The mens final was a serious yawner until the final minute at the U.S. Open. The surf had been small and mushy all day, and when the tide bottomed out around noon, the final hadn’t yet got the miracle pulse everyone hoped for. Andy Irons was dominating the final, connecting several waves from the outside to the sand, making the most of what was available like the competitor he is. Machado had a shocker, falling several times in places he normally would have glided over easily.
With a minute left, Andy had Rob in a tough place. Machado, the former U.S. Open winner, needed a 7.77 to beat Irons, and with such small, inconsistant surf, it seemed like there was no way Rob could overcome. Then the set came. Machado had been scanning the horizon just before a final two-wave set showed up, and with priority in his favor, he paddled hard and got up on the first wave of the set with just 15 seconds to go.
The crowd was cheering as Machado did a couple quick snaps then pumped his board to the inside section and got a couple more turns before the wave closed out. After he fell, Rob laid in the water, his head pointed to the sky, seemingly drained and exhalted in the same moment. Everyone nervously awaited the score, and when it was announced that Rob got a 7.33 (just .44 points short of a victory) the entire beach let out a sigh. Their hero had missed the mark by millimeters.
Victorious, Andy was carried up the beach on the shoulders of the Wolfpack, as the crowd clapped and swarmed around him.
The U.S. Open doesn’t contribute to his campaign for a fourth consequetive world title, but infront of tens of thousands of spectators it’s a huge win for Irons. $15,000 for the victor.
We’ll post photos later, just wanted to keep you up to date. Now get back to watching your baseball game.