US Open Of Surfing: Day 5 Highlights
Under warm tropical skies, the 2012 US Open steam-rolled through day four at Huntington Beach Pier with the ladies of the ASP World Tour taking center stage. One to two foot waves gently nuzzled the pier while the women ran through their second and third rounds in glassy, though tricky, conditions. "It was really hard to predict which waves were going to open up," said 2011 US Open winner and todays standout Sally Fitzgibbons.
Later in the morning, the waves softened as the tide went high and Aussie Rebecca Woods was eliminated by French sophomore Pauline Ado. Before this loss, Rebecca was ranked equal 10th (tied with New Zealander Paige Hareb). Tenth place is the cutoff for automatic Tour requalification, so now she must decide if she wants spend another year on the WCT. If so, she'll need to fare well in the year's remaining QS event.
Orange County favorite Courtney Conlogue scored the highest heat total of the day after dropping over 17 points, and fellow Californian Lakey Peterson sent 2012 World Champ Stephanie Gilmore and Malia Manuel to the fourth round. "It feels really good to get to the quarters," said Conlogue. "Last year, I got to the quarters, so hopefully, I can get a little further than that. I'm just trying to build on this year and finish strong. I'm trying to really give it my all, slam turns, and see what I need to work on for next year."
As the wind picked up and tide dropped, the men simply hovered above the chop and managed to draw solid scores in the debris. Brazilian Gabriel Medina and Pat Gudauskas both hustled up over 17-points with big turns mixed with airs. On the other side of the fun was Josh Kerr who said he was hoping for a "party wave" when he tried to do an air over Brazilian Willian Cardoso, but instead ended up with an interference and equal 25th.
In the last heat of the day, 2X Time US Open Champ and HB local Brett Simpson advanced to the non-elimination round of 24–along with John John Florence, Pat Gudauskas, and day 3 standout Julian Wilson.
"I'm stoked to make another heat. I was kind of worried for a little bit there—the waves were really hard to surf and section," said John John. "I think the waves are supposed to pick up a little tomorrow, so it'll be fun."—Casey Butler
ASP Press Release: Californians Dominate Huntington Beach on Day 5 of Nike US Open of Surfing
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Wednesday, August 1, 2012) – The 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing saw the world's best surfers return to challenge one another and the one-to-three foot (0.5 mtere) surf on offer today at Huntington Beach Pier, narrowing the field in both the men's ASP Prime and Women's ASP WCT divisions.
Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, current No. 5 on the ASP Women's WCT ratings, was responsible for two heat wins today. The talented natural-footer started strong with a Round 2 victory and advanced directly through to the Quarterfinals in dominant fashion while amassing the event's highest scores. Conlogue snatched a 9.10 on the way to a 17.27 out of 20 heat total for a combination of committed outside backhand turns and punctuated her scores with progressive tail-drifting turns on the inside.
"I think having that early morning heat today allowed me to shake the nerves out," Conlogue said. "I think I was on the wrong equipment yesterday and today my board was going perfectly through those flat sections. I'm glad I had that morning heat to work things out." Conlogue, the local favorite in women's competition, was feeling additional pressure to perform in front of her hometown crowd, but feels the confidence from today's success eases the nerves that came along in the earlier rounds.
"I was pretty nervous before this event for some reason," Conlogue said. "I think I was trying to aim too much for perfection and not focusing on the basics, which is what I've been training so hard for and working on. Today, I just calmed down and realized it's just another World Tour event and do what I've been practicing. It feels so good getting another fifth here already, so I'm glad I don't have to do another sudden-death round because Sage (Erickson) and Tyler (Wright) have been surfing amazing."
Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, was another Californian to dominate her international challengers today with an array of progre