Day 7 of the Vans US Open of Surfing competition began on a gloomy morning in Huntington Beach, CA with waves in the 3-4 foot range. Conditions were clean thanks to light winds and an incoming tide. Check out the video with the day’s Heat Highlights:
To start off the day, WCT surfer Jadson Andre (BRA) came up against rookie Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and Julian Wilson (AUS) verses up and coming Brazilian Alex Ribeiro (BRA). The first two heats of the morning were won convincingly by Andre and Wilson, both securing wave scores in the excellent range early in their heats. Wilson secured the highest wave score of the day on an overhead left straight into the pier. He released the tail perfectly in the pocket and finished with a huge floater for a 9.10.
The morning began to heat up with some really exciting battles. Bede Durbidge (AUS) defeated Miguel Pupo (BRA) in a close heat that exhibited the varying styles of professionals surfing on the 2013 World Tour. The smooth power carves from Durbidge proved superior to the fiery fast style of Miguel Pupo. Pupo was in need of a 5.94 but fell just short with a 5.70 on a smaller left that came in away from the pier. Also, an interference in the end of the heat gave Durbidge a secured lead.
Possibly one of the more exciting heats of the morning was Michel Bourez (PYF) against 11x World Champion Kelly Slater (USA). Everyone anticipated this to be a great matchup, some assuming Slater had it in the bag. This was not the case; Bourez narrowly defeated Slater in a very close scoring heat. Seeing Bourez pull off a frontside air for a 5.63 was an exciting moment of the heat and Slater falling on a couple good waves was definitely a surprise. He took to the air to please the crowd but with a one-maneuver wave, he only received a 6.37. Chasing a 5.43, Slater took off on a small left into the pier but did not get the score he needed. Upon being interviewed, Bourez admitted he did not think Kelly got the score on the small wave.
Heat 5 of the morning was the true meaning of a buzzer beater. CJ Hobgood (USA), former US Open Champion verses Hodei Collazo (EUK) from the Basque county in Spain. It was a nail biter down to the last 50 seconds. Collazo, needing a 5.43, took off on a right and completed three nice snaps and a cutback to a heavy claim to get the score he needed. Hobgood gave up his priority and Hodei caught the wave after him to receive that score. A tough loss for CJ Hobgood, but also a very important win for Collazo on his campaign to qualify for the WCT.
Next, Santa Cruz native Nat Young faced Charles Martin (GLP) of the Carribbean French region, Guadeloupe. Young dominated the heat, taking the win with the second highest heat total of the day. His display of backhand surfing is second to none at his age and status as a rookie on tour this year. He won here at the Vans Pier Classic in 2012 and is no stranger to the beach break here in Huntington Beach.
Mitch Crews (AUS) went off in his heat against Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) and acquired the highest heat total of the day. Crews released his aerial attack on the lefts into the pier pulling off a crazy inverted backside 360. He took the win over young South African, De Vries, with another solid wave when he took off on a long right and completed several turns. De Vries’ answer back fell short of the score he needed and he was eliminated from the prime event.
Day 7, Round 4 Vans US Open of Surfing Results:
1. Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.00
2. Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.93, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 8.60
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.10, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.17
4. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.80, Kelly Slater (USA) 11.54
5. Hodei Collazo (EUK) 12.80, CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.50
6. Matt Banting (AUS) 13.33, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 11.43
7. Nat Young (USA) 15.16, Charles Martin (GLP) 11.40
8. Mitch Crew (AUS) 15.27, Beyrick De Vries (AUS) 12.84