The ASP WQS 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing just got a little greener. Not environmentally, but monetarily. Last year's victor Nathaniel Curran cashed in with $20,000, a respectable prize. This year, however, the stakes are higher, as the first place winner will go home $100,000 richer.
This unprecedented prize purse was suggested by Rob Machado, who wanted to reignite the atmosphere of the contest. "This event has more humans on the beach than any event in the world,” the former event winner said. "I love the idea of bringing that stadium atmosphere excitement back. Plus, it’s the U.S. Open, man. With a name like that, you gotta do something spectacular.”
Running July 20-26 at the Huntington Beach Pier, the U.S. Open is free to the public and offers a chance to watch world-class surfers vie for the prize. "Huntington Beach is ground zero for competitive surfing in mainland America, and on the 50th anniversary of major events at the Pier, we're excited and honored to help bring surfing back to center stage at the U.S. Open," Evan Slater, Hurley Digital Marketing Manager, said. "This includes attracting the world's best surfers and making it the significant event it deserves to be."
A prize of that size brings out the big guns, and this year's roster includes two-dozen elite ASP World Tour Athletes along with several top-tier WQS stars. Among the most notable contenders are Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Mick Fanning, C.J. Hobgood, Sunny Garcia, and Rob Machado.
Hurley has upped the ante for the women's division as well, with first place running at $35,000. Female headliners include Stephanie Gilmore, Sofia Mulanovich, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Coco Ho, Sage Erickson, and Jacqueline Silva.
The U.S. Open of Surfing Nike 6.0 Junior boy and girl winners will receive $10,000 each, as will the champion of the Corona Nose Riding Invitational. Up from $145,000, the overall purse boasts a hefty $290,000. Let the games begin!
The event will be webcast LIVE at http://www.usopenofsurfing.com