– LOCAL STAR COURTNEY CONLOGUE LEADS WORLD’S BEST SURFERS IN HUNTINGTON BEACH
– DEFENDING EVENT WINNER JOHANNE DEFAY COMING IN WITH SOUTH PACIFIC MOMENTUM
– MORE AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM
Caption: Defending event Champion, Johanne Defay (FRA), will compete against Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Coco Ho (HAW) in Round 1 Heat 2 of the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.
Image: WSL / Rowland
Huntington Beach, California/USA (Wednesday, July 20, 2016) – The world’s best female surfers recommence their battle for the WSL Title this coming week with Stop No. 6 of 10 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT), the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach from July 25 – 31, 2016.
Courtney Conlogue (USA) is the current frontrunner on the WSL Jeep Leaderboard, having blitzed the start of the 2016 season with back-to-back-to-back Final appearances across the opening three events, securing a win a Bells Beach, and third and fifth in Rio and Fiji respectively. A Southern California native, Conlogue has spent years honing her approach at the famed Huntington Beach, but has yet to claim a US Open victory.
“I’ve had a strong year but there remains a lot of work to do before it’s finished,” Conlogue said. “I’m feeling healthy and my surfing feels really strong. It would be amazing to post a win at home in Huntington Beach and take that momentum into the rest of the year.”
Johanne Defay (FRA), defending Vans US Open of Surfing winner, is coming off a major win at the Fiji Women’s Pro in the South Pacific last month and returns to Huntington Beach ranked No. 4 in the world.
“Last year was my first Championship Tour win and a really special experience for me in Huntington Beach,” Defay said. “To win at the last event in Fiji and come back to Huntington, I’m feeling really good and hope for another strong event.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning three-time WSL Champion, returns to Huntington Beach this season ranked No. 3. The Hawaiian posted four consecutive Equal 3rd place finishes in the first four events of the season before cracking the Finals at the previous event in Fiji.
“The Tour gets stronger and stronger every year,” Moore said. “I feel like my surfing has been strong this season, but I haven’t found a win yet.
Tyler Wright (AUS), current WSL No. 2, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), former world runner-up, and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time WSL Champion, round out a considerable field in the 2016 Vans US Open of Surfing.
The Vans US Open Women’s CT Trials Winner, held July 25-26, 2016, will determine the single remaining spot into the main event.
The women’s Championship Tour event will be complemented by a Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10000 event.
VANS US OPEN OF SURFING ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Sage Erickson (USA, TBD
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)