Julian Wilson Wins The 2012 US Open Of Surfing
In his extremely wave starved quarterfinal with John John Florence earlier today, Julian Wilson needed only a 3.1 with less than a minute remaining to turn the heat--at which point he frantically paddled inside, did a quick whitewash bounce and a frontside bunnyhop--and was rewarded with a 3.4 and a spot in the semis. Despite his obvious exhilaration at having made the round, he seemed somewhat embarrassed to advance in such fashion. "That was crazy, I never expected less than sixteen points to win a heat against John John," he recalled after the heat, "but that's how it goes sometimes and I'll take it--even if it was the lowest score to ever win a US Open quarterfinal."
Then, in his semi against the previously unstoppable Gabriel Medina, he once again waited until a minute remained to post an 8.3 for a single backside rotator--.2 higher than the 8.1 he required to advance to the finals. With that, event MC Dave Stansfield dubbed Julian the "cardiac kid," and it started to feel as though Julian was destined to take it all the way.
A few minutes into the final against an on fire Miguel Pupo (who had stormed through Filipe Toledo and defending champ Kelly Slater in the quarters and semis, respectively) Julian picked off the biggest set of the day, banked two backside blasts on the outside, and was rewarded with a well deserved 9.1. When he backed that up with a mid range seven, he put Miguel in a hole he couldn't quite dig his way out of, dashing his hopes of becoming the first US Open champ from Brazil.
On the podium post heat in front of thousands of his (mostly female) fans, Julian was thrilled: "I just tried to make the most of what was on offer, it was small and challenging this week--but Matt Biolos made me a board for these conditions and that made it exciting to be in the event." When Sal Masekela asked him how he navigated a week of madness, he simply said, "I just stayed low key with my girlfriend and focused on the event," and with that dashed the dreams of all the women in Huntington Beach.--Zander Morton
Lakey Peterson Takes Out the 2012 Nike US Open
Lakey Peterson tends to froth pretty hard on an ordinary day, but after winning the 2012 Nike US Open today, her off-the-charts enthusiasm left her almost speechless-and you know something's up when Lakey's speechless. "It's just amazing. I can't believe... I can't believe... it hasn't really hit me yet, you know?" she said immediately after her win. "It's my first World Tour win and to end the year like that is just... the most amazing thing ever," she continued with a smile. "To finish like that is great. I've had some really ups and downs this year and yeah, I'm so excited."
Lakey's new school style, rare tenacity, and fortunate genetics have always presented a legit threat-even amongst 2012's deadly crop of rookies. In each round this week, she performed brilliantly, often defying lackluster conditions and earning excellent-range scores. Like, for example, the perfect 10 in her semi against Malia Manuel this morning. Though those waves weren't exactly terrible. After John John and Julian's lake of a quarterfinal, clean, head-high sets steadily marched towards the masses. Malia and Lakey didn't so much shred them as respectfully harmonize with them. The two rookies chose their waves wisely and fluidly raced from pocket to lip. "If you've got it, flaunt it" was the go with regards to priority. In other words, the newbies played it like Tour vets. Lakey earned her perfect 10 with two snaps n' a trail drift.
After a paddle battle with rival Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons opened the second semifinal with a roundhouse cutty that wrapped for days and a fin pop reo. Carissa appeared a little off her wave-selection game and went on what looked to be a dud-until she gathered some speed and attempted a pretty lofty reverse. She continued cashing in on solitary (yet enthralling) maneuvers, like a nutty 180-degree re-entry, and usurped Sal at the last minute with an 8-pointer.
Luckily, Lakey and Carissa front-loaded the final, because about 6.3 minutes in, the waves turned to the stuff of CT nightmares: blown-out mush. Very near the end of 35 minutes, Carissa made a frenzied attempt to overcome McDriven, but priority again came into play and Lakey emerged victorious. "To win at this event, especially, is unbelievable," she said. "There are so many people and it's just such an event, and it's my sponsor, Nike. A huge thanks to Nike and Hurley for putting it all on. It's just been great."
