One of the biggest surfing events of the year, the U.S. Open of Surfing always attracts many of the biggest names in the surfing world to Huntington Beach, California.
It was a heated final day of competition as the quarterfinals got underway. With Kanoa Igarashi taking out Ricardo Christie from New Zealand in the first heat, and last year’s U.S. Open Champion Filipe Toledo defeating Australia’s Josh Kerr, their semi final match-up would surely be one to watch.
Following their heats was a victory for Carlos Munoz from Costa Rica taking out South Africa’s Michael February, and Brazil’s Tomas Hermes beating local favorite Patrick Gudauskas.
In the semifinals, the first heat got started with an interference call on Filipe Toledo in his heat with Kanoa Igarashi. This meant that Toledo would still be scored on his best single wave, but his second best score would be cut in half. Toledo spent the remainder of the heat throwing down a couple of massive air-reverses on the inside section, but in the end it would be Igarashi taking the win and moving onto the finals.
Semifinal heat number two would feature Hermes and Munoz battling over their spot in the final against Igarashi. In the end it was Hermes as the victor with an 11.84 heat total over Munoz’s 10.70 total.
The final heat started with Hermes scoring a couple of 4-point rides, while Igarashi came out of the gates swinging with a massive 9.63.
After backing up his opening 9-point ride with a 5.60, Igarashi further expanded his lead on Hermes with 15 minutes to go. Hermes answered back with a pair of 5-point rides, but the lead would still remain in Igarashi’s court. Then, with three minutes left, Igarashi threw down another great score of a 7.60, putting Hermes in a combo situation (meaning he’ll need two new scores to reach Igarashi’s lead).
After all was said and done, it was Kanoa Igarashi’s local knowledge and support that got him the win at the 2017 Men’s U.S. Open of Surfing.
“I love Huntington Beach. I grew up here. I love this place,” Igarashi said in his post-heat interview. “It’s crazy how much this means to me right now … Today is the best day of my life.”
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