Surf n Sea 728×90 generic 2/1/22-

Bettylou Sakura Johnson, Ezekiel Lau, Kelis Kaleopa’a, and Taylor Jensen Win Vans US Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational 

  • Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Ezekiel Lau Claim 10,000 Points Toward Championship Tour Qualification
  • Kaleopa’a Claims Back-to-Back Vans Duct Tape Invitational Wins, Jensen Enters World Title Conversation with Victory
  • Notable Runner-Ups For Macy Callaghan, Joao Chianca, Honolua Blomfield, and Kaniela Stewart
Front page: Joao Chianca, Macy Callaghan, Ezekiel Lau, and Bettylou Sakura Johnson hold their trophies high at the Vans US Open of Surfing. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Sunday, August 7, 2022) – A massive Finals Day crowned Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW), and Taylor Jensen (USA) victors at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series, and Vans Duct Tape Invitational, respectively. Sakura Johnson and Lau took critical wins at the halfway mark of the Challenger Series season in their mission to rejoin the Championship Tour (CT) while the second of three stops for WSL Longboard Tour tighten the World Title race with Kaleopa’a and Jensen emerging victorious.

Hawaiians staked their claim on Finals Day with representatives in every Final today. Sakura Johnson found herself against Australia’s former CT elite Callaghan. Callaghan’s opening 5.67 (out of a possible 10) pushed her into an early lead as Sakura Johnson fought back to take a slim lead heading into the twenty-minute mark. Then, the 17-year-old, 2022 CT rookie found her chance under priority and unloaded her powerful forehand on the shorebreak for a 6.93. As time expired, Callaghan wasn’t given another opportunity and Sakura Johnson was chaired to her second Challenger Series victory.

“It’s been a long week here at Huntington, but I have all the support and everything I need, I’m healthy, I’ve been training for this, I’m super fortunate to take the win,” said Sakura Johnson. “It gives me a ton of confidence (winning the event). This is one of the biggest events we have on the Challenger Series, everyone is here watching. I’ve always wanted to win a comp out here and I’m super stoked I was able to do it today.”

A brilliant ending to the event began with Sakura Johnson taking on event threat and now Challenger Series No. 5, Sophie McCulloch (AUS). But, Johnson notched another 9.00, her second of the event, with a 15.50 (out of a possible 20) heat total and backed it up in the Final to move up the rankings to No. 4 as she looks to requalify for the CT.

Pictured: Ezekiel Lau moves up to No. 4 in the Challenger Series rankings with a landmark win. Credit: © WSL / Morris 

The men’s Challenger Final kept everyone on the edge of their seats as Lau and Chianca went wave-for-wave until the last seconds. Chianca controlled the first half of the heat with big, committed turns on the outside. But, with about ten minutes left, Lau made a comeback, throwing two large turns out the back to earn a 6.90 and take the lead. Chianca answered back with a powerful layback and inside hack, scoring a close 6.23. With one minute left, Chianca had one more opportunity to better his score but fell short, making Lau the new men’s victor of the Vans US Open.

“I’m so stoked, I’ve always wanted to win the US Open, it’s been an event I’ve watched since I was a young kid,” said Lau. “Andy Irons won a few years back, he was my role model, and this is for him and Sunny and all the Hawaiians. When Bettylou won her’s (Final heat) I was like, it’s up to me now, I gotta put this away.”

The South Shore, Oahu competitor had to overcome event standout Eithan Osborne (USA) in a stout Semifinal clash with Lau holding the explosive competitor at bay. Now, the Ultimate Surfer winner moves up to No.4 on the Challengers Series rankings with this landmark win.

Jensen Earns Another Huntington Beach Event Title, Entering into World Title Conversation

Eventual runner-up Stewart got the Final underway against three-time WSL Longboard Champion, Jensen, and a showcase of world-class longboarding ensued. Jensen notched a near-excellent 7.67 for the heat’s first noteworthy score before a crucial exchange provided the Oceanside, California competitor a 6.17 back up. Stewart, in that exchange, earned a 6.00 and needed a 7.84 to catch Jensen. The dying seconds provided one last opportunity for the Hawaiian to answer back, but to the elation of Jensen, he fell short of the requirement.

“I tried to pick clean rights, make sure I got the reform, finish strong and put it all together, said Jensen. “These are all the best surfers in the world. I’ve had a couple bad results so to get a win here close to home sets me up for going to Malibu and I’m happy with where I am.”

Jenson is now tied with Harrison Roach going into Malibu at No. 1 as he searches for a historic fourth World Title. He landed in the Final after overtaking emerging talent Kaimana Takayama (USA) in their Semifinal battle. This marks an emotional win for Jensen as the last time he claimed a win in Huntington Beach was 2015 at the North America Longboard Championships and now his youngest daughter witnessed her father win firsthand.

Pictured: Kelis Kaleopa’a takes home another Vans Duct Tap Invitational win. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Kaleopa’a Goes Back-to-Back at Vans Duct Tape Invitational

A head-to-head Hawaiian Final ensued between reigning, three-time WSL Longboard Champion Blomfield and reigning Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner Kaleopa’a. The emerging talent, Kaleopa’a, styled into a quick 6.67 and 5.90 to hold a lead over Blomfield heading into the halfway mark. Kaleopa’a extended the lead, making her fellow Hawaiian need a 7.20 in the dying minutes. But, the ocean didn’t provide an opportunity and the 17-year-old emerged victorious once again.

“Hugging my cousin (Stewart) in the water after that final was just so heartwarming,”said Kaleopa’a. “Literally my whole entire family and friends and our surf community back at home are my motivation when I’m out here because we come from such a special place. I grew up my entire life surfing around my uncles and aunties, I do this for them as a thankyou for introducing me to this sport, this passion I love so much.”