At the close of the 2012 ASP Women's World Tour season, Lakey's moved into 7th place, easily requalifying for 2013. For more info, check out ASPWorldTour.com.--Casey Butler
ASP Press Release: Julian Wilson Takes ASP Prime Nike US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (August 5, 2012) - Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, has emerged victorious at the ASP Prime Nike US Open of Surfing over fellow ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) campaigner Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, today at Huntington Beach.
Culminating a week-long battle at the iconic venue in dramatic fashion, the Australian and Brazilian put on an incredible show throughout the Final in front of the tens of thousands in attendance and the massive online audience.
Wilson was lethal throughout the entirety of the Nike US Open of Surfing, continuously posting several of the event's highest scores. The Australian battled hard on the final day, edging out Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence (HAW), 19, and South American phenom Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, with last-second heroics on his way to the Final.
"I'm over the moon," Wilson said. "I got a really good start and my hat goes off to Miguel (Pupo) he's deadly. I knew he was going to be hunting those lefts the whole heat and I just tried to apply a bit of pressure on him. He got that 8.93 and was right back in the heat with plenty of time left. There weren't that many opportunities out there but it came down to the last minute and I had to just pray there wasn't one behind it."
A quick start against Pupo in the Final, as well as an impressive finish, ensured the young Australian would end the day atop the podium (collecting the third ASP win of his young career).
"I felt like I was just building house the whole event," Wilson said. "I really had to fight for it every heat in the dying minutes and those heats always feel good. I wouldn't say I peaked in the final but I got a good start and got two good waves."
Pupo consistently strung together some of the highest scores throughout the entirety of the Nike Lowers Pro including a standout victory over Kelly Slater (USA), 40, in their Semifinals bout, but was unable to overtake Wilson in the Final and finished runner-up.
"I've had a great week and I had such amazing heats with Filipe (Toledo) and Kelly (Slater) and I'm learning every heat," Pupo said. "I beat Kelly, but I knew Julian (Wilson) was going to be a tough one. It's been awhile since I've had a good result and I've been working hard. It feels good to see the result come and I'll be working hard for Tahiti."
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, was electric throughout the competition, unloading a barrage of amazing aerials including the only perfect 10-point ride in his Quarterfinals win over countryman Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25. Medina launched an inverted backside, full-rotation air and followed up with a finishing maneuver on the inside for his perfect ride. Although appearing destined for a Finals berth, Medina was toppled by eventual winner Wilson in the Semifinals in the dying moments.
"I just went for that one," Medina said. "That was a hard one and I couldn't believe I made that, it was pretty sick. I'm stoked that I got a 10. Adriano is such a good surfer and is really hard to beat and I knew that it was going to be a tough heat, Adriano is such a smart competitor, so I just tried to go big and get my waves."
Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and last year's Nike US Open of Surfing winner, quietly navigated his way to the final day of competition. The legendary Floridian topped progressive wizard Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 26, in their morning Quarterfinals affair, but was unable to overtake Pupo's outstanding effort, finishing Equal 3rd.
"I never really felt like I got it going all week," Slater said. "Miguel (Pupo) and Medina (Gabriel Medina) have been so consistent, getting 9s every heat and they are tough to beat out there. If you're going to beat them out there you really need to be on you're a-game. These are the waves they grew up surfing and this is their bread and butter."
For highlights of the 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing log on to www.usopenofsurfing.com
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING FINAL
1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.53
2 - Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.76
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.33
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.70 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.37
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.57 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.84
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.20 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.13
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.84 def. John John Florence (HAW) 8.17
Lakey Peterson Wins 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing Over Carissa Moore
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, August 5, 2012) - Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, defeated Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, to clinch the final event of the 2012 ASP Women's World Championship Tour season, the Nike US Open of Surfing, in front of a capacity crowd at Huntington Beach.
