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North America Contingent Command Opening Day…

…at Vans US Open of Surfing!

Day 2 Sunday is ON…Women’s live scores HERE

First Update Day one: Stop #4 on the Challenger Series…the midpoint…

  • Southern California Competitors Kei Kobayashi and Jake Marshall Take Early Wins
  • Huntington Beach’s Hero Kanoa Igarashi Debuts Immaculately
  • Mid-Season Cut Fallouts,  Lucca Mesinas, Ezekiel Lau, and Imaikalani deVault, Thrive
  • Note: You can watch scores live until the full broadcast begins on Monday, August 1 at 7:30 a.m. PDT (430am HI time). Fans can watch LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comWSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app.
Front page image: Opening day witnessed a brilliant showing from two-time Vans US Open of Surfing victor Kanoa Igarashi (JPN). Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Saturday, July 30, 2022) – The World Surf League (WSL) kicked off opening day at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the Challenger Series (CS), in two-to-three foot swell at the iconic southside of the Huntington Beach Pier. A full day of men’s competition witnessed Southern California competitors felt right at home with dynamic performances amid international talents, and made their moves in the Round of 96 Heats 1 – 16. Remaining Round of 96 competitors will debut Sunday, July 31, to determine the Round of 64 draw.

Two-Time Vans US Open of Surfing Victor Kanoa Igarashi Decimates Debut

One of surfing’s most recognized faces, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) didn’t disappoint in his debut with the day’s best 14.10 (out of a possible 20) heat total. The Huntington Beach hometown hero has this event at the forefront of his mindset as soon as set up begins and relishes his time at home. After his Semifinal finish in 2021, Igarashi looks to get back atop the podium for a historic third Vans US Open of Surfing title.

“It’s so special to me, and when I get into town I just start getting so excited when the setup starts going a few weeks before the event,” said Igarashi. “Even when they start taking it down it’s always one of the sadder moments of the year. It’s such a historic event, especially for me growing up. The first day is done and I got the job taken care of, but as the event progresses and the flow of the event gets more consistent, that’s when I feel even better.”

Pictured: Southern California’s Kei Kobayashi (USA) found his form for a critical Round of 96 win. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

North America Contingent Command Opening Affairs

A notable first heat featured current Championship Tour (CT) No. 18 Kolohe Andino (USA) taking on Challenger Series threats Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL), Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)and Kauli Vaast (FRA) with Butler earning an excellent 8.17 (out of a possible 10) to overtake the affair as Andino advanced.

Andino’s fellow San Clemente, California surfer Kei Kobayashi earned a massive Round of 96 win in his Vans US Open of Surfing debut. The 23-year-old hasn’t found the result he’s wanted thus far in 2022 on the Challenger Series, and looks to capitalize on a wave he’s competed at his entire career.

Fellow Californians including 2022 CT rookie Jake Marshall (USA)emerging talent Levi Slawson, last-minute alternate Crosby Colapinto (USA), Eithan Osborne (USA), Cole Houshmand

“This is definitely the turning point of the season for me and at every event you’re looking to get on the podium,” said Kobayashi. “I’m feeling really confident for this event. I’ve overcome an injury I dealt with the first few events but I’m excited to put together a good showing here. I know how much time I’ve put into all aspects of my life with training, spending time with family, and all the mental training, and I’m grateful to see that push around all sports.”

Mexico’s next qualification hope Alan Cleland debuted in dominant form to overpower 2022 CT rookie Liam O’Brien (AUS), former CT competitor Keanu Asing (HAW), and Kauai, Hawaii’s upstart Kainehe Hunt. Cleland took control of the heat a 7.00 and backed it up quick with 4.00 before closing the down the heat with a 6.33 and notching his first Challenger Series heat win.