Kaleopa’a started her day against WSL Longboard Tour veteran Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) who pushed the young Hawaiian to deliver a brilliant performance. Now, the Waikiki, Oahu surfer moves to a No.1 tie with Blomfield on the rankings, giving her another chance to claim her maiden World Title at the Cuervo Classic Longboard Championship.

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Final Results:
1 – Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 12.00
2 – Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.40Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Results: 
1 – Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.40
2 – Joao Chianca (BRA) 11.43Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Final Results:
1 – Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) 12.97
2 – Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 11.47

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Final Results:
1 -Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. 13.84
2 – Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 11.60Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 12.33 vs. Caroline Marks (USA) 8.33
Heat 2: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 15.50 vs. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 14.10

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.77 vs. Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.43
Heat 2: Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.64 vs. Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.54

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW)11.24  vs. Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 7.70
Heat 2: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 15.43  vs. Rachael Tilly (USA) 10.10

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 14.83 vs. Kaimana Takayama (USA) 10.57
Heat 2: Justin Quintal (USA) 12.66 vs. Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 13.30

Up Next: EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira
The next stop on the 2022 Challenger Series will be the EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira, which holds a competition window from October 1 – 9, 2022. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

EARLIER

Finals Day at Vans Us Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational

  • Vans Duct Tape Invitational Semifinals Started at 7:35am PDT
  • Critical Points on the Line Today for WSL Challenger Series and Longboard Tour
Pictured: Current World No. 1 Honolua Blomfield (HAW) looks for back-to-back wins on the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Sunday, August 7, 2022) – Finals Day at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series, has been called ON, alongside the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival. The action starts at 7:35am PDT with the women’s Longboard Semifinals in the second of three stops for the WSL Longboard Tour in two-to-three foot, clean swell. The men’s Longboard Semifinals will follow, then transitioning to running the women’s and men’s Semifinals for the Challenger, women’s and men’s Finals for Longboard, and ending the day with the women’s and men’s Finals for the Challenger.

The women’s Duct Tape Invitational Semifinals get finals day started with reigning Vans Duct Tape Invitational victor Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) taking on San Clemente, California competitor Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) in Semifinal Heat 1. Then, 2015 WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) faces World No. 1 Honolua Blomfield (HAW) in Semifinal Heat 2.

Men’s longboard action resumes as three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) will have to deal with rising talent Kaimana Takayama (USA) in Semifinal Heat 1. Then, 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal (USA) must overcome the style of Kaniela Stewart (HAW) in Semifinal Heat 2.

The women’s Challenger Semifinals is sure to be a spectacle with heavy hitters, Macy Callaghan (AUS) taking on former Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior victor and CT threat Caroline Marks (USA) in Semifinal Heat 1. Then, Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), who has been on fire all week, goes up against Sophie McCulloch (AUS), who landed her spot in the Semifinals after defeating the reigning Vans US Open of Surfing victor Caitlin Simmers (USA).

The men’s Challenger Semifinalists then take the stage, starting with Eithan Osborne (USA), has been feeding off the energy of his home crowd all week, going up against the likes of former CT competitor Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in Semifinal Heat 1. Then, an in-form Joao Chianca (BRA) takes on Evan Geiselman (USA), who is making his first Semifinals appearance at the Vans US Open, and hopes to turn that into his first Finals appearance.

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) vs. Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW)
Heat 2: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) vs. Rachael Tilly (USA)

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Kaimana Takayama (USA)
Heat 2: Justin Quintal (USA) vs. Kaniela Stewart (HAW)

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Macy Callaghan (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
Heat 2: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Sophie McCulloch (AUS)

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Eithan Osborne (USA)
Heat 2: Evan Geiselman (USA) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)

Watch LIVE
Finals Day at the Vans US Open of Surfing will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

  • EARLIER UPDATE…Finals Day Awaits Vans US Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival

  • Joao Chianca, Evan Geiselman, Eithan Osborne, and Ezekiel Lau Into Semifinals
  • Bettylou Sakura Johnson Posts Near-Perfection and Caroline Marks Overpowers Challenger Series No. 2 Molly Picklum
  • More Upsets Riddle Women’s Longboard Tour Title Hopefuls
Pictured: 2021 Vans US Open of Surfing Quarterfinalist Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) is into the Semifinals looking for a massive result. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Saturday, August 6, 2022) – Finals Day is set at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series, and Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival. Two-to-four-foot swell provided moments of top-tier surfing from some of the sport’s veterans and emerging competitors as the Challenger determined its Semifinalists after the Quarterfinals started the day. The Vans Duct Tape Invitational, the second of three stops on the WSL Longboard Tour, followed as the women performed despite tough afternoon conditions through Round 4 and the Quarterfinals to lock in their Semifinalists.

Pictured: A third Vans US Open of Surfing title is in Caroline Marks’ (USA) sights. Credit: © WSL / Ryder
All-Star Clashes Determine Challenger Series Semifinalists

2022 Championship Tour (CT) rookie Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) is determined to rejoin the world’s best and put on a show in the tough conditions. The North Shore, Oahu competitor unleashed an incredible backhand attack before throwing everything into the inside sections for a near-perfect 9.00 (out of a possible 10) against Bronte Macaulay (AUS). Sakura Johnson bested her 2021 event result with a place in the Semifinals.

“Spending time with my brother really took my mind away from competition,” said Sakura Johnson. “We hit some baseballs and just wanted to have a clear mind coming in here. (Surfing before my heat) did impact my confidence going into that heat because the conditions have changed over the last couple of days and I had to switch boards this morning. It felt good so I guess I got the right board.”

