HUNTINGTON BEACH, California / USA ( Saturday, July 30, 2011) – The opening day of the 2011 Nike US Open of Surfing saw some of the world’s best under-21 surfers take to the water in peaky two-to-four foot waves at Huntington Beach Pier to complete two rounds of men’s and women’s ASP 4-Star Pro Junior competition.
While the Nike Pro Junior offers crucial points towards American surfers’ qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Tour, several international talents are using the event to help prepare for the men’s ASP PRIME and ASP Women’s World Tour events.
Maxime Huscenot (REU), 19, 2009 ASP World Junior Champion, dismantled the tricky Huntington Beach Pier conditions to notch the day’s highest-heat total of 15.67 (out of 20) while earning two heat victories today.
“Huntington is a really hard wave and this morning I got lucky and got two waves at the beginning and it put me in a good position for the whole heat,” Huscenot said. “My second heat was a bit harder because the tide was high and there were not many waves as well.”
Huscenot, who is competing in the Nike US Open Trials in hopes to advance into the main event, feels that competing in the ASP Pro Junior division has helped prepare him for his quest for a spot in the main round of men’s ASP PRIME competition.
“The junior is a big event, but I also wanted to warm up for the PRIME, I’m in the trials,” Huscenot said. “I feel a bit better after a couple of heats because when you first paddle out you’re kind of stressing and you don’t know what to expect. Now I feel more relaxed.”
John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 17, who recently finished runner-up at the ASP PRIME in South Africa, was another example of the premier level of talent in this year’s Nike US Open Pro Junior draw. The Hawaiian charger took out a convincing Round 2 victory with a 14 point heat-total.
“I’m psyched to get the heat win, it’s really hard to get the right ones because there are a lot of bumps out there,” Florence said. “I got lucky and got a couple. I’m super stoked that I got into the Junior and get a warm up and get my boards going.”
Ian Crane (San Clemente, CA), 17, was one American to shine among the international contingent in the early rounds of Nike US Open competition when he defeated dangerous Brazilian Jesse Mendes (BRA), 18, in his Round 2 heat with a solid 14.34 (out of 20) heat total.
“I’m super stoked to get that first heat win,” Crane said. “All of those international guys are capable of winning the event, so for one of them to go down early I guess is pretty big. I guess it loosens up the draw a little. It’s pretty crazy with how many good guys there are in the event.”
Crane relied on his years of amateur competitive experience at Huntington Beach Pier and felt at home despite the bumpy conditions.
“There are so many contests out here with the south swell,” Crane said. “I feel comfortable out there and I have fun when it’s like this.”
Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, CA), 16, navigated through the onshore afternoon conditions to net the highest heat-total of women’s competition, 14.33 out of 20, to advance through to the Semifinals.
“It was really hard out there, but I kept reminding myself that everyone has to surf the same thing and that really helped me,” Peterson said. “I’m really stoked to get that first heat win.”
Tomorrow will see the Nike US Open of Surfing Trials unfold beginning with the Round of 128 at 8am local time.
LIVE webcast of the Nike US Open of surfing will run from August 1 through 7, 2011 via www.usopenofsurfing.com
Nike US Open Pro Junior Men’s Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.47, Arashi Kato (JPN) 13.26, Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.20, Nick Rupp (USA) 7.97
Heat 2: Taylor Clark (USA) 11.76, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (AUS) 10.66, Parker Coffin (USA) 8.34, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 7.47
Heat 3: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 13.43, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.90, Dane Zaun (USA) 9.27, Cameron Richards (USA) 4.94
Heat 4: Taylor Thorne (USA) 13.43, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 9.90, Keto Burns (USA) 9.50, Austin Rowe (USA) 7.50
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 14.00, Jacob Halstead (USA) 11.90, Keala Naihe (HAW) 9.83, Chris Tucker (USA) 3.76
Heat 6: Balaram Stack (USA) 12.93, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 12.10, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 9.60, Billy Hopkins (USA) 7.87
Heat 7: Ian Crane (USA) 14.34, Colin Moran (USA) 13.27, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.06, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 5.13
Heat 8: Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 11.04, Christian Saenz (USA) 9.24, J.D. Lewis (USA) 6.80, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 4.56
Nike US Open Pro Junior Men’s Round of 64 Results:
Heat 1: Jack Freestone (AUS), 12.44, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (AUS) 11.04, Kalani David (USA) 9.23, Colton Sarlo (USA) 4.90
Heat 2: Parker Coffin (USA) 10.17, Arashi Kato (JPN) 6.83, Tommy Wehsener (USA) 6.36, MAkai McNamara (HAW) 3.63
Heat 3: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 15.67, Austin Rowe (USA) 7.13, Cole Richards (USA) 7.00, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 4.23
Heat 4: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 13.17, Cameron Richards (USA) 10.87, Derrick Disney (USA) 10.17, Derek Peters (USA) 8.53
Heat 5: Keala Naihe (HAW) 12.07, Billy Hopkins (USA) 9.34, Dale Staples (ZAF) 8.74, Theo Lewitt (USA) 7.03
Heat 6: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.17, Chris Tucker (USA) 11.27, Nic Hdez (USA) 8.67, Theo Niarchos (HAW) 3.60
Heat 7: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.20, Christian Saenz (USA) 13.17, Evan Kane (USA) 11.50, Ian Simmons (USA) 7.54
Heat 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.66, Colin Moran (USA) 8.74, Ryan Croteau (USA) 6.63, Max Colvin (USA) 5.90
Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.34, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.10, Meah Collins (USA) 7.20, Chandler Parr (USA) 2.76
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.33, Leila Hurst (HAW) 12.50, Quincy Davis (USA) 7.23, Shelby Detmers (USA) 6.33
Heat 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.12, Alexa Frantz (USA) 6.73, Jasset Umbel (USA) 6.33, Natalie Anzivino (USA) 5.26
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.14, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.87, Taylor Pitz (USA) 10.57, Naomi Stevic (AUS) 5.27
Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.94, Quincy Davis (USA) 11.00, Chelsea Roett (BRB) 10.03, Bailey Nagy (HAW) 6.50
Heat 2: Shelby Detmers (USA) 10.56, Chandler Parr (USA) 9.03, Haley Watson (USA) 6.03, Frankie Harrer (USA) 4.50
Heat 3: Alexa Frantz (USA) 11.10, Naomi Stevic (AUS) 10.77, Lani Doherty (HAW) 8.43, Alisha Gonsalves (USA) 8.30
Heat 4: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 9.67, Natalie Anzivino (USA) 5.24, Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) 4.57, Filippa Ferrara (USA) 1.40