Men’s Pro Junior Kicks Off Vans US Open of Surfing

July 29, 2017 • WSL

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/ USA (Saturday, July 29, 2017) – The 2017 Vans US Open of Surfing kicked off today with impressive performances in the opening rounds of the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Pro Junior event. The day saw the Juniors battle through Rounds 1 and 2 in three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) conditions on the southside of the Huntington Beach pier to determine the Quarterfinalists of the event.

Ryland Rubens of USA advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Crosby Colapinto (USA) put on a show for the Huntington Beach crowd with the a phenomenal 16.50 (out of a possible 20), the highest two-wave score of the day in the final heat of Round 2. The San Clemente local earned two excellent 8-point rides for the win and will advance through to the Quarterfinals. Ryland Rubens (USA), second place finisher in the heat, will also advance to the next round after a buzzer-beater win over 2016 event finalist Yuji Mori (JPN) and Wyatt McHale (HAW).

Wyatt McHale of Hawaii advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro today at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

“It feels pretty good to get that win,” said Colapinto. “I’ve been coming up to Huntington and practicing a lot, so it feels good to make heats here when you work hard. Surfing the US Open is crazy because you have all the fans on the beach and everybody is here watching. A lot of people from around the world are here too and it is one of the biggest contests of the year, so it is good to make some heats.”

Yuji Mori of Japan advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro today at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Cole Houshmand (USA) claimed the second highest combined score of the day, a commanding 16.10. Houshmand posted an excellent 8.17 for the lead, and backed that up with a 7.93 for the heat win. Houshmand will advance through to the Quarterfinals, along with compatriot John Mel (USA), who earned second place with a 13.34 combined-score.

“I am feeling really good,” said Houshmand. “It felt good to get the first heat jitters out of the way. The waves are really fun. I feel confident in my surfing right now and I am stoked to be in the Quarterfinals. This event is probably one of the biggest contests I do all year. With all the people, it really brings the pressure and makes you surf better. Overall, this contest is one of my favorites.”

David Economos of the USA advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro today at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

David Economos (USA) far surpassed his 2016 result at the Vans US Open with his Quarterfinal berth today. Economos will look to continue his momentum from his wins in Rounds 1 and 2. Economos is currently in the sixth spot on the Men’s North America Junior Tour rankings, so a strong finish at this event will help vault him into the Top 5.

“I am really stoked because last year I did not do too well in this contest,” said Economos. “I am happy to do better this year and make it through to the Quarters. My strategy will be to get a wave early so I can keep focused and not get nervous. It is nerve-wracking at first with this crowd, but then you settle. Everyone is watching so the pressure is on to surf well.”

Sean Woods of USA advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Che Allan (BRB) is currently second on the North America Pro Junior rankings after a critical victory at the Los Cabos Open of Surfing. Allan will advance to the Quarterfinals after earning second to Economos today. The Barbadian surfer will need a strong result in Huntington Beach to keep strengthening his North America Regional Junior Title run.

“This is definitely an important contest for me because I did not have the best first contest this season,” said Allan. “The second contest I won, but this one is important because I am only competing in two more events, including the one at home in Barbados. All the other guys around me in the rankings have made it to the Quarterfinals too, so I want to keep going. There is definitely some momentum from winning the last event, but after that last one I went back to square-one. I am not used to surfing beach break in a wetsuit, so not that much momentum, but a little extra confidence.”

Malakai Martinez of Costa Rica advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro today at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Round 2 Heat 5 witnessed a close match-up between Cody Young (HAW)Eithan Osborne (USA)Parker Cohn (USA) and Sage Burke (USA). All four competitors went wave for wave, but it was Young who earned a 10.24 combined score for the lead. Osborne clinched the second position over Cohn and Burke by less than one point to earn his place in the Quarterfinals with Young.

“This is my first year competing in the US Open,” said Young. “I will be competing in the Junior and the QS event. I am really excited to make it through to the Quarterfinals and excited for the QS event. I’ve competed in NSSA Nationals since was ten years old, so I feel like I have a little bit of experience over the international guys out here, so I am excited for that to start. In that round, I knew it was going to be pretty high-tide with the afternoon heat, so my strategy was to just sit right under it and wait for those pier-bowl rights and try to be on the good ones.”

Jacob Burke of Barbados advanced into Round Two of the Men’s Junior Pro at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Tyler Gunter (USA) edged through his Round 2 heat to earn a win against chargers Elijah Fox (HAW)Kyuss King (AUS) and Leo-Paul Etienne (FRA). Gunter, who is in his third year competing at this event, utilized his local knowledge to find the scores and earn a spot in the next round. Fox locked in the runner-up position in the heat and will also join Gunter in the Quarterfinals.

“I am definitely stoked to be in the Quarterfinals,” Gunter said, “Hopefully it gets really good in the next few days for the Quarters. This is my third year competing in this event. The first two years I was just a stoked grom to compete at this event, but now I am definitely taking it really seriously. This is my favorite contest at home for me so I am stoked to still be going.”

Stevie Pittman of the USA surfing into Round One of the Men’s Junior Pro today at the US Open in Huntington Beach, Ca. Photo: WSL/Morris

Samuel Pupo (BRA) proved that he will be one to watch throughout this event after his near-perfect 9.73 (out of a possible 10) to win his Round 2 heat. Pupo exhibited big airs in Round 2 Heat 1 against Yuji Nishi (JPN), who will join Pupo in the Quarterfinals after earning a second place finish in the heat. Joao Chianca (BRA) and Tommy McKeown (USA) were not able to find the required scores and will be eliminated from the event.

