|Pictured: (L) Sheldon Simkus (AUS) made his US Open debut in fine form with a Round 1 heat win. (R) Mihimana Braye (PYF) took down a big win with fellow Tahitian Michel Bourez (FRA) advancing. Credit: WSL/ Nichols
Tahitian duo Mihimana Braye (PYF) and Michel Bourez (FRA) put on a showcase in high tide conditions, keeping Corona Open Mexico wildcard standout, 2018 World Junior Champion, Mateus Herdy (BRA) and Marco Giorgi (URG) at bay. Braye hopes to join his fellow Tahitian Bourez on the CT – who recently fell off Tour following the 2020/21’ season conclusion.
“It was so hard when I saw the heat draw after Michel (Bourez) actually told me we’re in the same heat and I’ve been looking up to this guy since day one,” expressed Braye. “He’s such an inspiration for me and against Mateus Herdy who came third in Mexico it’s amazing to make that heat. I don’t feel too much pressure because I feel like I’m ready, I’m here, I know my place among the Challenger Series and I want more.”
Australian Sheldon Simkus put on a show in his US Open debut with a 13.83 heat total during Round 1 Heat 8. Simkus delivered an early upset, helping eliminate former CT competitor Miguel Pupo (BRA), as the 2020 QS No. 42 is looking for his first major result with four QS runner-up finishes.
“I had no expectations coming here and I like to have a lot of fun at these events without putting pressure on myself,” said Simkus. “There’s a lot of stakes but I’m just going to enjoy my heats and try to surf good. I’m glad to get some waves and put a good heat total up.”
Also making big noise on opening day, South Africa’s Adin Masencamp delivered a stunning debut. A pair of South Carolina competitors Cam Richards (USA) and Luke Gordon (USA) took down former CT competitors Connor O’Leary (AUS) and Jesse Mendes (BRA). Former CT competitor Pat Gudauskas (USA) and CT hopeful Jake Marshall (USA) added their name to the California success storyline. And Australians made their presence known with former event runner-up Liam O’Brien and CT competitor Jack Robinson both winning their heats as well.
A 7:30am PDT call will determine a likely 8:05am PDT start for men’s Round 1 Heat 19 with women’s Round 1 on standby.
Global partners for the US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach pres. by Shiseido include Michelob Ultra, Jeep, Hydro Flask, Expedia, Red Bull, Oakley Sunglasses, and BFGoodrich join with event partners Frontier, Flying Ember, US Army, Apple Test, Fu Wax, Super73, Regional, DraftKings, and Waterloo along with local sponsor Visit Huntington Beach representing for Surf City USA.
Watch the US Open of Surfing presented by Shiseido LIVE September 20 – 26 on WorldSurfLeague.com and YouTube, as well as the free WSL app.
COVID-19 Safety Protocol Update
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place. This includes testing and advance screening protocols, physical distancing and limited personnel on-site.
US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach pres. by Shiseido Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.17 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 9.93, Kauli Vaast (FRA) 9.40, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 5.30
Heat 2: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 12.93 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 12.17, Josh Burke (BRB) 10.07, Taro Watanabe (USA) 7.83
Heat 3: Joshua Moniz (HAW) 10.70 DEF. Shun Murakami (JPN) 9.83, Cody Young (HAW) 9.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 5.40
Heat 4: Mihimana Braye (PYF) 11.17 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.50, Mateus Herdy (BRA) 10.30, Marco Giorgi (URY) 9.33
Heat 5: Jake Marshall (USA) 11.80 DEF. Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 11.56, Ian Crane (USA) 11.13, Marcos Correa (BRA) 10.67
Heat 6: Dylan Moffat (AUS) 11.67 DEF. Jordy Maree (ZAF) 10.60, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.93, Joan Duru (FRA) 5.60
Heat 7: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.00 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 11.54, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 8.66, Shuji Nishi (JPN) 4.76
Heat 8: Sheldon Simkus (AUS) 13.83 DEF. Carlos Munoz (CRI) 12.90, Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 12.17, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.60
Heat 9: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 11.94 DEF. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 11.04, Eli Hanneman (HAW) 10.46, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 8.47
Heat 10: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 13.50 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.40, Charly Martin (FRA) 10.43, Reo Inaba (JPN) 10.30
Heat 11: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 14.17 DEF. Thiago Camarao (BRA) 10.60, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.77, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 8.04
Heat 12: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.77 DEF. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.17, Jhony Corzo (MEX) 10.74, Kalani Ball (AUS) 8.73
Heat 13: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.23 DEF. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 13.37, Luel Felipe (BRA) 11.50, Jackson Baker (AUS) 10.50
Heat 14: Lucca Mesinas (PER) 15.34 DEF. Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 12.57, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 7.90, Oney Anwar (IDN) 7.63
Heat 15: Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA) 14.10 DEF. Rio Waida (IDN) 13.20, Nat Young (USA) 12.50, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.44
Heat 16: Cam Richards (USA) 14.50 DEF. Luke Gordon (USA) 13.07, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.67, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.34
Heat 17: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.83 DEF. Cole Houshmand (USA) 13.10, Miguel Tudela (PER) 10.94, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.80
Heat 18: Liam O’Brien (AUS) 13.73 DEF. Lucas Silveira (BRA) 12.63, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.93, Beyrick De Vries (NLD) 9.37