Written by Lauren Taniyama
Nearly a week has gone by, yet the US Open still holds many more big match-ups and even bigger upsets waiting to happen. Day 5 of the competition, Wednesday, August 1st, saw some upsets on the women’s world tour while the men’s competition heated up with some big names getting eliminated. World tour surfers Adam Melling (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) were some of the guys that fell in Round 2. World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) was ousted by rookie on tour Sage Erickson (USA).
The first heat of the morning was dominated by Gabriel Medina scoring a 9.07 eight minutes into the heat with a great combination of maneuvers with his signature air reverse. He later sealed the deal with a 8.90 and had the field comboed pretty early on. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) snuck in at the last second getting the score he needed in the last minute of the heat. Adriano De Souza (BRA) and Granger Larsen came out on top of their heat. However, Larsen narrowly escaped defeat with Heitor Alves (BRA) losing by less than one point with one of those stressful waits at the end of the heat for the score. In the third heat of the day Mitch Coleborn (AUS) and Nat Young (USA) flipped back and forth between 1st and 2nd and both ended up advancing out the heat with Young taking out Josh Kerr (AUS).
John John Florence (HAW) has been on fire all year and overcame 2 time US Open Champion Brett Simpson (USA) to take 1st in his heat. Simpson took second over Caio Ibelli (BRA) who was one to watch in the earlier rounds and Gabe Kling (USA) who is a seasoned veteran of Huntington Beach. The next heat of the day was a cracker with big names and big performances. Julian Wilson (AUS) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA) held on to the top stops throughout the entire heat. Joel Parkinson sat in 4th the entire heat, with Pat and Julian demonstrating some great power surfing, Pat’s backside attack and solid wave selection allowed him to secure two waves in the excellent range, while Julian took to the air to get the scores he needed. The last heat of Round 2 saw this year’s US Open double threat Keanu Asing (HAW) take a convincing win over world tour surfer Travis Logie (ZAF) and Aussie Davey Cathels (AUS). Taylor Lincoln took 2nd to secure his spot in the next round and continue his battle for this year’s US Open title.
The women’s competition saw Rounds 2 & 3 run to completion. Re-qualifying campaigns were halted as well as rekindled with a mixture of results in Round 2. Paige Hareb (NZL) helped her cause by winning over Sarah Mason (NZL). Sofia Mulanovich (PER) fell to Sage Erickson (USA) and has fallen down a few spots on the world rankings. She will need to compete in the rest of the qualifying events this year in order to gain more points to ensure she re-qualifies. This is the first time she has fallen off tour in over seven years. Tyler Wright (AUS) took out the wildcard Dax McGill (HAW) with no real challenge.
Courtney Conolgue was the standout of Round 2 banking with highest two wave total of the round at 14.93. She went on to get 1st in her Round 3 heat as well as the highest heat total again of 17.27 from two back to back excellent range waves. She went straight to the Quarterfinals which will run on Friday. Round 3 was saw some of the best performances from the ladies thus far with rookie Lakey Peterson (USA) coming out on top of 2012 World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and 2008 US Open Champion Malia Manuel (HAW). Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Carissa Moore (HAW) both took 1st in their three woman heats to go straight to the Quarterfinals.
And that wraps up Day 5 of the Nike US Open of Surfing. Stay tuned for more action this weekend and watch out for the The Surf Channel!