The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing is about to swell to a fever pitch in the coming days at the Huntington Beach Pier.
The stretch drive of the nine days of action sports, including the world's largest surfing competition, and BMX and skateboarding contests, begins Friday, concludes Saturday and ends with Women's and Men's surfing finals on Sunday.
Some of the top surfers in the world began testing the surf at the pier last Saturday with the start of the U.S. Open of Surfing Men's Pro Junior competition.
"We were really pleased with the kickoff weekend," said James Leitz, vice president and executive producer of IMG Action Sports, which organizes the event. "The action in the water was great. The crowd was the right size and was well-behaved. It set a nice tone for the rest of the Open."
The men's trials started Sunday, and the competition moved into the Main Round on Monday and Tuesday. Huntington's Brett Simpson, who won back-to-back men's U.S. Open of Surfing titles in 2009-10, finished third in his Main Round 1 heat Tuesday but did not advance.
Defending men's U.S. Open of Surfing champion Filipe Toledo of Brazil won his opening heat Tuesday.
Round 3 of the men's competition is Friday (7:30 a.m.), and Round 4 is Saturday (8 a.m.). Sunday will feature the quarterfinals (8 a.m.), semifinals (11 a.m.) and final (12:35 p.m.).
The opening round of the women's competition also was Tuesday. The quarterfinals are Friday (11:30 a.m.), and the semifinals (10 a.m.) and final (noon) are Sunday.
The women's field included defending U.S. Open of Surfing champion Tyler Wright (Australia), local favorite Courtney Conlogue, Malia Manuel (Hawaii), Dimitry Stoyle (Australia), Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (Hawaii), Alessa Quizon (Hawaii), Carissa Moore (Hawaii), Nikki Van Dijk (Australia), Chelsea Tuach (Barbados), Silvana Lima (Brazil), Keely Andrew (Australia), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Johanne Defay (France), Sage Erickson (USA), Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), Tatiana Weston (Hawaii) and Laura Enever (Australia).
Manuel, Ho, Van Dijk, Conlogue, Defay and Weston won their opening heats on Tuesday and each auomatically advanced to Round 3 on Wednesday. Buitendag, Quizon (who eliminated Wright), Moore, Fitzgibbons, Peterson and Lima won their two-person Round 2 elimination heats Wednesday to also advance to Round 3.
The Men's Pro Junior quarterfinals were Thursday. The field included Kanoa Igarashi of Huntington Beach. The other quarterfinalists are Kalani David (Hawaii), Parker Coffin (USA), Deivid Silva (Brazil), Seth Moniz (USA), Hiroto Arai (Japan), Jake Kelley (USA), Takumi Nakamura (Japan), Cam Richards (USA), Noe Mar (Costa Rica), Colt Ward (USA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Soli Bailey (Australia), Dylan Lightfoot (South Africa), Shane Sykes (South Africa), and Joshua Burke (Barbados).
On Saturday, the Men's Pro Junior semifinals will be at 12:50 p.m., with the final at 2:10.
Igarashi also was vying for the men's title in the U.S. Open. He won his Main Round 1 opening heat Monday to advance to a Round 2 heat Wednesday.
The two Women's Pro Junior semifinals heats are set. Competing in Heat 1 at noon Friday will be Meah Collins (USA), Caroline Marks (USA), Zoe McDougall (Hawaii), and Tiare Thompson (USA). The second semifinals heat includes Chelsea Tuach (Barbados), Brisa Hennessy (Hawaii), Frankie Harrer (USA), and Holly Wawn (Australia).
The Women's Pro Junior final is at 1:40 p.m. Saturday.
The quarterfinals and finals of the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational (longboard), presented by Pacifico, will start at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The final is at 2:40 p.m. Saturday.
"Some of the best surfers in the world once again are assembled in Huntington Beach," Leitz said. "It's pretty exciting to see these athletes competing for this prestigious title."
This is the third year of the Van Doren Invitational, a major event on the skate and BMX calendar.
The Van Doren Invitational got underway Sunday at the all-cement Vans Pro Bowl. The Shop Battle, featuring nine of the state's best skate shops vying for a $6,000 prize, was won by SoCal Skate of Mission Viejo, which finished ahead of second-place Joker's Skate Shop of Huntington Beach.