A clash of former CT qualifiers Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) and Macy Callaghan (AUS) started the weekend action with Callaghan taking control of tough conditions before former Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior victor and CT threat Caroline Marks (USA) posted a stunning 14.46 (out of a possible 20) heat total.

Marks’ defiant backhand and powerful forehand led the way to a comeback victory over 2022 CT rookie, and current Challenger Series No. 2, Molly Picklum (AUS), after the Australian accrued an excellent 8.17. Also joining the Semifinals for the first time this year on the Challenger is Sophie McCulloch (AUS), who made a massive statement after defeating the reigning Vans US Open of Surfing victor Caitlin Simmers (USA) in a dynamic fashion.

Pictured: Joao Chianca (BRA) was one of the 2022 CT’s most exciting rookies and brought that electricity into the Quarterfinals. Credit: © WSL / Ryder
Joao Chianca, Evan Geiselman, Eithan Osborne, and Ezekiel Lau Into Semifinals

2022 CT rookie Joao Chianca (BRA) and former CT elite Ryan Callinan (AUS) put on a display of impeccable surfing in their Quarterfinal clash. Chianca’s incredible backhand attack led him to finish with a powerful forehand strike to garner an excellent, event-best so far, 16.40 heat total (out of a possible 20) and left Callinan needing a 9.33.

“I actually got really nervous after getting that eight because my next two waves felt good, but the scores came way lower,” said Chianca. “That last wave seemed like a good double-up and that’s why I went, and I got two nice turns out the back with such a good inside. At the beginning of the year I made some silly mistakes and now I’m trying to be more calculated in my heats.”

Pictured: Ventura, California’s own Eithan Osborne (USA) delivered a hefty upset and eliminated 2022 CT rookie Lucca Mesinas (PER). Credit: © WSL / Ryder

A clash of event standouts took place with Eithan Osborne (USA) taking on former CT competitor Lucca Mesinas (PER). Peru’s first male CT representative, Mesinas, started strong but Osborne fed off the energy of his home crowd and delivered a 7.00 to take the lead at the halfway mark. North America standout Evan Geiselman, earned his career-best Vans US Open of Surfing result thus far after taking down Joel Vaughan (AUS) in their Quarterfinal bout and now looks to make his first-ever Challenger Series Final.

Going back to the first heat of the men’s Quarterfinal, a world-class affair kicked off with a match-up featuring former CT competitors Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and Liam O’Brien (AUS). Despite slow conditions, Lau found a diamond in the rough for a 7.17 before a fog delay. But, the Hawaiian didn’t let it bother him as he finished the restart strong.

Pictured: Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) provided the upset of the event so far after taking down current World No. 2 Chloe Calmon Credit: © WSL / Morris

More Upsets Riddle Women’s Longboard Title Hopefuls at Vans Duct Tape Invitational 

Current World No. 2 Chloe Calmon (BRA) kept the pace with a well-executed heat to keep Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) at bay as the Peruvian needed an excellent 8.33 to catch Calmon. Calmon then had to deal with reigning Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW), and difficult afternoon conditions in their clash. But, Kaleopa’a navigated the inside section beautifully to put pressure on the World Title contender and turned in a 9.66 heat total to steal a massive win.

“You never know what the ocean and the conditions will have for you, but you just have to hope for the best and go for it,” said Kaleopa’a. “I feel like you just have to find a healthy balance (in your mindset). I freesurf a lot so I struggle with the competitive mindset a little bit. Nowadays I just have to balance both.”

Pictured: 2015 WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) continues toward another Huntington Beach event win. Credit: © WSL / Morris

Honolua Blomfield (HAW) had to overcome an in-form Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) in their Round 4 dual before taking on Sophia Culhane (HAW), who eliminated World No. 3 Tully White (AUS).

In a masterful performance by Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA), the San Clemente, California competitor, made a comeback against Laguna Beach’s Avalon Gall (USA) with a fully committed noseride into the inside for a 7.00 to earn a big Semifinal appearance and put her name in as one to beat.

A battle of WSL Longboard Champions provided a dramatic finish to the day’s action with Rachael Tilly (USA) and Soleil Errico (USA) battling for the final Semifinal spot. Tilly held strong following her Round 4 victory and dealt with the heavy inside sections to eliminate Errico.

The next call will be made tomorrow, August 7 at 7:05 a.m. PDT for a possible 7:35 a.m. PDT start for the women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Semifinals.

For highlights from today’s Vans US Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 11.34 DEF. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 9.03
Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.46 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 9.30
Heat 3: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 13.33 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.50
Heat 4: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 13.24 DEF. Caitlin Simmers (USA) 8.43Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Macy Callaghan (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
Heat 2: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Sophie McCulloch (AUS)Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.17 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 12.10
Heat 2: Eithan Osborne (USA) 13.87 DEF. Lucca Mesinas (PER) 12.60
Heat 3: Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.17 DEF. Joel Vaughan (AUS) 9.46
Heat 4: Joao Chianca (BRA) 16.40 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.74Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Eithan Osborne (USA)
Heat 2: Evan Geiselman (USA) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 9.17 DEF. Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 5.77
Heat 2: Avalon Gall (USA) 11.33 DEF. Sally Cohen (HAW) 6.96
Heat 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 12.83 DEF. Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 8.60
Heat 4: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 13.06 DEF. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.47
Heat 5: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 9.60 DEF. Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 6.90
Heat 6: Sophia Culhane (HAW) 11.67 DEF. Tully White (AUS) 9.60
Heat 7: Soleil Errico (USA) 13.00 DEF. Mason Schremmer (USA) 7.96
Heat 8: Rachael Tilly (USA) 12.84 DEF. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 6.17Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 11.77 DEF. Avalon Gall (USA) 11.06
QF 2: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 9.66 DEF. Chloe Calmon (BRA) 4.20
QF 3: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 10.03 DEF. Sophia Culhane (HAW) 6.97
QF 4: Rachael Tilly (USA) 12.17 DEF. Soleil Errico (USA) 8.77Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) vs. Honolua Blomfield (HAW)
SF 2: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) vs. Rachael Tilly (USA)

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and 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.

