Mo Freitas leads heading into lap two in an early heat. Photo: Will Taylor

Morgan Hoesterey and Mo Freitas emerged from the fog—and some serious surf—in Huntington Beach on Saturday to take wins at the Michelob Ultra Surf Race to Victory.

“We always have waves for this event, so it’s very fun to watch,” Marc Spitaleri, owner/CEO of Victory KoreDry said. “It takes a great combination of luck and strategy to win.”

Spectators were often peering into the fog, watching the helmet-clad paddlers disappear out toward the buoys, only to re-emerge in new positions or right next to each other, bumping rails. But it was the consistently head-high surf that really kept things interesting—especially for the women.

Morgan Hoesterey, all smiles as she cruises to another heat win. Photo: Taylor

“The girls got destroyed,” Hoesterey said. “We got the luck of the sets and not the good kind. But the surf makes the race one of the more fun events.”

The girls were swell magnets, attracting sets almost every time they started a heat. Hoesterey looked strong, taking first in two heats and second in another for the overall women’s win. Halie Harrison and Gillian Gibree were often close on her heels but were edged out by bad luck with the waves.

On the men’s side, an international crew from France, Mexico, Hawaii and the States made for some stiff competition. In the men’s final, Freitas disappeared into the fog on the first lap right behind the lead pack that included Brennan Rose and Anthony Vela, only to arrive in the lead for lap two. He never looked back.

Three men, including Freitas, looking for the lead on a Huntington wave. Photo: Taylor

Turnout for the race was smaller than the past few years due to the Water Warrior race happening down the coast.

2013 Surf Race to Victory Results
1) Mo Freitas
2) Brennan Rose
3) Arthur Arutkin
4) Arthur Daniel
5) Anthony Vela
6) Joshua Riccio
7) Fernando Stalla

1) Morgan Hoesterey
2) Halie Harrison
3) Gillian Gibree
4) Alison Riddle
5) Karen Jacobson