HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Friday, July 19, 2013) – The 2013 ASP Prime Vans US Open of Surfing is just days from commencement and with over 20 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) surfers scheduled to compete at Huntington Beach Pier, Australian Julian Wilson, 24, will be leading the international elite as defending event champion.
The Vans US Open of Surfing represents the fourth of eight ASP Prime events on the 2013 calendar, playing a pivotal role in deciding qualifiers for next year’s ASP Top 34.
Julian Wilson took out the 2012 US Open of Surfing in front of a capacity crowd to secure the ASP Prime event last year and the progressive Australian is returning to Surf City in an attempt to defend the crown against his elite peers.
“It was a career highlight to win last year in front of the biggest crowd I’ve surfed in front of and also in front of my sponsor,” Wilson said “I’m excited about defending the title and having another fun event surfing with the big crowds. Let’s hope for a fun little swell and we already know it’ll be hot sunny days.”
Wilson is fresh off of a major victory at the latest Prime event is South Africa and will be entering the Vans US Open of Surfing with heightened confidence from his recent success.
“I’m looking forward to putting on the singlet and getting amongst it,” Wilson said. “I’m really happy with the last event and I like going to California.”
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, current No. 4 on the ASP WCT and past US Open Runner-Up, has proven to be lethal in the Huntington Beach lineup and is one of several top international seeds hunting a maiden Vans US Open of Surfing Title. While the South African has already paved his way to one final, he knows the road to the podium is no easy task.
“This US Open is a tough event all up,” Smith said. “You have the ‘CT guys trying to hold there spot as well as the QS guys wanting to qualify, and to through in a spanner, the waves, your element is the lot. You have to be really smart about your heats and waves you ride. Most importantly finishing them on the sand.”
Smith has already clinched one massive win this year, securing an ASP WCT victory in Brazil, and now has his sights set on the prestigious Huntington Beach title.
“The US Open is the biggest surf contest of the year and everyone is in it,” Smith said. “It’s really a big deal for anyone who does it, plus there’s 100 thousand dollars up for grabs. That’s amazing.”
Yadin Nicol (AUS), 28, former US Open runner-up, is another international talent ready to do battle at this year’s Vans US Open of Surfing. The ASP WCT alternate is in need of a big result to rejoin next year’s ASP Top 34 and feels Huntington Pier’s stadium atmosphere adds unmatched excitement and motivation to his competitive experience.
“I think the main attraction for the competitors would be the crowd on the beach, stadiums and pier,” Nicol said. “It’s the closest we ever get to surfing in an arena and out of the water it’s total mayhem. Surfing in front of a massive crowd like that is the highlight of my US Open experience.”
Additional names in this year’s Vans US Open of Surfing draw include 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 41, ASP World Title threat Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, ASP WCT No. 10 Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, Michel Bourez (PYF), 26, Miguel Pupo (BRA), 21, San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino (USA), 19, ASP WCT rookies Nat Young (USA), 22, Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, and progressive wizard Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, amongst others.
Surfline, official surf forecasters for the Vans US Open of Surfing, are calling for: Medium size SSW swell to prevail for the opening weekend of the event, with a slow fading trend early to mid next week. A fun size SSW swell is on track to provide waves for the last few days of the event.
In addition to all of the ASP action, the 2013 Vans US Open is a massive action sports festival that will also include the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational, BMX and Skate Competitions, performances from Modest Mouse, The Faint, Matt Costa and more.
The Vans US Open of Surfing will run from July 20 through 28 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.vansusopenofsurfing.com/live
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