HUNTINGTON BEACH, California / USA (Monday, July 25, 2011) – In less than one week a premier list of surfing talent will flock to Huntington Beach to do battle for the prestigious ASP PRIME Nike US Open of Surfing Title. This year’s event will see elite ASP Dream Tour campaigner and local hero Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, return to defend his hometown crown against surfing’s juggernauts from July 30 through August 7, 2011.
In addition to the men’s ASP PRIME event, the 2011 Nike US Open will also represent the final stop on the ASP Women’s World Title Series as well as men’s and women’s ASP 4-Star Pro Junior divisions.
Brett Simpson, reigning two-time Nike US Open of Surfing Champion, is looking to use the pressure that comes along with being defending event winner as additional motivation to defend his title against several of the world’s best surfers.
“I’m definitely stoked with my achievements the last few years and know I can win, so it’s all about rolling with the flow and doing what works,” Simpson said. “There’s always a little pressure but sometimes it’s a good thing!”
Simpson, current No. 14 on the Men’s ASP World Ranking, will replace the points from last year’s Nike US Open of Surfing title with his result this year and knows that another solid result is crucial in remaining in the top tier of the standings.
“Last year’s win is one of my bigger results so it’s definitely one I need to do well in,” Simpson said. “For me to save those points I have to win, so I guess there’s no other way around it! But, the other side is with the new format you can do well somewhere else you haven’t and get points as well.”
The Huntington Beach native has established himself as a standout around the globe, but is looking to capitalize on his intimate knowledge of the Huntington Beach lineup to propel himself to another top finish at this year’s event.
“Huntington is home,” Simpson said. “I’m going to go out there with that feeling of what I do on a daily basis! That brings comfort and that’s when most people compete their best. I know that’s when I do well!”
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 25, who competes alongside Simpson among the elite ASP Top 34, is one competitor who is ready to feed off of the massive crowds’ energy surrounding that natural amphitheatre of Huntington Beach Pier.
“I love the US Open,” Gudauskas said. “The wave offers progressive surfing in the stadium style pier and beach. I grew up watching great performances like AI (Andy Irons) and Cory Lopez winning the event. I just loved the energy the crowd had with the surfing. It’s one of the best events for that energy. I don’t think it’s too hard to focus on surfing out there for me because I just love to feed on the spectators’ froth! The whole circus is less of a distraction and more of an inspiration.”
Gudauskas, who won the last ASP PRIME event in South Africa, plans on using the confidence built by his major victory earlier this month to produce another standout performance at this year’s Nike US Open of Surfing.
“I think winning is always great for your confidence,” Gudauskas said. “I felt like I’ve been surfing well all season but haven’t had that break through result and performance yet. To do it in Ballito was amazing ‘cause the waves were so good. I’m hungry to keep the roll going.”
Gudauskas, current No. 15 on the ASP World Ranking, knows the Huntington Beach lineup can often be difficult to read, but feels his ample experience with the wave will give him the opportunity to succeed in this year’s event.
“HB is for sure tricky,” Gudauskas said. “There’s tons of personality to her. Luckily we’ve been competing and surfing out there since we were groms, so I feel comfortable with the line ups and style of wave. Obviously guys like Brett Simpo and Timmy Reyes are great guys to see what they’re doing the day of the comps etc, but I just like riding lots of waves and giving myself opportunity to do some cool airs and moves.”
Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 17, who is a wildcard in this year’s main event, is looking to capitalize on the crucial points on offer to build his ASP World Ranking.
“I’m super excited that I got a wildcard in to this year’s US Open,” Geiselman said. “There are a lot of points on offer for my World Ranking and doing well here really helps build your future.”
Geiselman, who is the defending men’s Nike US Open Pro Junior Champion, is also hungry to defend his title against the nation’s finest under-21 talent as well as confirm his spot for the 2011 ASP World Junior Tour.
“I won the Pro Junior last year, so I guess I’m feeling a bit of pressure to do well,” Geiselman said. “One more result would also really help solidify my spot on the World Junior Tour, so this is an important event for the Junior surfers.”
In addition to the premier ASP surfing event, the US Open has several additional parts to the festival, including bmx, skate, music and art, all of which are free to the public.
To watch the Nike US Open of Surfing LIVE log on to www.usopenofsurfing.com