NewsVans US Open of Surfing - Men's QSMichael February

Vans US Open Aftermath: Qualifying Series Climbers

While the Word Title race will be heating up again later this week in Tahiti, the huge battle for spots on next year's Championship Tour (CT) just took a major turn at the Vans US Open of Surfing - Men's QS. The Huntington Beach event is one of only five QS 10,000 events, the most heavily weighted on the Qualifying Series (QS).

Local favourite Kanoa Igarashi of the USA (pictured) is chaired up the beach as the winner of the VANS US Open of Surfing after defeating Tomas Hermes of Brazil in the final with a heat total of 17.23 points (out of a possible 20.00) which included a open Kanoa Igarashi's Vans US Open Win couldn't have come at a better time. WSL / Kenneth Morris

CT surfers who don't finish in the Top 22 on the Jeep Leaderboard at the end of the year lose their coveted seeds unless they "requalify" through the QS. To do that, they must finish in the Top 10 on the QS rankings. QS hopefuls, meanwhile, are hoping to fill those 10 spots themselves, and they were doing a good job of it heading into Huntington Beach. Jordy Smith was the only CT surfer in the Top 10 before the Vans US Open of Surfing.

Jordy, however, is in very little danger of not making the Top 22. On the contrary, he's smack in the World Title race. Kanoa Igarashi, however, is in quite a dangerous situation with his current spot on the Jeep Leaderboard. At No. 29, he's enduring a bit of a sophomore slump. But a bigger concern for Kanoa was that he was ranked No. 69 on the QS, a long way from requalifying...until yesterday.

Final Day Highlights from the Vans US Open of Surfing
2:33
Get a glimpse of the good stuff that happened during Sunday's championship rounds in Huntington Beach.

With the win, Igarashi jumped 66 spots up the QS rankings, to No. 3, putting him right back in the mix. Here's a list of the other big QS movers.

Michael February

Michael February at the Vans US Open. Michael February WSL / Steve Sherman

Current QS Rank: No. 2
Points: 14,750
Climbed: Up two spots from No. 4
The South African earned 5,200 points for his 5th-place finish. It was a strong backup to his 3rd-place finish at the first QS10,000 event of the year in his home country of South Africa. While he's not a lock for next year's CT, he's certainly bolstered his case.

Kanoa Igarashi

Local favourite Kanoa Igarashi of the USA (pictured) is chaired up the beach as the winner of the VANS US Open of Surfing after defeating Tomas Hermes of Brazil in the final with a heat total of 17.23 points (out of a possible 20.00) which included a open Kanoa Igarashi WSL / Kenneth Morris

Current QS Rank: No. 3
Points: 13,310
Climbed: Up 66 spots from No. 69
The hero of Huntington Beach just did himself a huge favor with his emotional win on Sunday. He's been struggling on the CT this year, and at this stage he's one of many CT stars looking to hedge their bets on the QS. His win was a huge help.

Tomas Hermes

Tomas Hermes at the Vans US Open. Tomas Hermes WSL / Steve Sherman

Current QS Rank: No. 4
Points: 13,010
Climbed: Up 33 spots from No. 37
The Brazilian battler has been on the cusp of CT qualification twice before. He finished No. 18 on the QS in 2016, and No. 17 in 2014. He's been around long enough to know he's far from the finish line. At 30 years old, he knows the clock is ticking, and it seems to be fueling his fire this year.

Ricardo Christie

Ricardo Christie of New Zealand finished equal 49th The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong after placing third in Heat 20 of Round Two at Willard Beach, Ballito, South Africa. Ricardo Christie WSL / Kelly Cestari

Current QS Rank: No. 9 Points: 10,550 Climbed: Up 17 spots from No. 26
The big man from New Zealand is a former CT surfer who's looking to get back into the big leagues. He ended up No. 31 on the CT in 2015, and was No. 21 the same year on the QS. While he slid all the way down to No. 57 last year he's hungry for another shot.

Patrick Gudauskas

Patrick Gudauskas of USA was eliminated in Heat 4 of the Quarterfinals at The VANS US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA, USA. Patrick Gudauskas WSL / Sean Rowland

Current QS Rank: No. 10
Points: 10,300
Climbed: Up 17 spots from No. 27
Gudauskas is also another former CT competitor who would like to get back onto the center stage. He finished No. 27 on the CT in 2014, while finishing No. 33 on the QS the same season. He's been lurking in the back 20s for the past two seasons, but with his strong finish in Huntington Beach he's on his best pace in years.

Josh Kerr

Josh Kerr at the Vans US Open. Josh Kerr WSL / Steve Sherman

Current QS Rank: 35
Points: 6200
Climbed: Up 217 spots from No. 252
The amazing Australian juggernaut is having a bit of a shocker on this year's CT, which is all the more surprising being 2016 was one of his best year's ever. He's advanced out of only one heat so far on the CT, which is why he's No. 35 on the Jeep Leaderboard. His performance at the Vans US Open, where he finished 5th, gives him hope. He's only surfed two QS events so far, so climbing is still easy. Qualifying, however, could be a nail-biter.

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