HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Tuesday, August 3, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME US Open of Surfing marched through Round 1 of the main event in tricky one-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at South Huntington Beach Pier today and saw ASP Pro Junior Standouts Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20, and Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, rise to the top of the impressive field by posting some of the day’s top scores.
Competitors surfing in this year’s US Open of Surfing are out to capitalize on the mass of ratings points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking in an attempt to either solidify their position on or qualify for the 2011 ASP Dream Tour.
Larsen managed to navigate his way through a wave starved heat, but still crushed the day’s highest single-wave score of an impressive 8.93 out of 10 on the way to snagging the highest heat total of Round 1, 14.97 out of 20.
“There were no waves in the beginning of the heat,” Larsen said. “I was just looking for a wave that actually broke and my goal was just to get one turn out the back and do a turn on the inside. Then that magical left came and gave me two turns out the back. I’m stoked to get that last wave at the end and get an 8.97. I obviously really wanted to make that heat. I was pretty happy with it.”
Larsen, who was a standout in his opening ASP Pro Junior heat, hopes that he can use both the US Open Pro Junior and the men’s ASP PRIME main event to build momentum as the rounds progress.
“I feel like the more heats I do out here, the more confident I feel,” Larsen said. “I feel like I’ll do better in every heat, so hopefully it keeps going for me.”
Young, who is the defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, relied on a magic small-wave board to advance through today’s soft conditions while posting some of the day’s highest scores and expressed the importance of modified equipment for success at South Huntington Beach Pier today.
“I got two decent waves and my board goes really good out there,” Young said. “That helped a lot. Having a board that goes fast over those flat sections really helped.”
Young, who is still competing on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is currently sitting in the No. 74 position on the ASP World Ranking and has been focusing his time towards building his seed amongst the world’s finest up-and-comers and is becoming consistently more comfortable competing in ASP PRIME events.
“I feel more comfortable since I’ve been doing them quite a bit this year,” Young said. “It’s nice to be able to do both the Pro Junior and the PRIME event.”
Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), 21, marched through a potentially lethal round, eliminating two Huntington Beach locals. Palmboom’s win ousted both Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, and Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), 27, in Round 1.
“It’s definitely a dangerous draw for the first round,” Palmboom said. “Those guys both rip and surf out here every day. They’re definitely dangerous guys, but I just went out there guns blazing and was happy to win the heat.”
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, who posted the day’s highest scores in yesterday’s early rounds, continued to assert her dominance on her fellow competitors today by unleashing the highest score of Women’s US Open of Surfing, a near perfect 9.00 out of 10 despite the tricky decreasing swell on offer.
“The swell has dropped this morning,” Fitzgibbons said. “It’s a bit smaller for the Round of 12, but I was able to get a few high scores. The 9 was one of the bigger waves and it was a bit bowlier and offered two big turns. I just tried to go big on it and I’m happy to move through to the Quarterfinals.”
Fitzgibbons, who is currently rated No. 2 on the ASP Women’s Dream Tour, has been a constant Finalist throughout the season, and is hoping to keep the ball rolling in an attempt to take out this year’s historic $50,000 prize purse for this year’s Women’s US Open of Surfing winner.
“It’s one step closer to the $50,000 for sure,” Fitzgibbons said. “It’d be nice to make a Final here. I haven’t made a Final here at the US Open. Huntington is one of those challenging waves that would be pretty cool to master and with that extra incentive, people are pushing the level.”
The US Open of Surfing runs from July 31 through August 8, 2010 and is webcast LIVE via www.usopenofsurfing.com
Tomorrow’s action will see the event’s top seeds hit the water at 7:30am local time.
For complimentary high-res image and video downloads log on to www.usopenofsurfing.com/downloads
Men’s US Open of Surfing Round of 128 Results:
Heat 1: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 14.00, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 10.53, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.93, James Taipan Wood (AUS) 7.86
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.60, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.17, Ian Gentil (HAW) 7.00, Corey Ziems (AUS) 6.60
Heat 3: Marcio Giorgi (URY) 10.83, Eric Geiselman (USA) 7.16, Brian Toth (PRI) 5.44, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 1.93
Heat 4: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 10.57, Marcio Farney (BRA) 10.10, Shaun Ward (USA) 8.47, Brad Ettinger (USA) 6.97
Heat 5: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.10, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.27, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.83, Tom Curren (USA) 9.66
Heat 6: Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 9.90, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 9.43, Kieran Horn (USA) 9.20, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 8.00
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) 14.83, Blake Wilson (AUS) 12.67, Jean da Silva (BRA) 11.37, Adam Robertson (AUS) 9.10
Heat 8: Luke Davis (USA) 13.33, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.83, Rhys Bombaci (AUS) 10.37, T.J. Barron (HAW) 12.83
Heat 9: Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 14.93, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 13.57, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.50, Joel Centeio (HAW) 10.26
Heat 10: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 12.50, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 12.04, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 9.67, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 6.93
Heat 11: Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.97, Jack Perry (AUS) 14.60, Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.27, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.77
Heat 12: Paulo Moura (BRA) 12.93, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.60, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 9.47, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 8.70
Heat 13: Dylan Graves (PRI) 12.36, Mason Ho (HAW) 9.77, John John Florence (HAW) 8.66, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 7.76
Heat 14: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 10.84, Diego Rosa (BRA) 8.64, Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) 7.27, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 3.27
Heat 15: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.16, Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.70, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 7.63, Kai Barger (HAW) 5.43
Heat 16: Andre Silva (BRA) 12.50, Eneko Acero (EUK) 8.43, Mike Losness (USA) 8.07, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.04
Women’s US Open of Surfing Round of 12 Results:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.83, Lakey Peterson (USA) 5.73, Chantelle Rautenbach (ZAF) 5.27
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.77, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.36, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 8.57
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.17, Justine Dupont (FRA) 8.67, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 8.06
Heat 4: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 12.64, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 10.20, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.60