Reef Heazlewood (AUS)Kade Matson (USA),  Luke Gordon (USA) and Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) also secured their place in the Quarterfinals today after great performances in Rounds 1 and 2.

The Vans US Open of Surfing will continue tomorrow with the men’s QS Trials event, starting at 8:00 a.m. local time.

The Vans US Open of Surfing will be broadcast LIVE from July 31 – August 6 via VansUSOpenofSurfing.com, WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob Ultra, Hydro Flask, G-Shock, LifeProof, CLIF Bar, D’Angelico Guitars, Red Bull, Frontier, Ralphs, Peet’s Coffee, and 7-Eleven.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com and for continued updates and scheduling for the Vans US Open of Surfing visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Vans US Open of Surfing, are calling for:

Nice run of waves on tap through the event window. Longer period SSW/S Southern Hemisphere swell continues to rise Sunday into Monday, as a modest to fun blend of tropical SSE/S swell from Hilary and Irwin mix in. It is of note that after an initially unimpressive run in the SoCal swell window, Hilary looked a fair bit better yesterday and today. That will help the cause Sunday and Monday. A nice size dose of longer period S/SSE swell tops out by the middle of the week as the tropical swell looks to fade. Fun, reinforcing SSW and S/SSE swells keep fun-zone waves running through the end of the event period as we may see a slight boost in NW windswell energy.   

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Pro Junior Round 1 Results: 
Heat 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 14.33, Jackson Butler (USA) 8.67, Micah Crozier (USA) 6.16, Tyrone Fomenko (USA) 6.04
Heat 2: Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.50, John Mel (USA) 10.90, Alan Cleland (MEX) 8.14, Ryan Huckabee (USA) 6.23
Heat 3: Braden Jones (USA) 12.80, Yuji Nishi (JPN) 12.24, Taro Wantanabe (USA) 11.93, Nate Carabba (USA) 7.73
Heat 4: Cole Houshmand (USA) 14.10, Tommy McKeown (USA) 10.93, Kyle Tester (USA) 6.90,Zander Venezia (BRB) 4.87
Heat 5: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 13.90, Griffin Foy (USA) 10.03, Sebastian Mendes (USA) 6.83, Shane Frontino (USA) 6.37
Heat 6: Kade Matson (USA) 14.20, Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 11.83, Adam Auffay (MTQ) 6.47, Parker Swoish (USA) 5.54
Heat 7: Gabriel Morvil (USA) 12.70, Chase Modelski (USA) 8.84, Marco Mignot (FRA), Italo Mesinas (USA),
Heat 8: Luke Gordon (USA) 9.96, Micha Cantor (USA) 9.03, Ethan Mudge (USA) 6.94, Liam Gloyd (USA) 6.64
Heat 9: Cody Young (HAW) 12.10, Elijah Fox (HAW), Evan Brownell (USA), Levi Slawson (USA)
Heat 10: Eithan Osborne (USA) 13.03, Kyuss King (AUS) 11.84, Jett Schilling (USA) 7.46, Will Grossarth (USA) 1.97
Heat 11: Tyler Gunder (USA) 13.40, Parker Cohn (USA) 11.23, Aldo Chirinos (CRI) 11.10, Nicolas Chalonec (MTQ) 7.13
Heat 12: Leo-Paul Etienne (FRA) 9.67, Sage Burke (USA) 8.03, Tommy Coleman (USA) 8.00, Keanu Igarashi (USA) 7.16
Heat 13: Che Allan (BRB 12.93, Crosby Colapinto (USA) 11.43, Liam Murray (USA) 9.34, Shane Borland (USA) 6.63
Heat 14: Sean Woods (USA) 10.87, Ryland Rubens (USA) 9.24, Stevie Pittman (USA) 8.94, Sean Foerster (CAN) 7.80
Heat 15: Yuji Mori (JPN) 15.50, David Economos (USA) 12.64, Max Beach (USA) 7.60, Jacob Burke (BRB) 6.10
Heat 16: Wyatt McHale (HAW) 13.03, Malakai Martinez (CRI) 12.80, Hagan Johnson (USA) 9.30, Dylan Hord (USA) 7.70

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Pro Junior Round 2 Results: 
Heat 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 15.73, Yuji Nishi (JPN) 12.70, Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.60
Heat 2: Cole Houshmand (USA) 16.10, John Mel (USA) 13.34, Jackson Butler (USA) 11.16, Braden Jones (USA) 8.86
Heat 3: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 14.50, Kade Matson (USA) 12.37, Micha Cantor (USA) 9.03, Chase Modelski (USA) 7.24
Heat 4: Luke Gordon (USA) 12.30, Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 11.97, Griffin Foy (USA) 10.67, Gabriel Morvil (USA) 0.00
Heat 5: Cody Young (HAW) 10.24, Eithan Osborne (USA) 9.86, Parker Cohn (USA) 8.94, Sage Burke (USA) 8.26
Heat 6: Tyler Gunter (USA) 9.80, Elijah Fox (8.93), Kyuss King (AUS) 7.00, Leo-Paul Etienne (FRA) 6.84
Heat 7: David Economos (USA) 10.27, Che Allan (BRB) 9.33, Sean Woods (USA), Malakai Martinez (CRI)
Heat 8: Crosby Colapinto (USA) 16.50, Ryland Rubens (USA) 11.10, Yuji Mori (JPN) 10.77, Wyatt McHale (HAW) 9.50

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