Today, August 3rd, 2012, competition heated up in Huntington Beach at the Nike US Open of Surfing, with an increase in southwest swell and a touch of local wind swell to produce the biggest waves of the competition so far. With larger waves come larger scores, and today boasted the highest wave scores of the entire competition. There were a few disappointments in the men’s elimination rounds, but those who were victorious are now looking forward to the weekend with the finals approaching and more swell on the horizon.
Men’s Round 4 was kicked off by an all Californian heat with Tanner Gudauskas (USA) and Timmy Reyes (USA) facing off in semi-smooth morning condition with 3-4ft surf. Reyes beat Tanner while holding the lead almost the entire heat and sealed the win with a clutch pier bowl left releasing his tail and getting a 6.5 . Heat 2 was an Australian affair with somewhat low scores. Kai Otton (AUS) and Jay Thompson (AUS) battled into the dying minutes of the heat when Kai needed a 7.04 and the ocean provided as he scored a 7.10 by executing a two big turns including a huge lay back snap into the pier to take the heat win.
Kelly Slater (USA) took on Stu Kennedy (AUS) and convincingly took the win scoring a 9.20 in the first couple minutes of the heat with two huge turns on a left into the pier. Kennedy answered back with a humongous backside 360 air for a 7.33 but fell short when he could not get a solid back up score. Dane Reynolds (USA) and Yadin Nicol (AUS) saw a somewhat slow heat which is the last thing spectators would want from these two surfers. Finally, midway through the heat, Dane completely annihilated a left with pushed two huge turns to the limit for a 8.17. Yadin was unable to secure a high score through the rest of the heat and lost out.
Granger Larsen (HAW) took on Alex Ribeiro (BRA) and while trailing in the back half of the heat he locked in two good scores to take 1st place. He laid down some heavy powerful turns on the left into the pier which the judges scored well. Unlike previous heats of the round Heat 6 was front loaded with action and the top waves were all in the beginning of the heat. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) and Nat Young (USA) had a great match up that made for a close and exciting heat. It was Nat Young’s 6.67 where he completed a backside 180 reverse with a lay back to top it off that finished the heat.
The second to last heat of the round was between double threat Keanu Asing (HAW) and local boy Patrick Gudauskas (USA). This heat saw a lot of waves ridden and the surfers were fired up. Multiple exchanges made for an exciting heat with suspense at the end. Asing, with two minutes left and needing a 6.11, caught a super sick left and nailed a couple great power hacks to score a 7.23 to take the win. Asing has been surfing heats since last weekend, and stated that the trials heats tired him out because there were tougher than the competition heats.
The final heat of the day for the men was HB local favorite and 2-time US Open Champion Brett Simpson (USA) versus Lincoln Taylor (AUS). The heat started off with a couple good exchanges but Simpson took the win combining his first and last waves of the heat. Taylor was left needing a 8.23 which is no easy task. The win went to Simpson and he moved on the Round 5.
Tomorrow’s competition is filled with big name match ups, and is bound to serve up some awesome surfing. The Junior events will finish up and the quarter finalists for the men’s competition will be decided. Stay tuned for a big announcement today from The Surf Channel!