Stand Up World Tour | US Open of SUP Early Rounds | Huntington Beach, CA
Surf City, U.S.A.—The U.S. Open of SUP is underway in Huntington Beach, California, where the world’s best SUP surfers are battling for a World Title at the third and arguably most monumental stop on the Stand Up World Tour. After warming up with trials over the weekend, contenders are currently working their way through Day Two of the main event, which you can watch live compliments of the Waterman League.
Trials commenced over the weekend with 43 male competitors battling for just four open spots in the 36-man main event. With surf hovering in the knee- to waist-high zone throughout trials, contenders capable of critical performance surfing in small beachbreak conditions were the dominant force. The boys from Punta Sayulita, Mexico—Fernando Stalla and Felipe Rodriguez—appeared right at home in the modest surf, along with upcoming 16-year-old Australian powerhouse Harry Maskell and flow master Colin McPhillips. In the end, the finals saw McPhillips take on Hawaii’s Riggs Napoleon, the American Kieran Grant, and Sayulita’s Felipe Rodriguez, with Rodriguez taking the final and entering the main event as the top seed out of trials.
Main Event: Rounds One and Two—Men’s
Round One opened with an early upset when Felipe Rodriguez carried on his winning spree with the round’s highest scoring heat total—a 15.5—sending established World Tour chargers Mo Freitas and Noa Ginella into the Round Two repocharge. 2012 World Champion Leco Salazar dominated his heat along with fellow Brazilian, Caio Vaz, meanwhile Sean Poynter and Daniel Hughes put on winning performances for the Americans. On the Hawaiian side, Zane Schweitzer, Bullet Obra and Kai Lenny advanced directly to Round Three with impressive heat wins.
Meager wave conditions for the Round Two repocharge were met by a 6-foot high tide and onshore wind, rendering chance a critical factor in the determination of advancing surfers. Interestingly enough, the Hawaiians dominated the small Huntington surf during the repo with Riggs Napoleon, Kody Kerbox, Bernd Roediger and Mo Freitas all advancing to Round Three. The final heat of the round between Australia’s Keahi De Aboitz and South Africa’s Justin Bing saw the highest scoring heat and the closest contention, as Bing advanced with a 15.76 above Aboitz’s 15.33.
Main Event: Round One and Two—Women’s
Tour veterans Candice Appleby, Nicole Pacelli and Lara Claydon all won their heats and advanced directly to Round Three, hardly a surprise given their historically dominant careers on the World Tour. More shocking was the performance from Japanese tour newbie, Yuuka Horikoshi, who’s display earned her the fast track to Round Three and sent current World Champ, Izzi Gomez, into the Round Two repocharge. But Gomez wasn’t fazed, and went on to beat out Caroline Angibaud and win her repocharge heat. That sent Angibaud packing—call it payback for her victory over Gomez in Turtle Bay.
Look out for updates on @SUPthemag social media and stay tuned for the full gallery and recap at the end of the event!
More Stand Up World Tour.
Video Recap from Day One of the Main Event