HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Thursday, July 18, 2013) - The world's best female surfers are set to descend upon Huntington Beach Pier for the prestigious Vans US Open of Surfing and the only American ASP Women's WCT event will play a vital role in deciding this year's title.
Stop No. 6 of 8 on the ASP Women's WCT, the Vans US Open of Surfing will not only represent a vital role in the ASP World Title Race, but is also crucial in women's requalification campaigns for 2014.
Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, current frontrunner in the race for the ASP Women's World Title, will be out to further her lead over the field with a strong result in Huntington Beach. The talented natural-footer admitted that the external elements of the Vans US Open of Surfing including the crowd, action sports festival and consistently changing conditions make the Vans US Open of Surfing one of the most unique and challenging stops of the year.
"The US Open has a real festival vibe and it can be really hard to concentrate sometimes because there is so much going on," Wright said. "There are hundreds of thousands of people on the beach, so it is hard to compare it to anywhere else. I'm looking forward to surfing a few heats, in between the people watching! I think every event on tour is important for the World Title and it has been a couple of months since we've all competed. Huntington Beach is another opportunity for the top 17 to showcase their surfing."
Carissa Moore (HAW), 20, 2010 US Open of Surfing Champion, is a proven competitor in the tricky lineup of Huntington Beach and admits that a win at the Vans US Open represents one of the most unique experiences in surfing.
"Winning the US Open a few years back was absolutely incredible," Moore said. "To win in front of such a huge crowd, ride into the beach and see all the people cheering is one of the coolest feelings in the world. I'm really looking forward to competing at the US Open this year. Huntington can be a pretty tricky wave but there definitely are some gems. Can't wait to put on a jersey and give it my best."
Moore, 2011 ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 2, has been on fire throughout her 2013 ASP Women's World Title campaign, clinching two events thus far. Entering the Vans US Open of Surfing, the talented Hawaiian is hungry to post a big result in hopes of surpassing Wright to overtake the rankings lead.
"The title race is super close this year," Moore said. "All the girls are on the top of their game and putting forth their best performances. It's making the year really exciting. I would love to get a good result here and continue the race going into the next two events."
Courtney Conlogue (USA), 20, local event favorite and past US Open winner (2009), has spent countless hours in the Huntington Beach lineup, but due to the elite level of competition and ever-changing conditions, the dedicated regular-footer feels her advantage is minimal.
"I do train in Huntington Beach often, however I don't know if it really gives me an advantage," Conlogue said. "The sandbars continually change by the pier. The tides, swells, and wind create adjustments throughout the day heat-to-heat. All the athletes on the WCT come into the event ready to perform and put on a show. I'm ready this year!"
Conlogue, current No. 4 and winner of the third ASP Women's WCT Stop in New Zealand, is still within contention for a maiden ASP Women's World Title and knows that a big result in front of her hometown crowd is vital in keeping her hopes of No. 1 alive.
"My year has been going well and I've had several great moments," Conlogue said. "The last time I won this event was in 2009 when I was 16 years old! Every event on the WCT is important to me and I come into each event hoping for a great result. A win this year would help move me up in the rankings."
Surfline, official forecasters for the Vans US Open of Surfing, are calling for: Medium size SSW swell to continue Sat/Sun, with a slow fading trend Monday through Wednesday. A fun size SSW swell is on track to provide waves for the last few days of the event.
In addition to all of the ASP action, the 2013 Vans US Open is a massive action sports festival that will also include the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational, BMX and Skate Competitions, performances from Modest Mouse, The Faint, Matt Costa and more.
The Vans US Open of Surfing will run from July 20 through 28 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.vansusopenofsurfing.com/live
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UPCOMING VANS US OPEN ROUND 1 MATCH UPS:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Leila Hurst (HAW)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW), Paige Hareb (NZL), Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)