World’s top surfers are competing in Huntington Beach this weekend
Surfers from around the globe will descend on Huntington Beach as the World Surf League kicks off the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, with men’s trials beginning Saturday and competition continuing through July 31.
Huntington Beach is the sixth stop on the Women’s Championship Tour, meaning the women’s heats will match the 17 best female surfers in the world. Ranked No. 1 is Santa Ana-native Courtney Conlogue, who will defend her home surf in the third heat alongside fellow Californian Sage Erickson, ranked No. 11.
Each heat will include one of the top six women, with 2015 U.S. Open champion Johanne Defay of France in the second heat. Eight of this year’s competitors have won the U.S. Open before and Carissa Moore of Hawaii, last year’s World Tour Champion, has done so twice.
For the men, the U.S. Open is a top-tier event in the Qualifying Series. The top 10 points leaders in the Qualifying Series, with Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti at No. 1, will compete along with last year’s U.S. Open winner, Hiroto Ohhara of Japan.
Huntington Beach local Kanoa Igarashi is the first Asian-American surfer to qualify for the World Surf League’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
Several highly ranked Men’s Championship Tour surfers are scheduled to surf Huntington’s swells as well, headlined by Brazil’s Adriano de Souza, who won the 2015 WSL world title and is No. 4 in the Championship Tour rankings.
The men’s first-round heats begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue until 12:50 p.m. Dates and times for men’s and women’s competition later in the week depend on the weather.
In the junior male competition, San Clemente 17-year-old Griffin Colapinto will defend his 2015 Open win. The schedule for the junior women has not yet been released.
Though surfing is the main draw, Huntington Beach will simultaneously host a skate competition, the Vans Park Series, and the BMX Van Doren Invitational. Female skateboarders compete Tuesday and male skaters take to the bowl July 29 and 30. The main BMX events are on the U.S. Open’s final day, July 31.
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