Pictured: Lucca Mesinas (PER) utilizing his signature backhand attack for an early victory. Credit: © WSL / Morris

Road to Requalification Continues For Mid-Season Cut Fallouts, Early Upsets Ensue

2015 Vans US Open of Surfing victor Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) took on emerging Challenger Series threats including Kyuss King (AUS), Shion Crawford (HAW), and 2022 CT rookie Lucca Mesinas (PER), as he looks to requalify for the Top 32. King pounced on an early opportunity to accrue a 6.00 before showing his patience and attacking a lefthander with his powerful backhand. But, Mesinas stole the heat win in the dying seconds, with King advancing, as his quest to requalify landed him here in Huntington Beach where he’s competed his entire career on the Qualifying Series (QS).

“It’s always good to compete here and I think this is the wave I train the most, even more than home,” said Mesinas. “I really like California and it’s always special to be here, and seeing the crowd coming down today is exciting. I’ve had so many thoughts about how I was on Tour, than I fell off and wanting to get back so quick but not getting results. Now, I’m just enjoying the moment again and I’m in a really good mindset.”

Pictured: A clash of world-class competitors unraveled with Alejo Muniz (BRA) separating himself from the pack. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Former CT competitor and 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing victor Alejo Muniz (BRA) stunned the event with a brilliant performance alongside East Coast’s Evan Geiselman (USA), to eliminate current Challenger Series No. 1 Rio Waida (IDN), coming off back-to-back victories, and fellow Brazilian Peterson Crisanto (BRA).

“Rio (Waida) is the guy to beat this year and it was great to surf against him after he got me in Manly,” said Muniz. “I thought that was the hardest heat of the first round on paper. I’ve been here so many times and this was the biggest win of my career so far. I’ve been training a lot and when you believe in yourself and find the waves, it all works out.”

Also notching vital opening day wins, former CT elite Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and Willian Cardoso (BRA), Gatien Delahaye (FRA), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Mihimana Braye (PYF), and Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) all made their way into the Round of 64.

The next call will be made tomorrow, July 31 at 7:05 a.m. PDT for a possible 7:35 a.m. PDT start for men’s Round of 96 Heat 17.

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing begins July 30 – August 7 at Huntington Beach, California.

The broadcast will begin on Monday, August 1 at 7:30 a.m. PDT, and fans can watch LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comWSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

The Vans US Open of Surfing is proudly supported by Vans, Visit Huntington Beach, Red Bull, Flying Embers, Hydro Flask, Shiseido, 805, Pacifico, Sambazon, StillHouse, Youtheory, BF Goodrich, Fu Wax, Boxed Water, and Just Egg. 

 

 

EARLY AM UPDATE

ITS ON. The Challenger Series #4 Hits Huntington Beach For Vans US Open of SurfingChampionship Tour Hopefuls and Veterans Await Opening Day

Caitlin Simmers Returns to Defend Event Title, Formidable Fields Await

WSL Rising Tides Presented by Pura Vida Brings Inspiration to Next Generation of Young Women

Note: You can watch scores live but…the full broadcast begins on Monday, August 1 at 7:30 a.m. PDT (430am HI time). Fans can watch LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comWSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app.

Spectrum20 goes live Monday Aug 1st at 4am

Pictured: WSL Rising Tides pres. by Pura Vida made its stop at Huntington Beach ahead of the Vans US Open of Surfing to inspire the next generation of female surfers. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Friday, July 29, 2022) – The World Surf League (WSL) is back in Huntington Beach, California for the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the 2022 Challenger Series (CS), beginning August 30 – July 7. Some of the world’s best emerging and veteran talents are set to converge on the iconic Huntington Beach Pier in hopes of earning their place on the 2023 Championship Tour (CT).

This marks the halfway point in a race to CT qualification with 10,000 points on the line and the competitors’ names going down in the long-standing history of the Vans US Open of Surfing.

This event’s illustrious history has seen champions of the sport including 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA), the late, three-time WSL Champion Andy Irons (HAW), four-time WSL Champion Lisa Andersen (USA) all earn wins in Huntington Beach, and is now led by a new generation of competitors such as reigning event victor Caitlin Simmers (USA) and two-time Vans US Open of Surfing winner Kanoa Igarashi (JPN).