The women's skate contest was Tuesday and was won by Allysha Bergado of El Segundo, who claimed the $5,000 grand prize.
Skaters competing in the Van Doren Invitational are scheduled to start practice sessions at 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Van Doren Invitational/Pro Skate Qualifiers are at 4 p.m. Friday. Thirty wild-card skaters will contend for the final 10 spots in the Van Doren Invitational/Pro Skate Qualifiers starting at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Van Doren Invitational Men's Skate Final starts at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Van Doren Invitational BMX Final is at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, followed at 12:20 p.m. by the High Air Contest Final.*
U.S. Open of Surfing Schedule
7:30-11:30 a.m.: Men's Round 3 (Heats 1-8, Surf Stadium)
8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Vans U.S. Open Retail Store/Merchandise Kiosks Open
9:10-10:55 a.m.: BMX Practice (Vans Pro Bowl)
10-11 a.m.: Surfing Walk of Fame Induction (Huntington Surf and Sport)
11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: BMX Prelims (Vans Pro Bowl)
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Women's Quarterfinals (Heats 1-4, Surf Stadium)
12:50-1:30 p.m,: BMX Practice (Vans Pro Bowl)
1:30-2:50 p.m.: Quarterfinals/DTI presented by Pacifico (Longboard, Surf Stadium)
2-4 p.m.: Skate Practice/Rider Registration (Vans Pro Bowl)
2:50-3:40 p.m.: Semifinals/ DTI presented by Pacifico (Longboard, Surf Stadium)
3-4 p.m.: VANS BMX Team Autograph Signing
3:40-4:30 p.m.: Life Rolls On: Expression Session (Surf Stadium)
4-6:00 p.m.: Van Doren Invitational/Pro Skate Qualifiers (Vans Pro Bowl)
8 a.m.-noon: Men's Round 4 (Heats 1-8, Surf Stadium)
8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Vans U.S. Open Retail Store/Merch Kiosks Open
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Skate Practice/Rider Registration (Vans Pro Bowl)
Noon-12:50 p.m.: Junior Women Semifinals (Surf Stadium)
12:30-2:30 p.m.: F45 Playoffs (Fitness Challenge) Individual Finals (Sponsor Village)
12:50-1:40 p.m.: Junior Men Semifinals (Surf Stadium)
1:40p-2:10 p.m.: Women's Pro Junior Final (Surf Stadium)
2:10-2:40 p.m.: Men's Pro Junior Final (Surf Stadium)
2:40-3:10 p.m.: Joel Tudor DTI presented by Pacifico (Longboard) Final (Surf Stadium)
3-5 p.m.: Van Doren Invitational/Pro Semifinals (Vans Pro Bowl)
3:10-3:30 p.m.: Pro Junior Women & Men, DTI Surfing Awards (Surf Stadium)
5-6 p.m.: Van Doren Invitational Final (Vans Pro Bowl)
6-6:15 p.m.: Skate Awards (Vans Pro Bowl)
8 a.m.-7:00 p.m.: Vans US Open Retail Store/Merch Kiosks Open
8-10 a.m.: Men's Quarterfinals (Heat 1-4, Surf Stadium)
9-11 a.m.: BMX Practice (Vans Pro Bowl)
10-11:00 a.m.: Women's Semifinals (Surf Stadium)
11:00-noon: Men's Semifinals (Surf Stadium)
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Van Doren Invitational BMX Final (Vans Pro Bowl)
12:20-12:30 p.m.: High Air Contest Final (Vans Pro Bowl)
Noon-12:35 p.m.: Women's U.S. Open of Surfing Final (Surf Stadium)
12:30-12:35 p.m.: Van Doren Invitational BMX/High Air Contest Awards (Vans Pro Bowl)
12:35-1:10 p.m.: Men's Vans U.S. Open of Surfing Final (Surf Stadium)
1:10-1:30 p.m.: U.S. Open of Surfing Awards (Surf Stadium)
2-5 p.m.: F45 Playoffs (Fitness Challenge) Team Finals (Sponsor Village)
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