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 97 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 Vans Checkerboard Day, Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

Vans, “Off The Wall” Since ’66
www.vans.com
youtube.com/vans
instagram.com/vans
facebook.com/vans
twitter.com/vans
Follow Vans on Spotify Here!

 

 

EARLY SATURDAY UPDATE

BACK ON! (Fog delay at 7am). Quarterfinals for Challenger Series & Vans Duct Tape Invitational

…at Vans US Open of Surfing

7am Holding pattern for 45 min.

  • Semifinalists to be Determined for Challenger Series and Vans Duct Tape Invitational,
  • Competition Starts at 7:35 AM PDT (435AM HI TIME)
  • Former Championship Tour Elite Battle For Qualification Points
Pictured: Amuro Tsuzuki deep in a bottom turn on a Huntington bomb and returns for Quarterfinal Heat 1. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Saturday, August 6, 2022) –  The Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series, has been called ON in the three-to-five foot swell at the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier. The women’s Challenger Quarterfinals will start at 7:35 a.m. PDT, followed by men’s CS
Challenger Quarterfinals. The Vans US Open of Surfing is also home to the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival, Stop No. 2 for the WSL Longboard Tour, which will resume with the women’s Round 4 and Quarterfinals today.

The day will open with a head-to-head battle of two former CT surfers, Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) and Macy Callaghan (AUS), vying for the first slot in the Semifinals. The entire morning is sure to be full of fireworks with big names including Caroline Marks (US), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), and defending Vans US Open winner Caitlin Simmers (USA), all battling for a place in the Semifinals.

The action will continue as the men take the stage. Former CT surfer, Ezekiel Lau (HAW), is eager to get himself back on the Championship Tour, but he will have to face the likes of Liam O’Brien (AUS) to advance to the Semifinals. Event standout Eithan Osborne (USA) hopes to keep his momentum going and earn a big win as he goes up against Peru’s Lucca Mesinas.

Californian’s Soleil Errico and Avalon Gall hope to represent their home state and keep their winning streaks going in the Round of 4. They face a strong international panel including Alice Lemoigne (FRA), Tully White (AUS), and Chloe Calmon (BRA) among many others. It comes as no surprise, the event threat, three-time WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW), is still in the mix. She will be going up against Japan’s Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) in Heat 5.

Women’s Vans US Open of Surfing Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 2: Molly Picklum (AUS), Caroline Marks (USA)
Heat 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Heat 4: Sophie MacCulloch (AUS), Caitlin Simmers (USA)

Men’s Vans US Open of Surfing Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Liam O’Brien (AUS), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 2: Lucca Mesinas (PER), Eithan Osborne (USA)
Heat 3: Evan Geiselman (USA), Joel Vaughan (AUS)
Heat 4: Joao Chianca (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)

Women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 4 Matchups:
Heat 1: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA)
Heat 2: Avalon Gall (USA), Sally Cohen (HAW)
Heat 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA), Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER)
Heat 4: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW), Lindsay Steinriede (USA)
Heat 5: Honolua Blomfield (HAW), Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN)
Heat 6: Tully White (AUS), Sophia Culhane (HAW)
Heat 7: Soleil Errico (USA), Mason Schremmer (USA)
Heat 8: Natsumi Taoka (JPN), Rachael Tilly (USA)

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and 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.

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 97 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 Vans Checkerboard Day, Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.Vans, “Off The Wall” Since ’66
www.vans.com
youtube.com/vans
instagram.com/vans
facebook.com/vans
twitter.com/vans
Follow Vans on Spotify Here!

 

 

  • EARLIER UPDATE THURSDAY

  • Semifinalists Determined for Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival at Vans US Open of Surfing
  • World Title Implications Ensue for Men’s Longboarders With Semifinalists Locked
  • Kaimana Takayama and Tosh Tudor Dismantle Rankings Leaders
  • Tully White and Avalon Gall Thrive In First Women’s Elimination Round
Pictured: Avalon Gall (USA) maintains stylish composure under pressure in the elimination round. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Friday, August 5, 2022) – The World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour (CT) took over Huntington Beach for the first eliminations of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival. The second stop of three for the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour witnessed World Title implications unfold in three-to-five foot swell with men’s Rounds 3, 4, and Quarterfinals unraveling alongside women’s elimination Round 3.

Women’s Head-To-Head Duals Determined Following First Eliminations

The dreaded elimination Round 3 for women started the day’s action. Avalon Gall (USA) kept her composure and took the heat win against Hawaii’s Sophia Culhane and fellow Californian, Vans wildcard, Karina Rozunko (USA).

A hefty upset unfolded in Round 3, Heat 2. One of Australia’s top longboard talents Tully White took control of a vital heat featuring Sally Cohen (HAW) and Zoe Grospiron (FRA). White’s 6.33 was the determining factor in the battle for event survival as Grospiron was dealing with a broken rib and will now turn to Malibu for a big finish. The Manly Beach, Australia competitor felt right at home on the beach break of Huntington Beach with graceful noserides and footwork.

“Zoe’s (Grospiron) such an amazing surfer and she’s an absolute trooper, and I hope she heals up in time for Malibu,” said White. “The tide is low and there’s a bit of a rip running through the waves so you kind of have to trust they hold up. I was really happy to get a couple of those lefts and get through to the inside.”

