HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Saturday, July 29, 2006) – Former Association of Surfing Professionals
(ASP) Women's World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (Lima, Peru) won the Women's Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O'Neill in front of a capacity crowd at Huntington Beach this afternoon.
"I'm so happy," Mulanovich, 23, said. "It's been my dream to win the U.S. Open since I was very young so it's amazing to finally win it. I've been surfing this event since I was 14 and I've gotten seconds, and finished third, but I've never won before. I'm stoked."
Mulanovich carved comfortably through shifting afternoon conditions to claim the long sought-after title over fellow ASP Women's World Tour competitor, Jessi Miley-Dyer (Sydney, AUS).
"It's such a good contest," Mulanovich said. "It's in America and all my sponsors are here, so it's great to win one in California in front of all these people on the beach – it's great for your career."
Mulanovich, runner-up on last year's ASP Women's World Tour, has so far this year struggled to regain the form that's seen her sitting at the top of the ratings the past few years. Though currently no. eight in the world, momentum gained from this win will surely impact her headspace heading into the next ASP Women's World Tour event in Brazil in August.
"For me, once I've won a contest, it's so much easier to get on a roll," Mulanovich said. "This is my first WQS event this season. I've been at home training a lot, both physically and psychologically. To win here is good for my confidence for sure."
In addition to the prestige of winning the U.S. Open as well as a swath of World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings points, Mulanovich was also awarded $4,500 and a Honda AquaTrax jetski for her efforts.