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Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational put on showcase of style and poise through tough afternoon conditions. Two-to-three foot (1 to 1.2 metre) swell found its way back into the Huntington Beach Pier lineup and world-class performances followed.
Though a typically more easy-going affair, the bragging rights of this event bring out the best of each competitor and current WSL No. 1 Justin Quintal (USA) left everything in the water. Quintal powered through his Quarterfinal bout over David Arganda (USA) before unleashing a near-perfect heat 9.43 and 17.60 heat total. The Jacksonville Beach, Florida, native displayed incredible footwork in the afternoon conditions, moving from rail-to-rail with ease and showcasing his ability to hang ten in stylish fashion en route to 9th Duct Tape Invitational win.
“It feels pretty good to put together a heat like that in some challenging conditions during that Semifinal,” Quintal said. “This isn’t necessarily a good day back home, back we would be out there surfing today and surf with a lot of wind, shorter period swell all the time. Sometimes I’ll have a game plan together before I go out when it’s like this, sometimes I won’t because it’s easy to overthink it instead of just going out and having fun.”
Quintal and Arganda are joined by Troy Mothershead (USA) and Andy Nieblas (USA) in the Final.
The iconic Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational got into their debuts and determined Finalists after a big opening day for some of the premier longboarders. © WSL / Morris
2017 WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) was all smiles following her Quarterfinal and Semifinal victories. It was deja vu of last year’s Final as Blomfield and good friend Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) shared a ride together, Kaleopaa losing her board and Blomfield generously leaving hers while chasing down Kaleopaa’s. Though it’s all fun for Blomfield, her inner-competitor still shines through and has another win in her sights.
“Those girls I surfed with are some of my very best friends and they surf so amazing, all of them inspire me,” Blomfield said. “It was just the best time ever out there. I would be so happy if Kirra (Seale) and I surfed a Final together since we pretty much grew up surfing together. With Kelis in the Final and Kirra, it’d be so cool to have another Hawaiian girl in there -- I can’t even talk just with how exciting that would be.”
Blomfield’s ideal scenario played out and Seale found her way to the Final alongside Quarterfinal standout Haley Otto (HAW) to make it an all-Hawaii affair to finish the event.
Honolua Blomfield (HAW) looks poised for back-to-back wins at the Duct Tape Invitational. © WSL / Herron
Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Justin Quintal (USA) 18.03, Troy Mothershead (USA) 14.23, David Arganda (USA) 11.90, Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 11.53
Heat 2: Andy Nieblas (USA) 12.04, Kevin Skvarna (USA) 11.73, Kaimana Takayama (USA) 11.46, Ian Gottron () 10.10
Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Justin Quintal (USA) 14.70, David Arganda (USA) 14.00, Troy Elmore () 10.04, Grant Noble () 7.67
Heat 2: Troy Mothershead (USA) 13.83, Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 11.76, Zack Flores () 7.14, Alek Rockrise (USA) 6.77
Heat 3: Andy Nieblas (USA) 14.23, Kevin Skvarna (USA) 12.20, Tom Payne (AUS) 12.13, Noah Shimabukuro (HAW) 8.70
Heat 4: Kaimana Takayama (USA) 12.90, Ian Gottron () 12.17, Alex Knost (USA) 11.24, Saxon Wilson (USA) 10.24
Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 11.94, Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 8.87, Summer Richley (USA) 8.30, Avalon Gall (USA) 6.10
Heat 2: Kirra Seale (HAW) 11.37, Haley Otto (HAW) 11.04, Victoria Vergara (FRA) 9.57, Karina Rozunko (USA) 7.90
Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 9.70, Summer Richley (USA) 9.50, Makala Smith (HAW) 7.70, Candra Jordan (USA) 7.20
Heat 2: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 13.00, Avalon Gall (USA) 10.16, Hallie Rohr (USA) 9.40, Mele Saili (USA) 4.93
Heat 3: Karina Rozunko (USA) 12.84, Kirra Seale (HAW) 12.50, Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 9.23, Erin Meza-Ashley (MEX) 6.34
Heat 4: Haley Otto (HAW) 13.50, Victoria Vergara (FRA) 10.36, Jennifer Smith (USA) 9.93, Justine Mauvin (REU) 9.16