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Sage Erickson beats Courtney Conlogue to Win and Yago Dora takes out Liam O’Brien on Finals Day at the Vans US Open of Surfing Presented by Swatch

10,000 Points On The Line Toward Championship Tour Qualification

Sage Erickson And Yago Dora Victorious At Vans US Open Of Surfing Presented by Swatch 

  • Erickson Claims Her Second Vans US Open Title, First-Ever Women’s QS 10,000
  • Dora Earns Maiden QS 10,000 Victory After Stunning Performance
  • Conlogue Makes Back-To-Back Finals Appearances At Huntington Beach
  • O’Brien Catapults Himself Into Surfing’s Forefront Of Contenders
Sage Erickson (L) earns her second Vans US Open title alongside Yago Dora (R) for his first-ever.
Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, August 4, 2019) – The Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch, a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event, crowned Sage Erickson (USA)and Yago Dora (BRA) its respective winners in solid, three-to-five foot (1 – 1.7 metre) swell with their awe-inspiring performances all week that culminated in massive wins.

The 2019 women’s event marked a historic milestone for the QS with the first-ever QS 10,000 and equal prize money at the Vans US Open. Erickson claimed the all-California Final over defending event winner Courtney Conlogue (USA)in incredible fashion with one of the day’s best performances — a 15.43 (out of a possible 20) heat total. The Ojai native’s backhand went to work while sitting in second place and smashed an excellent 8.17 (out of a possible 10) to push herself in the lead and leave Conlogue in need of an 8.90 for the remainder of the Final.

“I shed a lot of tears when I came in from the water and I just want to say this is dedicated to my grandma who passed two weeks ago,” Erickson said. “It’s crazy how it takes someone to leave for everything they’re about to really set in. A lot of the lessons and things she believed in me, I have to speak over myself here for a second for her and it’s just about the people you value in your life. Whether it’s your friends or your family or even the people you can make a mark on and encourage.”

 The wave that sealed the deal for Erickson in a rematch from 2017’s Semifinal matchup between her and Conlogue.
Credit: © WSL / Morris

Erickson had to deal with an all-star cast to get to the Final that truly showed the importance of this event with the competitors involved — defeating CT veteran Malia Manuel (HAW) and former Vans US Open winner Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) along the way.

“To be home in California, have a heat against Courtney and to be 10,000 — it’s more than just points,” Erickson added. “It’s equal pay, it’s a prime, it’s a lot for us women and a big shout out to Jessi (Miley-Dyer) for believing in our sport and to Sophie (Goldschmidt) leading the WSL as a strong woman.”

The high-flying antics of Dora came firing right out of the gates on finals day with the day’s top single-scoring wave of a near-perfect 9.27 after soaring through the air and landing it smoothly. The Brasilian CT elite had to overcome one of the Vans US Open’s most insatiable dark horses to date, Liam O’Brien (AUS). Dora’s excellent 8.60 on yet another massive air-reverse before shooting through the pier to finish it off in the Final ultimately sealed his first-ever QS 10,000 victory.

“It feels so incredible right now and I just want to thank everyone who showed up today — it’s just amazing to surf in front of a huge crowd,” Dora said. “It gets me fired up to do my best and that’s what I did today. I gave everything I had and it worked out for me. I just want to congratulate all the finalists and especially Liam, he’s been surfing amazing.”

Dora’s strike rate on aerial maneuvers went unmatched on finals day.
Credit: © WSL / Morris

This win skyrockets Dora 46 spots to No. 4 on the QS ranks and in a position to secure his CT spot for 2020 heading into a vital back-half of 2019. The 23-year-old decimated the hopes of now QS No. 1 Jorgann Couzinet’s(FRA) opportunity of separating himself from the pack in the Semifinals and surviving a scare from former CT competitor Alex Ribiero (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Now, the Brasilian sets his eyes on Tahiti for one of the CT’s most sought-after events.

“We had waves for nine days which is amazing for Huntington (laughs),” Dora added. “I came out of my house with a goal to win this event and I did it. I can’t even explain how happy I am right now.”

Conlogue’s last-minute air-reverse stunned the hometown crowd and brought them to their feet.
Credit: © WSL / Herron

The women’s all-American Final had the crowd roaring for hometown hero Conlogue with every turn as she hoped to claim an unprecedented back-to-back title. But, it wasn’t meant to be with Erickson in dominating form throughout finals day that forced Conlogue into attempting hail mary airs toward the end of the heat. Though a runner-up was disappointing for the Santa Ana, California, native, her explosive air-reverse in Quarterfinal Heat 1 against phenom Caroline Marks (USA) started the day off in amazing fashion that carried through to the end and the recent Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame inductee can carry this momentum forward.