World Title Implications Ensue for Men’s Longboarders With Semifinalists Locked In

A critical day of competition powered through Round 3, 4, and Quarterfinals of men’s competition and now only four remain to vie for the 2022 Vans Duct Tape Invitational title, along with a valuable 5,000 points. Detrimental upsets unraveled for the rankings leaders as both current World No. 1 and No. 2 were eliminated from competition in a dramatic fashion.

Vans wildcard Tosh Tudor (USA) dismantled the current World No. 1 Harrison Roach (AUS) in the dying minutes as time expired before Roach could find an opportunity to answer back. Tudor then had to face another surfer he’s looked up to from a young age, 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal (USA).

Quintal opened with a noseride and shot the pier earning himself a solid 6.67 before the ocean slowed down to test Tudor’s patience as he responded with a 4.50. But, it was the 10-time Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner who kept one of his best friends at bay until the final horn after dropping a near-perfect 9.00.

“I just hope that left keeps working into the pier, I like that wave and a lot of people before me have made that their zone,” said Quintal. “(Tosh and I) were joking around before the heat and I would’ve been just as stoked if he’d won that heat. I was really nervous as well because I try and be mentor for him, and we have a good friendly rivalry so that heat meant a lot to both of us.”

Pictured: Three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) want to put his name in for a fourth and showed his desire today. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Current World No. 2 Ben Skinner (GBR) came into this event looking to improve upon his runner-up result from Manly Beach with a win, but Kaimana Takayama (USA) dashed that ambition with a clutch performance. Takayama then went on to face Round 4 standout Kevin Skvarna (USA), who had accumulated the rounds best performance with a 15.13 heat total. Takayama held his own though, eliminating the perennial Tour threat.

“I’ve been competing with Kevin (Skvarna) since forever, we started competing about the same time and entered the Oceanside Longboard Club together,” said Takayama. “I’ve seen his face in a heat more than anyone else out here combined and we’re really, really good friends. It was really special to share another heat with him out there and I’m so stoked to be in the Semifinals.”

A battle of WSL Longboard Champions unfolded between Taylor Jensen (USA) and Steven Sawyer (RSA) with Jensen controlling the affair to the final ten minutes. Sawyer answered back with a 6.70 to put himself back into the heat, but the South African star could not find the opportunity needed to surpass Jensen.

Rounding out the Semifinalists, stylemaster Kaniela Stewart (HAW) and Australian standout Declan Wyton (AUS) looked to claim the final spot into finals day. Stewart emerged victorious with an impressive showing in deteriorating, afternoon conditions with a 13.67 heat total.

Pictured: A Vans Duct Tape Invitational tradition lives on with some of the world’s best longboarders taking off for a paddle race. Credit: © WSL / Morris

Vans Duct Tape Invitational Paddle Race Brings Tradition Full Circle

In an exhibition of competition at its finest, some of the world’s best longboarders including Skinner, Taka Inoue (JPN), Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW), and more partook in a mad dash, paddle race to the finish line. It was winner-take-all as both men and women stormed into the water with smiles on their faces in search of a $1,000 prize. After paddling hard out to the competition zone buoy, Rachael Tilly (USA) and Kevin Skvarna (USA) dropped their boards in an exaltation of victory after crossing the finish line.

EARLIER UPDATE FROM FRIDAY THE 5TH….

Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival Called ON with Full Day of Longboard Competition

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 3 Results:
Heat 1
: Avalon Gall (USA) 11.44, Sophia Culhane (HAW) 10.23, Karina Rozunko (USA) 6.50
Heat 2: Tully White (AUS) 11.56, Sally Cohen (HAW) 5.50, Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 5.44

Men’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 4 Results:
QF 1
: Taylor Jensen (USA) 13.00 DEF. Steven Sawyer (RSA) 11.53
QF 2:  Kaimana Takayama (USA) 10.90 DEF. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 9.23
QF 3: Justin Quintal (USA) 16.50 DEF. Tosh Tudor (USA)
QF 4: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 13.17 DEF. Declan Wyton (AUS) 10.83

Men’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 4 Results:
Heat 1
: Steven Sawyer (RSA) 11.84 DEF. Kai Sallas (HAW) 11.10
Heat 2: Taylor Jensen (USA) 12.67 DEF. Jefson Silva (BRA) 11.87
Heat 3: Kaimana Takayama (USA) 11.97 DEF. Ben Skinner (GBR) 10.60
Heat 4: Kevin Skvarna (USA) 15.13 DEF. Lucas Garrio Lecca (PER) 9.97
Heat 5: Tosh Tudor (USA) 11.54 DEF. Harrison Roach (AUS) 10.60
Heat 6: Justin Quintal (USA) 14.23 DEF. Cole Robbins (USA) 11.30
Heat 7: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 13.93 DEF. Taka Inoue (JPN) 11.00
Heat 8: Declan Wyton (AUS) 11.90 DEF. Tony Silvagni (USA) 10.66

Men’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 3 Results:
Heat 1
:Tony Silvagni (USA) 12.27, Taka Inoue (JPN) 11.30, Joao Dantas (PRT) 9.77
Heat 2: Jefson Silva (BRA) 13.00, Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 11.40, Phil Rajzman (BRA) 9.40

Women’s and Men’s Longboard Elimination Round 3 Starts at 7:35 AM PDT

Men’s Round 4 and Men’s Quarterfinals To Follow

Watch LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com

Pictured: Karina Rozunko sits low in a cheater-5 in yesterday’s competition at the Vans Duct Tape Invitational. Credit: © WSL / Morris

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., USA (Friday, August 5, 2022) – The Vans US Open of Surfing is ON with the second day of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival. The Vans Duct Tape Invitational at Huntington Beach is the second of three events on the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour. Women’s and men’s Round 3 will start at 7:35 a.m. PDT, followed by men’s Round 4, and the men’s Quarterfinals. The Vans US Open of Surfing is also the fourth stop on the 2022 Challenger Series, which will resume tomorrow with the women’s and men’s Quarterfinals. Today’s longboard competitors will be greeted with waves in the three-to-five-foot range at the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier.