"I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless," Peterson said. "The Final was really slow and I was pretty bummed because I wish we both could have got some really good waves. I'm so stoked and I really wanted to win on a high note." Into her first year amongst the women's elite, Peterson capped off her season on the highest of notes, bettering last year's Runner-Up finish at the Nike US Open where she competed as a wildcard.
"I've been staying calm and sticking to my game plan," Peterson said. "I haven't been letting anything else faze me and I've been staying focused and going out and surfing and having a really good time. I've loved every minute of this event and it's been great." Peterson finished the 2012 ASP Women's World Championship Tour season in 7th place.
The 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing provided a window of redemption for Moore after a relatively lackluster year of results. The 2011 ASP Women's World Champion came off of last year collecting a slew of wins and Finals appearances, but has struggled to replicate the same form this season. Today's Runner-Up finish was a step in the right direction for the young Hawaiian and Moore will come back in 2013 re-focused and revitalized. "It was a good event for me," Moore said. "Lakey (Peterson) was surfing really well all event and it's a deserved win. I haven't had the best year in terms of results so to finish with a Finals berth is a positive place to build on for next year. I'm really looking forward to the break and working hard for next year and this gets me fired up for next year, for sure" Moore finishes the 2012 ASP Women's World Championship Tour season rated No. 3.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, last year's event winner, went down in a controversial and extremely-close Semifinal bout against Moore. Having the young Hawaiian on the ropes early, Fitzgibbons watched as Moore chipped away at her significant lead before clinching the win in the final moments of the heat. "It's a tough one," Fitzgibbons said. "No one wants to lose like that. It was a split (judging) panel and I felt like I surfed to the criteria. I had built myself a good momentum through the event and felt like I was ready for the Finals. We're athletes. We're here to win and anything less than that is always going to be a disappointment."
Despite the today's frustrating loss, Fitzgibbons has had another incredible year, finishing Runner-Up on the elite ASP Women's World Championship Tour rankings. "It was a good year for me," Fitzgibbons said. "Runner-Up is another great finish for me, but the goal is the World Title. As soon as Steph (Gilmore) clinched in France, my mindset went from challenging to preparing for 2013. This event was the first part of 2013 for me mentally. I win would have been better, but I'll just focus on the things I can do to get myself ready for next year now."
Malia Manuel (HAW), 18, was a solid performer this week at Huntington Beach, culminating an impressive maiden year amongst the world's elite with an Equal 3rd place finish and clinching the highly-coveted ASP Women's Rookie of the Year Award. "It's my second best result, the Semis, and it's a really good finish to the year," Manuel said. "The day before yesterday I knew I just had to make the Quarters to win the Rookie of the Year award and that was my goal. It's a great award to win especially with the past rookies that have won and it's such an honor. Especially this year, the other rookies are so progressive and women's surfing is at its highest point."
While the ASP Women's World Championship Tour has concluded for 2012, the qualification for next year's elite ASP Top 17 is still ongoing. For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING FINAL RESULT:
1 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.90
2 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.64
FINAL 2012 ASP WOMEN'S WCT RATINGS:
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 48,400 pts
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 43,400 pts
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 40,700 pts
4. Tyler Wright (AUS) 36,700 pts
5. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 36,000 pts
6. Malia Manuel (HAW) 34,100 pts
7. Lakey Peterson (USA) 33,700 pts
8. Laura Enever (AUS) 32,800 pts
9. Coco Ho (HAW) 31,850 pts
10. Paige Hareb (NZL) 25,450 pts
11. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 22,000 pts
12. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 21,750 pts
13. Pauline Ado (FRA) 16,200 pts
13. Sage Erickson (USA) 16,200 pts
13. Sarah Mason (NZL) 16,200 pts
16. Silvana Lima (BRA) 13,950 pts
17. Justine Dupont (FRA) 12,750 pts
18. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 10,500 pts