Simmers Look For Repeat, Men’s Title Up For Grabs

Simmers’ impressive rise to the top of the Challenger Series rankings this season began with a victory at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, dismantling a field of proven former CT veterans. She now returns to Huntington Beach where she’s found success as both a Pro Junior and Challenger Series competitor.

The 16-year-old will square off against the likes of California’s own CT elite, 2021 US Open of Surfing runner-up and 2018 winner Courtney Conlogue (USA), Lakey Peterson (USA), and Caroline Marks (USA), alongside emerging stars Alyssa Spencer (USA) and Ella McCaffray (USA). They will all be fending off an international field of competitors such as current Challenger Series No. 2 Molly Picklum (AUS), No. 4 Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), and many more.

With the absence of reigning men’s victor Griffin Colapinto (USA), the event title is on the line for one of the 96 surfers in attendance to walk away with their piece of history. However, a hefty field of former event winners such as two-time victor and Huntington Beach’s own Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), 2015 winner Hiroto Ohhara (JPN), 2021 runner-up Jake Marshall (USA), and 2021 Semifinalist Nolan Rapoza (USA) are all in the hunt for a major result.

Also, a formidable field featuring back-to-back Challenger Series event winner Rio Waida (IDN), current No. 2 and former CT competitor Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), former event runner-up Liam O’Brien (AUS), and a plethora of more international talents look to make their mark in Huntington Beach.

Both men’s and women’s fields will also feature wildcard threats such as Oahu, Hawaii’s Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW), San Clemente’s Bella Kenworthy, Australia’s Rasmus King (AUS), and South Africa’s Shane Sykes (ZAF).

Pictured: One of North America’s top competitors Kirra Pinkerton sharing the stoke with young women at WSL Rising Tides pres. by Pura Vida this morning. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

WSL Rising Tides Presented by Pura Vida Lands at Huntington Beach

WSL Rising Tides Presented by Pura Vida brings inspiration to young women across the globe at each stop for the Championship Tour and Challenger Series. Earlier today, some of the top women surfers, local and international, joined forces with WSL to share their stories and professional surfing journies with the young women of the Huntington Beach community.

The likes of Conlogue, Simmers, 2018 WSL World Junior Champion Kirra Pinkerton (USA), 2022 CT rookie Molly Picklum (AUS), Challenger Series contenders Sophie McCullough (AUS) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) all represented as mentors for the women in attendance. Surfers took to the lineup for a full session surfing with some of their heroes and emerging stars of the sport with nothing but smiles to go around.

“This is so great watching how fast women’s surfing is growing, when I was their age I don’t remember there being so many of us,” said Pinkerton. “It’s fun too because I still feel like that little girl inside who’s still shy and I see how shy they are, and now it’s my turn to be the one who engages and coaches them. I’m really excited to see where these girls go with their surfing in the next few years.”

Pictured: Members of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians/Acjachemen Nation led the opening ceremony blessing. Credit: © WSL / Ryder
The opening ceremony welcomed tribal members of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians/Acjachemen Nation to bless proceedings. Spiritual Overseer Adelia Sandoval was joined by Mariah Doyle Sandoval, member of the Tushmaluum Helekatuum Tribal Singing group, April O’Brien and her two daughters, Sydney and Nova, along with Frank Banda.

The first call will be made tomorrow, July 30 at 7:05 a.m. PDT for a possible 7:35 a.m. PDT start for men’s Round of 96 or women’s Round of 64.

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing begins July 30 – August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The broadcast will begin on Monday, August 1 at 7:30 a.m. PDT, and fans can watch LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comWSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

The Vans US Open of Surfing is proudly sponsored by Vans, Visit Huntington Beach, Red Bull, Flying Embers, Hydro Flask, Shiseido, 805, Pacifico, Sambazon, StillHouse, Youtheory, BF Goodrich, Fu Wax, Boxed Water, Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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