The first heat of the morning features two California favorites, Avalon Gall (USA) and Karina Rozunko (USA). They will be taking on ​​Sophia Culhane (HAW) who is coming off of a solid 5th place finish at the 2022 GWM Sydney Surf Pro WLT.

Tully White (AUS) placed third in Sydney and hopes to continue that momentum here at the second stop of the WSL Longboard Tour, but faces France’s Zoe Grospiron and a very capable Sally Cohen (HAW) in Round 3, Heat 2.

Men’s eliminations begin with WSL Longboard Tour veteran Tony Silvagni (USA) taking on upcoming talents Taka Inoue (JPN) and Joao Dantas (PRT) in Round 3, Heat 1. Then, Jefson Silva (BRA) leads the rankings in his matchup against fellow Brazilian Phil Raizman and Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) as the South Americans will clash in Round 3, Heat 1.

Women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Avalon Gall (USA), Sophia Culhane (HAW), Karina Rozunko (USA)
Heat 2: Zoe Grospiron (FRA), Tully White (AUS), Sally Cohen (HAW)

Men’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Tony Silvagni (USA), Taka Inoue (JPN), Joao Dantas (PRT)
Heat 2: Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER), Jefson Silva (BRA), Phil Rajzman (BRA)

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

 

  • EALIER UPDATES BELOW THURSDAY….

  • Quarterfinalists Finalized as Vans Duct Tape Invitational Takes Center Stage at Vans US Open of Surfing
  • Former WSL Longboard Champions Set the Pace In Huntington Beach
  • Broken Boards and Sportsmanship on Display at Vans Duct Tape Invitational
  • Quarterfinal Draws Locked In with Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Caitlin Simmers Claiming Their Spots
Pictured: Justin Quintal’s (USA) dominance of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational continued with an 8.67 in his debut. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Thursday, August 4, 2022) –  The Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), gave way to style and poise as the Vans Duct Tape Invitational took center stage with four-to-six foot swell continuing to pulse at Huntington Beach. The day opened with an all-star women’s Round of 16, Heats 5-8 deciding who has a spot in the Quarterfinalists. The day then transitioned to showcase the world’s best longboarders as the men and women’s Rounds 1 and 2 took on the large walls of water and pounding shore-break of Huntington Beach.

Former WSL Longboard Champions Set the Pace In Huntington Beach

A statement-making debut unfolded from 10-time Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner and 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal (USA). The Jacksonville Beach, Florida competitor dominated proceedings against former WSL Longboard Champion Steven Sawyer (ZAF) and Japan’s Taka Inoue with an incredible hang ten before fitting in a stylish cutback to accrue an excellent 8.67 (out of a possible 10).

“I was really stoked when I saw that wave come through and it just had that perfect noseride section,” said Quintal. “Then I shot the pier so that was fun. I go into every heat the same. For me, I’m more concerned with actually catching a few good waves and when there are this many people watching you, you want to do something cool.”

Harrison Roach (AUS) has unfinished business this year after narrowly missing out on a World Title in 2021 and continued his winning form from Manly Beach, Australia to Huntington Beach in dynamic fashion. The current World No. 1 styled his way to a stunning 15.66 (out of a possible 20) heat total with technical noserides and rail-to-rail surfing.

“Luckily I didn’t break my board like some of my mates did (laughs),” said Roach. “I wouldn’t be considered a favorite out here and (Justin) Quintal is the man to beat out here, he’s won here so many times so it’s kind of fun being the underdog.”

Current World No. 2 Ben Skinner (GBR) handled his opening heat brilliantly with the wildcard threat of Tosh Tudor (USA) pushing him and fellow WSL Longboard Tour veteran Jefson Silva (BRA). But, Kaniela Stewart (HAW) turned in the first excellent score, an 8.17, of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational after showcasing his signature style and poise.

Also notching all-important Round 2 wins, Kai Sallas (HAW), and three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) skip the dreaded Elimination Round.

Pictured: Former WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) returned to Huntington Beach in beautiful form. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

2015 WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA), who also won the North America Longboard Championships that same year, returned to Huntington Beach in phenomenal form. Tilly earned the best performer of women’s Round 2 with a 14.83 heat total, including an excellent 8.03, and is still hungry for another World Title at the young age of 22.

“It was all about wave selection out there. It was really tough all day and changing between every heat,” said Tilly. “I kind of got lucky with the first wave with the other girls being farther down the beach. Fortunately that one popped up, then I got another one back-to-back and sat in a comfortable place the rest of the heat.”

Reigning three-time WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW), maintained her winning streak, taking first place in Heat 3 by displaying her trademark smooth style. Blomfield returns to the Vans Duct Tape Invitational stage already a previous victor in 2018 and looks to add more Huntington Beach success to her resume. (Full interview in newsfeed)

“I kind of love this wave because it’s peaky and all over the place,” said Blomfield. “You never really know where to sit but something can just jump up. I haven’t surfed Huntington Beach in a while so I was just figuring it out again.”

2019 WSL Longboard Champion Soleil Errico (USA) narrowly took the win against fellow Californian Kaitlin Mikkelsen as the duo put Australian talent Tully White into the elimination Round 3.

Also skipping the elimination round and making it straight through to Round 4, 2021 Jeep Malibu Classic winner Alice Lemoigne (FRA), Chloe Calmon (BRA), and Natsumi Taoka (JPN) all earned valuable heat wins.