“This week has been incredible and anytime I have the chance to perform in front of my hometown it’s just very special,” Conlogue said. “I’m really happy for Sage, it was really well-deserved and a fun Final. Thanks so much to everyone who came down to cheer us on.”

O’Brien is officially on the map as a danger man and now looks to stay at No. 10, where he now sits, to finish the year.
Credit: © WSL / Morris

The Vans US Open can provide a platform for surfers to make their names known and Burleigh Heads, Australia’s, O’Brien did just that with jaw-dropping performances. O’Brien helped eliminate event favorite, hometown hero and back-to-back defending event winner, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and CT competitor Jack Freestone (AUS) just two days prior before taking down Barron Mamiya (HAW) in the Quarterfinals and California’s last hope Griffin Colapinto (USA) in the Semifinals today.

O’Brien will now look to finish the season off competing in the QS 10,000s and currently finds himself in a qualification position.

“I’m ecstatic and it still feels so surreal to be standing here, I don’t even feel like I’m supposed to be here to be honest (laughs),” O’Brien said. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity and to come as far as I did and can’t say thank you enough for everyone coming down. To make it through some of the heats I did, I can’t believe it. I’ll keep working to improve my surfing as much as I can and to be into the QS 10,000s heading is such an amazing feeling so I’m just really grateful.”

Alongside the surfing, the Vans US Open of Surfing also hosts skateboarding and BMX competitions alongside authentic community activations and artful entertainment in Surf City USA.

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, ULTRA, Red Bull, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Hydro Flask, Harley-Davidson, Polo Blue, BF Goodrich, CLIF Bar, and Frontier Communications.

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Women’s Final Results:
1 – Sage Erickson (USA) 15.40               10,000 points
2 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.93        8,000 points

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Men’s Final Results:
– Yago Dora (BRA) 16.03                     10,000 points
2 – Liam O’Brien (AUS) 11.34                   8,000 points

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.86 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 11.36
SF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 16.33 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.83

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Men’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.77 DEF. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 14.16
SF 2: Liam O’Brien (AUS) 13.50 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.77

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.43 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 14.10
QF 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 12.86 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.93
QF 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.16 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.73
QF 4: Sage Erickson (USA) 11.36 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.83

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 13.76 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.20
QF 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 16.47 DEF. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 15.57
QF 3: Liam O’Brien (AUS) 14.67 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 13.27
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 13.93 DEF. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.67

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, August 4, 2019) – Finals day of the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch, a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event, and one of the largest action sports festivals in the world, is ON for a 7:30am PDT start. Two victors will be crowned by day’s end with valuable points on the line toward 2020 Championship Tour (CT) qualification.  Three-to-five foot (1 – 1.7 metre) swell continues to pulse into the Huntington Beach lineup for competitors to pick apart throughout the day.

The women are first up as they contest for the first Vans US Open QS 10,000 title since 2005 and defending event winner, hometown hero, Courtney Conlogue (USA) will take on two-time Vans US Open Pro Junior victor Caroline Marks (USA).

Former event winners Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) will face fellow CT competitors Brisa Hennessy (CRI) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS), respectively, in Quarterfinal Heats 2 and 3 before 2017 Vans US Open winner takes on Malia Manuel (HAW) in Quarterfinal Heat 4.

Action then shifts immediately to the men where a former CT elite affair awaits right away in Quarterfinal Heat 1 featuring Alex Ribeiro (BRA) and Connor O’Leary (AUS).

Qualification threat Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) looks to break through yet another QS 10,000 Semifinal but must overcome the versatile Yago Dora (BRA)in Quarterfinal Heat 2.

One of the event’s biggest upsets came from Australia’s emerging talent Liam O’Brien (AUS) and the explosive Barron Mamiya (HAW) in Round 4 of competition, but now face each other in Quarterfinal Heat 3 before the last remaining Californian hope Griffin Colapinto (USA) takes on 2015 WSL Champion Adriano De Souza (BRA) in Quarterfinal Heat 4.

Tune in live at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Alongside the surfing, the Vans US Open of Surfing also hosts skateboarding and BMX competitions alongside authentic community activations and artful entertainment in Surf City USA.

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, ULTRA, Red Bull, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Hydro Flask, Harley-Davidson, Polo Blue, BF Goodrich, CLIF Bar, and Frontier Communications.

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QF 2: Brisa Hennessy (HAW) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
QF 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
QF 4: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)

Vans US Open of Surfing pres. by Swatch Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
QF 2: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
QF 3: Liam O’Brien (AUS) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Adriano De Souza (BRA)

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans® authentic collections are sold in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans® has over 2,000 retail locations globally including owned, concession and partnership doors. The Vans® brand promotes creative self-expression in youth culture across action sports, art, music and street culture and delivers progressive platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor network.About the WSL 
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 230 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Redbull Airborne, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Grant Baker, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Mateus Herdy, Kirra Pinkerton, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

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