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Conlogue to contend at U.S. Open of Surfing

Conlogue to contend at U.S. Open of Surfing
Local Courtney Conlogue comes in smiling after her round two heat of the Van's US Open of Surfing on Tuesday. ((Don Leach / Daily Pilot))

Surfer Courtney Conlogue's artwork is on full display in Huntington Beach for the first time. The ocean has really been the Sage Hill School graduate's canvas.

While her art is part of an exhibit at the Huntington Beach Art Center, Conlogue is looking to produce a masterpiece again off the waters in Huntington Beach.

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Conlogue is back to compete in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. The event starts Saturday and runs through Aug. 6, and it will feature locals like Conlogue, 24, and Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson, 32, who have won the women's and men's titles in the past.

It has been quite some time since they last conquered their home turf, Conlogue winning the U.S. Open in 2009 and Simpson in 2010. The first time Conlogue and Simpson prevailed was in the same year, in 2009.

Conlogue, ranked No. 4 in the World Surf League Championship Tour women's rankings, can move up with a standout performance at the U.S. Open, where she also finished runner-up four years ago. The top three surfers — Australians Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore — will be at the U.S. Open, along with defending champion Tatiana Weston-Webb.

Conlogue, from Santa Ana, might run into Weston-Webb, from Hawaii, at a second straight Championship Tour event. The two met in the finals of the Outerknown Fiji Women's Pro in June, and Conlogue won.

While Simpson is a two-time U.S. Open winner, the local favorite to claim the WSL men's Qualifying Series 10,000 event is Kanoa Igarashi, from Huntington Beach.

Igarashi, ranked No. 29 in the Championship Tour men's rankings, has reached the U.S. Open semifinals the last two years, losing to Brazil's Filipe Toledo in 2016 and Japan's Hiroto Ohhara in 2015. Igarashi's familiarity with the inconsistent waves at Huntington Beach will only help his chances to contend again. He has been surfing at Huntington Beach since he was 5 years old.

At 19, Igarashi will also have the hometown fans behind him.

Large crowds are expected to come out to see the top 200 surfers from around the world compete on the sixth stop of the Championship Tour, as well as the North America Pro Junior Tour. Organizers say the event will draw about 750,000 people throughout the nine days, and there will be more than surfing on tap.

The Vans Park Series Pro Tour for skateboarders and the Vans BMX Pro Cup World Championships for bike riders will take place throughout the week.

For those interested in Conlogue's art, the Huntington Beach Art Center is about a 15-minute walk from the beach. Conlogue has one painting on display for the "Women of Surfing: Art & History" exhibition. The painting is of a nice wave, the kind Conlogue rides so well.

Twitter: @ByDCP

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