Pictured:  Victoria Vergara’s board falls victim to the Huntington Pier. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Broken Boards and Sportsmanship on Display at Vans Duct Tape Invitational

The large swell and strong shorepound of Huntington Beach claimed two broken boards in the men’s and women’s opening heats of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational. Juels Lepecheux (FRA) broke his board after falling on his first wave of the morning. In a true show of sportsmanship, fellow competitor Roach ran down to the beach and handed him his own personal board. Roach’s board was then used again by Victoria Vergara (FRA) who also suffered a broken board when it slammed into the pier.

Pictured: Caitlin Simmers (USA) keeps her outstanding Challenger Series season going with a clutch Round of 16 win. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Quarterfinal Draws Locked In with Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Caitlin Simmers Claiming Their Spots 

Reigning Vans US Open of Surfing victor Caitlin Simmers (USA) put on a showcase of backhand attacks to overpower event darkhorse Nadia Erostarbe (EUK). Simmers’ amazing year thus far has her atop the Challenger Series rankings and looks for a historic, back-to-back victory.

 “The last day (of competition) when it was huge we were just trying to survive,” said Simmers. “It’s like we’re actually surfing now. The current is still pretty hard but it’s better.”

Pictured:  Bettylou Sakura Johnson destroys a wave with her front-side attack. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

An impeccable showing from 2022 Championship Tour (CT) rookie Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) earned her a big win over San Clemente, California, and 2021 event Quarterfinalist, Sawyer Linblad (USA). The 17-year-old unleashed her forehand attack on a two-turn combination for an excellent 8.00 to close out the heat on Lindblad and make her way back into the Quarterfinals for a second-consecutive year.

“I go into each event with more confidence after making more heats,” said Sakura Johnson. “I really think it’s all about experience, surfing more heats and advancing to the next round to get the ball rolling.”

Also taking wins into the Quarterfinals, former CT elite Bronte Macaulay (AUS) and Challenger Series threat Sophie McCulloch (AUS) are now looking for a big finish of their own.

CLICK HERE FOR DAY 6 RESULTS

The next call will be made tomorrow, August 5 at 7:05 a.m. PDT for a possible 7:35 a.m. PDT start for competition.

 

EARLY Thursday: Women’s Round of 16 and Vans Duct Tape Invitational Longboard Called ON at Vans US Open of Surfing

  • Big Matchups in Remaining Women’s Challenger Round of 16 Starts at 7:35 AM PDT
  • World’s Best Longboarder’s To Make Their Debut Today Day in Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival
Pictured: Bronte Macaulay returns to the water in Round of 16, Heat 5 after an explosive start. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Thursday, August 4, 2022) – The Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series, has been called ON as the swell continues to hold at four-to-six foot. The women’s Challenger Series Round of 16, Heats 5 – 8, will kick off the morning, followed by the beginning of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational, the second of three events on the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour.

Big Matchups in Womens Challenger Series Round of 16 

The starts with a big matchup as Sage Erickson (USA) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS) go head-to-head for a place in the Quarterfinals. Also vying for their places in the quarters are Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) (Heat 6) and former event winner Caitlin Simmers (USA) (Heat 8).

World’s Best Longboarder’s Make Their Debut during Day One of Vans Duct Tape Invitational 

The day’s action will then transition to give the world’s best longboarders the spotlight with the start of the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival. Men’s Opening Round 1, Heat 1 will take to the water at 9:35 a.m. with several big names including 2021 World Runner-up Harrison Roach (AUS), who leads the rankings going into the event. Men’s Opening Round 1 will be followed by Women’s Opening Round 1, which includes reigning, three-time, WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW). Blomfield claimed the win at the first-ever all-womens Vans Duct Tape Invitational in 2018, and she now returns in search of another victory.

But, Roach and Bloomfield will have a world-class field of longboarders ready to strike with the likes of 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Soleil Errico (USA), multiple World Title runner-up Chloe Calmon (BRA), three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA), two-time WSL Longboard Champion, and now California resident, Phil Rajzman (BRA), and many more locked in for Huntington Beach.

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Round of 16 (Heats 5 – 8) Matchups:
Heat 5: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Heat 7: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) vs. Vahine Fierro (FRA)
Heat 8: Caitlin Simmers (USA) vs. Nadia Erostarbe (EUK)Vans Duct Tape Invitational Men’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Joao Dantas (PRT), Keoki Saguaro (HAW), Tosh Tudor (USA), Jules Lepecheux (FRA)Vans Duct Tape Invitational Women’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN), Victoria Vergera (FRA), Karina Rozunko (USA), Jasmim Avelino (BRA)

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

 

EARLIER UPDATE

  • First Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinalists Locked in at Vans US Open of Surfing
  • Eithan Osborne Soars to Near-Perfection, Molly Picklum Lights Up Round of 16
  • Liam O’Brien Earns His Third-Consecutive Quarterfinal in Huntington Beach
  • Caroline Marks Moves Toward Another Vans US Open of Surfing Title
Pictured: One of the Vans US Open of Surfing’s history-making airs was completed by Eithan Osborne (USA) as he earned a place into the Quarterfinals. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Wednesday, August 3, 2022) – Head-to-head action unraveled at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), with four-to-six foot swell still providing plenty of opportunity. A critical day of competition started with the men’s Round of 24, Heats 5 – 8, leading into Round of 16 duals. The day finished off with the women’s Round of 16, Heats 1 – 4, to begin determining Quarterfinal showdowns.

Standout Performance from Eithan Osborne

Top-tier competitors left spectators wanting more after a flurry of morning action which set up the men’s Round of 16 of head-to-head matches. The excitement continued into the men’s Round of 16 and women’s Round of 16 opening battles.

