US Open of Surfing Final Day: Hometown Hero Brett Simpson Repeats 2009 Victory, Takes Home $100,000
August 8, 2010
With the entire city of Huntington Beach, California in his corner, local boy Brett Simpson won his second consecutive US Open of Surfing men's title Sunday afternoon—a feat only Occy and Curren have ever accomplished—defeating current World #1-ranked Jordy Smith.
Simpson spent the week dispatching surfers he normally would have a tough time beating, including Julian Wilson, Dane Reynolds, and Kelly Slater. But anyone who's ever surfed a heat at the Huntington Beach Pier will tell you local knowledge is a huge advantage in the hard-to-read peaks south of the Pier.
The final between Smith and Simpson was first time the two had surfed against each other in a man-on-man heat, and Simpson's tactical prowess in and around the pilings helped him end Jordy's recent incredible streak, including two home-turf wins of his own this past July (the Mr. Price Pro and the Billabong Pro J-Bay). In the end, Jordy was throwing caution to the wind, hoping for a big score, while Brett simply milked waves to the inside picking up just enough points to keep his opponent at arm's length.
Simpson was mobbed at water's edge by friends and family who are beginning to get used to seeing their soft-spoken buddy's name on those checks with five zeros.
Even though the Men's competition was the focal point of the surf action Sunday, an hour or so earlier Florida's Evan Geiselman had, in similar tactical style, dispatched the three other finalists in the US Open Pro Junior men's final, including San Clemente's Kalohe Andino. Also, Joel Tudor took top honors in Pacifico's Noseriding Invitational, and Julian Wilson just edged out Dane Reynolds in an aerial battle during the All-Star Expression Session.
Simpson's performance was surely a huge confidence booster ahead of the Billabong Pro Tahiti World Tour event, which kicks off in less than a fortnight. To make the cut for the second half of the 2010 Dream Tour, Simpson will need to shine (and possibly put himself into some dangerous situations) in order to stay on tour. Maybe this win will give him an edge.
US Open of Surfing Men's Final Results:
1. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.97
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.33
US Open of Surfing Men's Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.00 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.80
Heat 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.37 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.33
US Open of Surfing Men's Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.66 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.10
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.26 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.07
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.94 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 7.43
Heat 4: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.14 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.74
US Open Pro Junior Men's Final:
1. Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.57
2. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.54
3. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.23
4. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.67
WPS All-Star Expression Session:
1. Julian Wilson
Pacifico Noseriding Invitational:
1. Joel Tudor
2. Alex Knost
3. Kevin Connelly
4. Tyler Warren
5. Tyler Hatzikian
In Brief: Sunday At The Open
Schedule: Men's Quarterfinals thru Final, Pacifico Noseriding Invitational, Junior Mens Final, WPS All-Star Expression Session.
Start Time: 8:00 a.m. on the dot.
Conditions: Inconsistent waist to head high surf, glassy early with more texture as the morning wore on.
Crowd: Big. As far as attendance goes, nothing's bigger than the US Open. Cooler temps and no massive El Nino swell (remember 2009?) meant a slightly smaller crowd than last year, but still, the masses were teeming.
Huntington Hop: High-tide woes around the time of the final had competitors trying to bounce their way to the inside close-out section….never an attractive moment in sport. In the competitors area before the semifinals, Surfline forecasting guru Sean Colln's called the tide "unfortunate."
$100-Grand, Man: Hurley's decision to up the first-place cash prize to $100,000 last year is probably a big reason why this year's semi-finalists are all major forces on the World Tour…oh yeah, and Brett.
Nose Job: Joel Tudor won the Pacifico Noseriding competition with Newport anti-hero Alex Knost coming in a close 2nd.
Geiselmania: Evan Geiselman's US Open Pro Junior victory means the Geiselman family has now twice clinched the ASP North America Pro Junior Series Title (his older bro Eric won it in 2006). The jury is still out on his calydescopic wetsuit.
Spin 'Til Ya Hit: Quiksilver teammates Dane Reynolds and Julian Wilson fought a war of fully rotated backside 360 airs, with Wilson taking the All-Star Expression Session.
The Big Unit: Though he couldn't figure out how to undo Simpson in tricky high-tide conditions, Jordy's Smith's second place finish on the back of his recent J-Bay World Tour win further cements the big Saffa as a true title contender in any conditions.
Home Court Advantage: "I know which waves score the best," said Simpson after his win. The hometown hero used local knowledge to beat former US Open Champ Nathaniel Curran, Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds, and current world numero uno, Jordy Smith on his way to glory.