Honda US Open of Surfing Day One: Belo, Gudauskas and Reynolds Set Pace; Worlds Largest Surfboard Debuts Today!

Brazil’s Jano Belo Sets The Pace, So Cal’s Patrick Gudauskas And Dane Reynolds Not Far Behind At Honda U.S. Open Of Surfing

World’s Largest Surfboard To Debut On Tuesday

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Monday, July 25, 2005 — Jano Belo must have thought he was surfing his home break in Brazil this afternoon, adroitly navigating the two — three foot choppy swell on his way to the day’s highest overall heat score, a 16.34 (out of 20), at the $185,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill being staged at the Huntington Beach Pier. Conditions were glassy two — four feet this morning, but deteriorated early in the afternoon as north winds led to challenging conditions later in the day.

After blasting through the early rounds of men’s and women’s juniors over the weekend, the men took center stage today with the round of 192 of the six-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event. San Clemente’s Patrick Gudauskas threw down the gauntlet early in heat four with consistent rides and an overall score of 15.34 for his two highest scoring waves. Ventura’s Dane Reynolds followed closely on Gudauskas’ heels with a 15.33 in heat seven, but nailed the day’s highest single wave to that point, an 8.50 (out of 10).

On a day when average surfers would have been flailing, Floridian Eric Geiselman made the beach break conditions look great, scoring an 8.50 on his second wave on the way to his pace-setting heat score of 15.83. He was able to impress the judges by connecting the sections with a display of speed turns and “pocket surfing. But it was the Brazilian Belo in heat 22 that turned heads with powerful maneuvers and a clear-cut command of the waves.

With a world-class field of more than 500 competitors from across the Globe, the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing broke new ground today as an Italian, Frederico Pilurzo, competed for the first time and won his heat (11.87 points). Several Japanese (Tanaka Hideyoshi, Teppei Tajima and Izuki Tanaka), Australian (Yadin Nicol, Leigh Sedley, Nic Muscroft, Jay Thompson, Samba Mann, Ben Dunn, Anthony Walsh, Corey Ziems, Josh Kerr, Josh Fuller, Zahn Foxton, Yerin Brown, Michael Spencer and Jock Barnes) and Brazilian (Beto Fernandes, Dunga Neto and Heitor Pereira) did well, advancing to Tuesday’s round of 144.

A host of young Americans also fared well today as Tyler Fox (Aptos, Calif,), Austin Ware (Encinitas, Calif.), Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, Calif.), Alek Parker (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, Calif.), Eric Taylor (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Bobby Morris (Santa Barbara, Calif.) advanced.

Competition continues on Tuesday, July 26th at the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing with the men’s round of 144 (heats 1-24) starting at 8:00 a.m. The Bank of the West Beach Games Media Day begins at 11:00 with the unveiling of the world’s largest surfboard in advance of its record setting attempt on Friday. Athletes in attendance include former world surfing champion Sunny Garcia, Olympic Volleyball Gold medalist Karch Kiraly and Boarding House North Shore star Holly Beck.

The “2005 Bank of the West Beach Games featuring the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill attracts more than 600 international competitors and features surfing, skateboarding, BMX, FMX and volleyball in world-class venues along with an interactive lifestyle festival spread over 12 acres. All events are open to the public, free of charge. The Honda U.S. Open of Surfing is sanctioned by Surfing America/ASP North America. Surfing competition begins on Friday, July 22 and runs through Sunday, July 31. Consumer information is available at www.usopenofsurfing.com and www.bankofthewestbeachgames.com