Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach) , 24, has claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing over former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning, in front of an ecstatic hometown crowd, netting surfing’s biggest victory purse ever – US$100,000.
An event that will go down in surfing history, the 2009 Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing was treated to incredible surf (waves reaching as high as ten-to-twelve feet), an unprecedented number of elite ASP Dream Tour competitors in attendance as well as the biggest winner’s prize money in surfing history. The young local’s emphatic victory in front of the hundreds of thousands on the beach provided the storybook ending and vaulted the event to unprecedented heights.
Simpson wasted no time in putting his opponent on the ropes in the Final, collecting a 6.83, a 7.83 and a 9.10 in the opening half of the heat with razor-sharp turns, explosive aerial maneuvers and a supernatural rapport with the Huntington Beach sandbanks.
“I knew the tide was coming up and there weren’t going to be as many waves,” Simpson said. “I knew I needed a quick start. We (Mick Fanning and I) both got off to pretty quick starts. We both picked up some good scores off the bat and I was able to build a little momentum throughout my opening waves. I couldn’t believe it when the heat finished – I’m still at a loss. I can’t ask for more than to beat Mick Fanning in the Final at home. With that, and the $100,000 and the 2,500 ‘QS points, I’m nearly in tears at the moment.”
Each one of Simpson’s maneuvers was met with a thunder of cheers from the hundreds of thousands of spectators on the beach, and the young Californian’s win caused an unparalleled eruption of excitement to ripple through the Hurley U.S. Open event site.
“When you’re riding on the ski in front of the crowd and you hear the applause it definitely pumps you up,” Simpson said. “Every time I was feeling a bit tired, the energy level of the crowd would lift me right up. It’s unbelievable to have all the support and my family, friends and sponsors here with me. This is the best day of my life!”
Brett was riding his favorite Futures Fin, the Hamish Graham lightweight RTM fins in this monumental win.