The event saw its highest single-wave score thus far as Ventura, California’s Eithan Osborne (USA) stomped a massive, full rotation air to garner a near-perfect 9.67 (out of a possible 10). Osborne’s explosive maneuvers are known around the surfing world and today he brought that firepower to the jersey in spectacular fashion, eliminating former CT heavyweight Willian Cardoso (BRA). This marks the 22-year-old’s best result on the Challenger Series and he now looks to better that result..

“It was a closeout and I tried a big one yesterday that had everyone freaked out so I thought if I landed one I could get that nine-point plus and that was on my mind all morning,” said Osborne. “I knew Willian (Cardoso) could just do two giant turns and get a solid score so I thought if I switch it up a bit (the judges) would reward it. I had the five to start the heat which isn’t a big score but two solid scores have been getting through so that was the plan.”

Pictured: Caroline Marks (USA) looks to make history of her own with a chance to claim her first Vans US Open of Surfing title away from the Pro Juniors. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Caroline Marks Moves Toward Another Vans US Open of Surfing Title

Two-time Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior victor and one of the world’s best, Caroline Marks (USA), dominated once again with an 8.83 and 6.00 in her scoreline. Marks had to overcome one of Costa Rica’s star talents Leilani McGonagle (CRI), who brought out the best in Marks as the two have competed against each other on the Qualifying Series (QS) for years leading up to Marks’ CT qualification.

“Getting scores like that on single maneuvers definitely gives me confidence and it was nice to have really good waves today,” said Marks. “Today was more typical Huntington and tons of swell so it’s a little cleaner, and I was having tons of fun out there. I have tons of respect for Leilani (McGonagle). I’ve had so many heats against her and she’s such an amazing surfer.”

Former 2022 CT Rookie Class Clash In Big Showdowns 

With the re-introduction of the CT Mid-Season Cut, rookies who narrowly missed out on keeping their spot among the world’s best are hungry to return and showed that desire in dynamic form.

A showcase from the next generation of women’s surfing provided a brilliant spectacle as 2022 CT rookie Molly Picklum (AUS) took on Vans wildcard Bella Kenworthy (USA). Picklum unleashed her backhand attack to garner an excellent 8.00 just before the 20-minute mark and backed it up with a 7.00.

“It’s crazy, I got that one big turn for an 8.00 then just watched Caroline (Marks) do the same thing so if I get her it’s going to be a pretty exciting Quarterfinal I think,” said Picklum. “Things change when I put on the jersey and it’s kind of weird because Bella (Kenworthy) and I are super close, and we do get along. We went on that trip to Mexico and I got to see how good she really is and I never felt safe out there.”

Also powering their way into the Quarterfinals with clutch performances, former CT surfers Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) and Macy Callaghan (AUS) are poised for a potential big finish.

Pictured: Liam O’Brien’s (AUS) connection with Huntington Beach is palpable and he’s back into the Quarterfinals. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

Two 2022 CT rookie class competitors kicked off the Round of 16 featuring event standouts Imaikalani deVault (HAW) and Liam O’Brien (AUS), going wave-for-wave in their affair. Massive one-turn maneuvers set the pace with O’Brien earning a 6.83 before deVault bested him with a 6.93, but O’Brien’s backup had deVault scouring the lineup in hopes of overturning the heat. In the end, O’Brien held the lead despite a priority mistake in the dying minutes and moved into his third-consecutive Vans US Open of Surfing Quarterfinals appearance.

“This wave’s always been really kind to me and there’s just a novelty about it,” said O’Brien. “I love coming here and I’ve been able to get a couple of big results in the past. Imai (deVault’s) an incredible surfer and I like his surfing so I knew that was going to be a pretty tough heat, but I just stuck to what I needed to do.”

Lucca Mesinas (PER) looks unstoppable with his current form, accruing an excellent 8.00 in his dismantling of rising star Cole Houshmand (USA), alongside fellow 2022 CT rookie standout looking to requalify, Joao Chianca (BRA). Evan Geiselman (USA), Joel Vaughan (AUS), and former CT elite Ryan Callinan (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) also earned their spots in the Quarterfinal finals with massive Round of 16 victories.

The next call will be made tomorrow, August 4 at 7:05 a.m. PDT for a possible 7:35 a.m. PDT start for women’s Round of 16, Heat 5.

Watch LIVE
The Vans US Open of Surfing is now open and will run through August 7 at Huntington Beach, California. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’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, and Just Egg. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

  • AT DAWN EARLY WEDNESDAY

  • Men’s Round of 24, Heat 5 Called ON at Vans US Open of Surfing
  • Men’s Round of 24 Action Continues at 7:35 AM PDT (435am HI time)
  • Men’s Round of 16, Women’s Round of 16 On Schedule
Pictured: Nolan Rapoza (USA) looks to keep the momentum alive and storm his way to finals day once again. Credit: © WSL / Ryder

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif/USA (Wednesday, August 3, 2022) – The Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), has been called ON in remaining, four-to-six foot, occasional plus size sets, swell. Men’s Round of 24, Heat 5 kicks off the action with men’s Round of 16 and women’s Round of 16 on schedule for a critical day of competition as head-to-head matchups will ensue.

Action resumes with the likes of Long Beach, California’s own Nolan Rapoza looking to keep his surge alive against heavy-hitter Ian Gentil (HAW) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) in Round of 24, Heat 5.

The likes of former Championship Tour (CT) surfers Jadson Andre (BRA) (Heat 6), Ryan Callinan (AUS) (Heat 8), Joao Chianca (BRA) (Heat 7), and Challenger Series threats Ramzi Boukhaim (MOR) (Heat 8), Evan Geiselman (USA) (Heat 6), and many more look to join the Round of 16, head-to-head competition.

Post a Comment

Back to Top