit Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation. Stoke-O-Rama is a free, kids-only surf event featuring friendly surf sessions by age division, along with fun beach activities for local families to enjoy. Through the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation, all the proceeds from this year's Huntington Beach Stoke-O-Rama event will be donated directly to the Huntington Beach YMCA in support of community beach activities.