Ventura’s Adam Virs demonstrated the best display of surfing to date in the $150,000 Philips U.S. Open of Surfing, launching into a six-foot barrel and disappearing for three full seconds to score the day’s highest wave, a 9.17. Surfside’s Jodie Nelson set the pace in the $30,000 Havaianas Women’s Pro, winning her opening round heat, while Hawaiians dominated the Billabong/Boost Mobile Junior. Conditions at the Huntington Beach Pier ranged from 4-5 feet in the morning and 3-5 late into the afternoon as the U.S. Open continues to receive plenty of hurricane swell.
Virs was clearly the standout of the men’s round six action in the Philips U.S. Open. Averaging 8.40 points across his two scoring waves, Virs easily defeated Che Stang, 16.84 points to 12.04. Australia’s Josh Kerr also impressed the judges with an “air reverse 360”, reaching five full feet out of the water. Lead announcer David Stanfield called the move, “The most progressive of the event thus far.” Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson and Andy Hobson also advanced along with Ventura’s Geoff Brack and Japan’s Masatoshi Ohno.
Former U.S. Champion Dino Andino, one of the most decorated surfers in California history made a strong showing early in his heat. The 30-something from San Clemente, fully recovered from heart problems suffered this past winter during the Triple Crown of Surfing, was in second position until the waning moments when San Diego’s Josh Montgomery landed a 6.43 ride in the closing seconds to advance.
Hawaiians Nathan Carroll, Dustin Cuizon, Daniel Jones and Kekoa Bacalso were among the heat winners in the Billabong/Boost Mobile Junior’s. The Hawaiian contingent easily outclassed the field today with eight competitors advancing to Round 3. Travis Mellem, Justin Weigand, Matt Yates, Jordy Brough and Nathan Curran were among the Mainland Americans advancing. The $10,000 Billabong/Boost Mobile Juniors is the 12th stop and highest-rated American event on the 2002 ASP Junior Tour. Sixty-four of the world’s finest young surfers are competing for the coveted crown won in past years by future professional stand-outs Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Bruce Irons. Surfside’s Nelson opened the Havaianas Women’s Pro with an easy victory over Lilia Boerner, 15.01 points to 8.83. Also advancing were Americans Stephanie Gilmore and Anastasia Ashley. Only the first two heats of the women’s round one ran today, with the remaining heats (3-8) continuing tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
With its six-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) rating, the Philips U.S. Open men’s division boasts a $100,000 total prize package, $10,000 winners purse, and offers competitors the largest points allocation of any Mainland event this year. The $30,000 Havaianas Women’s Pro, also a six-star WQS, is the Mainland’s highest rated qualifying event. The combined contests play a critical role in the composition of the Association of Surfing Professionals’ (ASP) 2003 World Tour and America’s reemergence as an international powerhouse.
The Philips U.S. Open launches the bi-coastal Philips Fusion series, a $350,000 action sports, technology and music festival that attracts more than 600 world-class athletes and features surfing, skateboarding and BMX in innovative venues along with an interactive festival area and live concerts. Philips Fusion commences in Huntington Beach, July 29 – August 4 and continues on the East Coast, August 22-25 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Competition at the Philips U.S. Open of Surfing continues on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00a.m. with heats 9-16 of men’s trials round six followed at 10:20 a.m. with heats 1-8 of the Billabong/Boost Mobile junior’s round three and the quarter-finals. The Havaianas Women’s Pro continues at 1:00 p.m. with heats 3-16 of round one.