Elite surfers enter the 2011 US Open of Surfing

August 3, 2011 | Surfing
US Open of Surfing: let's do it, boys

The elite ASP Top 34 surfers clashed against the leaders of the next generation in consistently changing one-to-three foot (.5 metre) waves at Huntington Beach Pier. The 2011 US Open of Surfing is on and represents the last ASP Prime contest before the midyear cutoff for the elite ASP World Title Series.

Gabriel Medina unleashed his patented aerial-surfing and progressive turns on the wedgy Huntington lefthanders to ignite the day’s highest heat total of 16.73 out of 20 to start the Nike US Open of Surfing in sharp form.

"That was a tough heat," Medina said.

"It’s kind of hard to get a good one, but I got two 8s and I made it, so I’m stoked." Medina, current No. 19 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, is in excellent position to join the elite ASP Top 34 at the midyear cut and is trying not to put too much pressure on himself to perform at the final ASP Prime event before the switch.

"I’m not really thinking about it, I just want to do well in all of the contests," Medina said. "I want to have fun and hopefully I can qualify at the midway point in the year."

Richard Christie displayed powerful, committed surfing on the small peaky conditions at Huntington Beach to take a Round 1 win while posting the day’s highest single-wave score of an 8.93 (out of 10). The New Zealander’s victory came over Jack Freestone, Damien Hobgood and Nathaniel Curran.

"I’m just having a go and trying to get some scores and I’m stoked to get through that one," Christie said. “I was just trying to find a good wave and surf it the way I would usually surf it and not get too wigged out by the crowd and it seemed to work."

Taj Burrow was one elite ASP World Title Campaigner to ignite the challenging conditions on both his forehand and backhand to take a convincing Round 1 victory and the veteran campaigner enjoys competing against the next generation of talent at events such as the Nike US Open of Surfing.

"I luckily started with a pretty decent wave out the back and finished up in the shore-pound," Burrow said. "It’s great surfing against the young guys. They’re so high-fi out there. They’re really light on their feet and can do every trick in the book, I love it. I want to go out there and mix it up with them in these small little waves. It’s always a challenge and I love surfing with those guys."

Patrick Gudauskas took to his backhand to unload a flurry of tail-drifting turns on a series of wedgy lefthanders to garner a 16.33 out of 20 heat score, one of the day’s highest, to advance alongside brother Tanner Gudauskas, 23, in their Round 1 heat.

"I don’t think we teamed up against those guys," Gudauskas said. "We were looking at the heat draw and it was a bummer that we were in the same heat. You’re hoping to be in the Finals together maybe, but not Round 1. Those guys are such good surfers and there were so many waves being ridden that you couldn’t really team up."

Kelly Slater, former US Open of Surfing Champion, won his Round 1 heat with a buzzer-beating wave and unloaded a variety of ferocious forehand turns to earn an 8.50 for the ride to overtake Jano Belo for the win.

"There were waves breaking outside the heat before and there were only a few in our heat so it was a little tough," Slater said. "Days like this, it’s a lot of luck, you’ve just got to catch the right waves. I tried to plan that one at the end. I could have gone on the one before, but that one looked a little bit bigger and had that little peak up against the pier."

Nike US Open 2011 | Round of 96 Results

Heat 1: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.17, Torrey Meister (HAW) 10.30, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.50, Glen Hall (IRL) 9.20
Heat 2: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.93, Jonathan Gonzales (CNY) 10.96, Austin Ware (USA) 10.86, Matt Wilkinson (USA) 10.70
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.73, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 15.07, Cory Lopez (USA) 14.73, Adam Robertson (AUS) 11.63
Heat 4: Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.37, Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.27, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.07, Travis Logie (ZAF) 5.70
Heat 5: Richard Christie (NZL) 14.13, Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.90, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.30, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.55
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.67, Joel Centeio (HAW) 12.00, Roy Powers (USA) 9.94, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 8.40
Heat 7: Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.90, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 12.23, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 11.80, Kai Otton (AUS) 8.77
Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.93, Conner Coffin (USA) 12.34, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.00, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 9.30
Heat 9: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.33, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.93, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 10.56, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.00
Heat 10: Brian Toth (PRI) 14.03, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.06, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.10, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.34
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.03, Dylan Graves (PRI) 10.93, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 9.33, Daniel Ross (AUS) 7.54
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50, Jano Belo (BRA) 12.57, Jay Quinn (NZL) 10.63, Mason Ho (HAW) 8.37
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.50, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.30, Luke Davis (USA) 10.77, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 9.30
Heat 14: Adam Melling (AUS) 12.47, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.50, Joan Duru (FRA) 9.87, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 6.70
Heat 15: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.10, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.66, Tim Reyes (USA) 12.67, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 8.53
Heat 16: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.67, Gabe Kling (USA) 12.73, Kai Barger (HAW) 10.00, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 6.83

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