World’s Largest Men’s And Women’s Professional Surfing Contests Anchor Bank Of The West Beach Games In Huntington Beach, California

WHAT: The $175,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill

The $175,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill, which anchors the 2004 Bank of the West Beach Games, is North America’s highest-rated qualifying event, drawing nearly 500 of the sport’s elite surfers from across the globe. Attendance last year soared to an international record 300,000 spectators over nine days, with 85,000 on hand for the grand finale. Originally staged at the Huntington Beach Pier in 1959, the world’s largest professional surfing competition celebrates the 45th anniversary of its founding this year.

WHEN: Monday, July 26 through Sunday August 1Action starts at approx. 8:00 a.m. daily. *Note: pre-trials are held 7/24-25.

WHERE: Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA

ATHLETES: World’s Finest Professional Men & Women Surfers, Juniors & Longboarders

More than 500 contestants from across the globe — America, Australia, Brazil, France, Japan and South Africa — will compete for $175,000 in cash and prizes across four divisions: men’s, women’s, junior’s and longboarding. Last year, ten former world and/or U.S. Champions headlined a 288 person men’s draw that included 31 of the Top 44 World Tour competitors and 74 of the top 100 WQS. The U.S. Open of Surfing’s women’s division features a majority of world’s Top 16 and WQS participants.

EVENTS

Men: $125,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented By O’Neill & PURSES

A $125,000 men’s six-star World Qualifying Series event (WQS). The U.S. Open men’s division is the mainland’s highest rated WQS and draws the nation’s largest field of competitors. Team O’Neill’s Cory Lopez (Florida), Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach) and Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach) lead a world-class field that features former event and/or world champions Andy Irons (Hawaii), Rob Machado (Cardiff, Calif.), Shane Beschen (San Clemente), Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), C.J. Hobgood (Florida) and Kelly Slater (Florida).

Defending Champ: Cory Lopez (Florida) First Place: $15,000

Women: $30,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing Presented By O’Neill

The $30,000 women’s division, also a six-star WQS, is North America’s highest rated qualifying event and typically draws the world’s largest pro field. Competitors include Team O’Neill stars Rochelle Ballard (Hawaii) and Melanie Bartels (Hawaii) along with current and former world champions Layne Beachley (AUS), Lisa Andersen (Florida) and Pauline Menczer (AUS) and California’s Holly Beck (Palos Verdes) and Julia Christian (Carlsbad).

Defending Champ: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) First Place: $6,000

Junior: $10,000 Lost Pro Junior

The Lost Pro Junior will be America’s largest junior event with 128 competitors vying for a $10,000 purse. Considered a platform to a professional career, this coveted crown has been won in past years by Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Tim Curran and Andy Irons. The Lost Pro Junior features the world’s finest age 19 and under competitors. The field features elite juniors from North America, Hawaii, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan and South Africa.

Defending Champ: Kekoa Bacalso (Hawaii) First Place: $2,500

Longboarding: $10,000 O’Neill U.S. Open of Longboarding

Riding a continuing wave of growth, longboarding will take center stage during the $10,000 O’Neill U.S. Open of Longboarding, an ASP-North America sanctioned event. The competition will showcase riders like Joel Tudor (Calif.), Colin McPhillips (Calif.) and Geoff Moysa (Calif.) performing maneuvers ranging from the classic, soulful nose riding style of the 1960’s to the high performance moves of today’s shortboarders.

Defending Champ: Taylor Jensen (San Diego) First Place: $2,500

MUSIC/ Bank Of The West Beach Games

FESTIVAL

The “2004 Bank of the West Beach Games featuring the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill attracts more than 600 worlld-class athletes from across the globe and features surfing, skateboarding, BMX and volleyball in world-class venues along with live concerts and an interactive lifestyle festival spread over 12 acres. More than 300,000 spectators also will enjoy an interactive festival featuring the TransWorld Surf Village, Honda Base Camp, Philips Vortex, PlayStation Gaming Lounge and Paul Mitchell “Cut-a-Thon. Other activities include daily athlete autograph signings, dance contests, DJs, guest emcees and prize giveaways. Teen Vogue “Fashion Live returns on July 29 while live regional and national musical acts will perform on the Bank of the West Concert Stage on Friday and Saturday afternoons from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

CROWDS: Expected To Exceed 300,000

Free sand and bleacher seating is available during all days of the competition.

AWARDS: Award Ceremony Following Finals On Weekend

MEDIA: On-Site Press Center For Accredited Media, July 26 – August 1

The on-site press facility will be open from 8 a.m. to the end of each day’s competition.

TV: National TV Coverage On Fox Sports Net

The Honda U.S. Open of Surfing will be broadcast to 70 million households on Fusion TV, airing on Fox Sports Net from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays (dates TBD). The shows will re-air on FUEL TV (dates TBD).

INTERNET Extensive Coverage And Information Available At www.usopenofsurfing.com

Please contact Mike Kingsbury or Cherie Whyte, MKM, at 16541 Gothard St., #210, Huntington Beach, CA 92647. Phone: (714) 375-2188. Fax: (714) 375-2188. Email: mike@boardom.com.