Today was a great day for the women competing at the 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA. The US Open is the only ASP sanctioned event in North America and the largest surfing event in the world. Those two facts force the level of talent up a notch. The women have stepped up to the plate to show that this is a very important stop on WCT, as the top two contenders for the title are separated by only 800 points.
The Round 4 match ups were exciting to watch and a good amount of waves were ridden in all four heats. Conditions were still really fun for the start of the women’s event that began around noon. The first match up to hit the water was Laura Enever (AUS) against 5x World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). The battle between the two women was a predominantly backhand affair, as both girls opted for the lefts into the pier. Enever selected the better waves of the sets and came out on top defeating the defending World Champion. The Australian Billabong competitor looked fired up and her turns were critical as she strung together a number of good maneuvers on each left.
In heat 2, rookie Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) took down veteran Silvana Lima (BRA). Buitendag opened up with a 6.67, the highest wave score of the heat. The South African’s backhand attack is a serious weapon and she exhibits a high level of power in her surfing considering she is only 19 years old. Lima is known for her powerful turns but she fell short, trailing behind for the entire heat.
The match up of the day had to be the return of last year’s US Open Final rematch between the event’s defending champion Lakey Peterson (USA) and former World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW). The heat went off as the crowd roared for each of the girls’ performances. As the swell seemed to fill in during the third heat of the round, the line up spread out a bit and the right off the pier bowl began breaking.
Peterson opened her account with a 7.17 on a nice right where she finished strong after completing one solid cutback. She then carried the lead for half the heat until Moore went on a rampage and locked in a 7.0 and a 7.07 on a right and a left that she caught in about three minutes time. Peterson, needing a 6.90, tried to fight back however Moore furthered her lead with a solid left into the pier, on which she received the highest wave score of the day, a 7.67. Moore’s final wave increased the score Lakey needed to a 7.58 which she was unable to find in the last minutes of the heat.
The last heat of the day in the main event was between social media phenomenon Alana Blanchard (HAW) and world number thirteen Pauline Ado (FRA). Ado stayed focused throughout the heat as she defeated Blanchard with an impressive show on her frontside. Their heat saw a number of good exchanges on the fun chest high rights off the pier. Ado chose the better waves in all of the exchanges and her last wave, a 7.67, tied Carissa Moore for the highest wave score of the day. With plenty of experience surfing beach breaks in France, Ado took up the challenge of Huntington’s shifting surf.
Watch all the Day 7 heat highlights, with the women’s video clips in the second half of the video:
Day 7, Round 4 Results of Vans US Open of Surfing 2013:
1. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.79, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.23
2. Bianca Buitendag (AUS) 12.54, Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.10
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.74, Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.87
4. Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.93