HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, July 13, 2009) – South Huntington Beach Pier is set to host an massive international field of up-and-coming competitive surfing talent at the famed Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing which hosts both Men’s and Women’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6- Star events. Running in conjunction with the premier contest will be the U.S. Open of Surfing Nike 6.0 Pro Junior, which includes Men’s ASP Grade-2 and Women’s ASP Grade-4 divisions.

Surfers competing in the ASP 6-Star event are looking to capture their share of the ample ratings points available towards qualification for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour while surfers on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series are out to finish within the top three on the regional series in order to qualify for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships held in Narrabeen, Australia each January.

Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 24, is currently rated ninth overall on the ASP WQS and will be one local surfer leading the barrage of competitive talent at his home break of South Huntington Beach Pier.

“It’s definitely a very important event for me knowing that it’s my home break,” Simpson said. “It’s also the halfway point of the season and it’s where the big push has to be made! Also having my friends and family around is just a great atmosphere for me and I tend to shine in those moments!”

Simpson has been a top contender on The Grind this year and has been dedicating himself physically and mentally to progressing his competitive mindset, so it’s no surprise that the young Huntington Beach native is off to the best season of his professional career.

“It’s definitely not my surfing and fitness, those are my strengths,” Simpson said. “There is so much more that comes with surfing competition and that’s what my goal this year has been to work on and figure out. Emotionally for me, it’s is my biggest part and hopefully I can ride my way into a Final berth if not a win at the Hurley U.S. Open.”

Stephanie Gilmore (Tweed Heads, AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and former U.S. Open Champion is a primary example of the top-quality talent set to tackle this year’s Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing. With a long break between ASP Women’s World Tour events, the talented young Australian is out to utilize this year’s event to get back to competition mode before returning to attempt her third consecutive ASP Women’s World Title.

“I always look forward to the U.S. Open as its one of the biggest and most important events on the ASP`s calendar,” Gilmore said. “Since the event is in the middle of the long break, it’s perfect to shake off the holiday mode and find that competitive groove again in time for the Beachley Classic in September.”

Gilmore is currently leading the pack of impressive young talent currently pushing the limits of progressive female surfing and knows that topping the field of impressive talent out to take this year’s Hurley U.S. Open title will be no easy feat.

“I’ve always felt that the 'QS events are very testing especially lately because there are fewer events and all the competitors are so hungry for both success and prize money,” Gilmore said. “Then with Carissa (Moore) leading the charge and Malia (Manuel) as defending champ, this year will be more exciting than ever.”

Also competing in the event will be nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 37, current ASP World No. 2 Adriano de Souza (Guaruja Sao Paulo, BRA), 22, and former U.S. Open Champion and ASP World No. 3 C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 29, in addition to several other ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour surfers.

The Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing will kick off on Saturday, July 18 and will run through Sunday, July 26, 2009.

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