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Written by Bryan Benattou, originally published by the World Surf League
The Vans US Open of Surfing is canceled for 2020. While we won't get to enjoy this important event this year, we can look back to the moments that made it one of the most iconic stops on the Tour.
From emotional hometown victories in front of tens of thousands of fans, perfect rides and combos under the pier, here are the top 5 moments from Huntington Beach, otherwise known as Surf City USA.
Kanoa Igarashi grew up groveling under the Huntington Beach pier. He's one of the best surfers to grace the wave, and he has the results to prove it.
In 2016, he lost to Filipe Toledo for a third place finish. Then in 2017 and 2018 he earned back-to-back victories at his home break. After earning his first event victory, Igarashi said, "It's about time! It's crazy how much this win means to me." He added, "It's the biggest win of my life!"
This was a turning point for Igarashi, helping to set him up to become the competitive force he is today. But he wasn't the first to go back-to-back at the US Open. Fellow Surf City local Brett Simpson pulled off the feat in 2009 and 2010.
The 2019 women's event marked a historic milestone for the QS, with the first-ever QS 10,000 in the WSL era and equal prize money at the Vans US Open.
Erickson celebrated an incredibly emotional win after losing her grandmother just weeks before this event began.
"I shed a lot of tears when I came in from the water and I just want to say this is dedicated to my grandma who passed two weeks ago," Erickson said.
This victory was especially important for Erickson's goal of requalification for the 2020 CT. After a rocky start to the season, Sage jumped up 23 spots to No. 2 on the QS rankings, keeping her Championship Tour dreams within reach.
While Jadson might have been having a tough season on the Championship Tour in 2017, he provided all his fans with a firm reminder of exactly why he's been such a stalwart on the competitive scene. Jadson found the barrel, and then shot Huntington the pier in one of the most exciting moments at the US open in recent memory.
What does it take to bag a perfect ride at Huntington Beach? Who better to show us than the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater. In 2009 the GOAT pulled into a solid left-hander and got slotted for a perfect ten-point ride. It was one of the biggest waves ridden throughout the event, and Kelly Slater.
The 2018 final of the US Open (a Women's CT stop) showcased exactly why this is such an exciting event. Two of the biggest talents on the CT went head to head in front of tens of thousands of fans, with Conlogue putting on a top-form performance to secure the win. This was a banner year for Conlogue, who also took out the Roxy Pro France just a short while later.
And who could forget when Seth Moniz rocked the crowd with this iconic air - earning the highest single wave score of the event with a near-perfect 9.87.
"That was some superhero stuff right there," said commentator Strider Wasilewski. "I got chicken skin watching that."