HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, July 31, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 US Open Junior Pro kicked off the nine-day marathon event at South Huntington Beach Pier by cutting the men’s ASP Pro Junior field in half from 64 surfers to 32. Tanner Hendrickson (Maui, HI), 18, and Miguel Pupo (Sao Paulo, BRA), 18, led the early rounds by posting the day’s top scores while defending women’s event champion Malia Manuel (Wailua, HI), 16, advanced through the women’s US Open Junior Pro action as the Semifinalists were decided in one-to-three foot (1 metre) surf.
Surfers competing on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series are out to finish within the top of their regional ratings in an attempt to qualify for the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour.
Hendrickson patiently navigated through the inconsistent conditions in his heat to pick off one of the day’s best waves while matching the event’s highest single wave score, an 8.67 out of 10, on the way to posting the day’s highest heat total, a solid 15.54 out of 20.
“I’m stoked with my heats this morning,” Hendrickson said. “I was in that heat with my good friend Keala (Naihe) and we were just splitting peaks and having fun. There’s a good bank out there and once the swell picks up I think it’s going to be a really good contest.”
With an increase in swell expected to fill in throughout the evening, the young Hawaiian is hungry to do battle with the event’s top seeds in improved conditions.
“I’m stoked to go against the top seeds, especially in good conditions,” Hendrickson said. “I’m just looking to try my best and hopefully get some good waves. As long as everyone is getting good waves, there’s nothing much more you can really ask for.”
Pupo relied on impressive rail-turns and new-school rotations to share the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.67 out of 10, while looking comfortable in Huntington’s tricky beachbreak conditions en route to two heat victories.
“Huntington is pretty good,” Pupo said. “I’ve been coming here for five years so it’s like home for me.”
Pupo, who is also competing in the Men’s ASP PRIME event, is hoping that his early round ASP Pro Junior success will help him build momentum before tackling some of the globe’s finest talent in an attempt to climb the ladder on the ASP World Ranking.
“I’m doing the PRIME event next week,” Pupo said. “Hopefully I can get a good result to help climb the ratings. It’s great to do this event first to get a feel for conditions and to get comfortable on your board.”
Manuel, who is the defending US Open Junior Pro Champion and the youngest ever winner of the Women’s ASP 6-Star event at 14, started strong in her opening heat to advance through to the Semifinals despite not competing in a contest for several months.
“I’m very happy to get that first heat out of the way,” Manuel said. “I haven’t surfed a contest since the last Pro Junior in March, so it’s good to get that first one under my belt. I’m looking forward to the whole week and I’m just happy to be doing more contests.”
The Hawaiian standout has focused on her health on her down time and reverted to an older magic-board to help get her settled in her first heat of the event.
“I went to Indonesia, but that’s obviously nothing like here (Huntington),” Manuel said. “I was also home for a month so that was nice, but I’ve just been focusing on staying healthy and working on boards. I stuck with my old faithful that I’ve been riding for a few months in that last heat and it worked out.”
Tomorrow’s US Open of Surfing action will continue with ASP Pro Junior competition beginning with the Men’s Round of 32 before concluding the day with the Women’s Semifinals. For event information log on to http://usopenofsurfing.com
For complimentary high-res images and video log on to http://usopenofsurfing.com/downloads
US Open Junior Pro Round of 40 Results:
Heat 1: Taylor Clark (USA) 10.23, Alex Smith (HAW) 9.26, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 8.83
Heat 2: Tanner Hendrickson (USA) 15.54, Kealamakia Naihe (HAW) 7.94, Nic Hdez (USA) 3.17
Heat 3: Ian Crane (USA) 13.87, Kyle McGeary (USA) 12.24, Derek Peters (USA) 10.94
Heat 4: John Florence (HAW) 6.27, Colton Larson (USA) 5.34, Balaram Stack (USA) 5.33
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.54, Taylor Clark (USA) 10.23, Alex Smith (USA) 9.26
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.83, Conner Coffin (USA) 13.54, Dane Zaun (USA) 3.10
Heat 7: Tayler Brothers (USA) 9.10, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 8.64, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.74
Heat 8: Jacob Halstead (USA) 13.17, Victor Done (USA) 9.83, Tyler Newton (HAW) 9.83
US Open Junior Pro Round of 64 Results:
Heat 1: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 8.94, Kealamakia Naihe (HAW) 7.94, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 7.70, Keto Burns (USA) 7.26
Heat 2: Alex Smith (HAW) 14.17, Nic Hdez (USA) 8.67, Billy Hopkins (USA) 8.37, Chase Brady (USA) 7.13
Heat 3: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 10.60, Taylor Clark (USA) 7.26, Christian Saenz (USA) 6.67, Ryan Croteaux (USA) 5.20
Heat 4: Derek Peters (USA) 8.84, Colton Larson (USA) 6.43, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 6.23, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 4.67
Heat 5: Ian Crane (USA) 9.47, John John Florence (HAW) 8.40, Nick Rupp (USA) 7.53, Kyle Galloway (ZAF) 4.57
Heat 6: Balaram Stack (USA) 8.50, Kyle McGeary (USA) 7.66, Kalani David (USA) 7.00, Austin Rowe (USA) 3.37
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.40, Dane Zaun (USA) 12.17, Antoine Allain (USA) 8.56, Jared Thorne (USA) 7.76
Heat 8: Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.90, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.07, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 8.24, Masato Yukawa (JPN) 7.67
Heat 9: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.77, Gabe Garcia (USA) 12.84, Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.60, J.D. Lewis (USA) 8.48
Heat 10: Tayler Brothers (USA) 10.33, Victor Done (USA) 6.92, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 6.27, Colton Sarlo (USA) 5.00
Heat 11: Makai McNamara (HAW) 10.60, Jacob Halstead (USA) 8.60, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 6.77, Taylor Thorne (USA) 6.66
Heat 12: Tyler Newton (HAW) 13.50, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 12.00, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.37, Billy Kemper (USA) 4.53
US Open Junior Pro Women’s Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.03, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.77, Justine Dupont (FRA) 9.30, Haley Watson (USA) 2.77
QF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 7.06, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 6.80, Taylor Pitz (USA) 4.40, Alexia Jeri (PER) 4.17
QF 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 14.93, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.50, Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.13, Jasset Umbel (USA) 4.64
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.40, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.36, Sarah Taylor (USA) 4.10, Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN) 0