Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Schedule: Round 2 (Heats 1-6), Round 3 (Heats 1-4)
Conditions: Peaky two-to-four foot waves
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Stephanie Gilmore led the heat from the start, with an 8.33 that gave her a combined total of 14.16. California native Lakey Peterson, however proved to be formidable competition, with wave knowledge and a 2012 win there under her belt. Kiwi Paige Hareb kicked things off with a pair of modest scores, for a combined 9.67 by the midway mark.
With just over 10 minutes left, Hareb unleashed more power, and narrowed the points gap between her and Peterson to just 1.40. But the effort wasn't enough to top her opponents, and she was sent to battle again for a spot in the Quarterfinals.
Peterson, too, was scratching for a direct entry into the Quarters, paddling into a wave with just over two minutes on the clock. But she buried her nose before it could re-form and paddled back out for the final moments, and Gilmore took the win.
"There was a lot of action at the start of the heat,â€ she said. â€œLakey, myself and Paige all got quite a lot of waves and I knew I needed to get busy early because it could go quiet. I pieced things together well in that heat.
"I've been coming here since I was 13 and won it once in 2007 when it was a QS," Gilmore continued. "It's a wild event, there's so much going on and it's very colorful. It's a lot of fun, a great experience and I've always had a good time here. I hope I can get a win in again.â€
Results: Stephanie Gilmore, 14.16 def. Lakey Peterson, 12.50 vs. Paige Hareb, 11.10
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Sally Fitzgibbons wasted no time establishing herself in Heat 3. A setup maneuver out the back led to two rail-to-rail cuts for a 6.50. A follow-up chase down the line to set up a big forehand hack gave her a backup midrange score and a comfortable lead.
Johanne Defay stayed busy but soft finishes kept her numbers low. But Fitzgibbons had gotten into a rhythm and her mid-heat ride saw another smooth progression for a 6.93. Dimity Stoyle was put into a combination situation having only tallied a single score and Defay was left searching for a nine-point ride.
Fitzgibbons continued to impress throughout the second half of the heat. A pair of backhand turns toward the pier and a forehand attack off the lip improved her position further with a new high score of 7.10. Her opponents rode softer waves in the same set but Fitzgibbons' performance kept them at bay.
"I went out there wanting to start strong because it can be unpredictable here,â€ said Fitzgibbons. "You can't rush Huntington, you just have to wait and be patient and hope you get some nice sets.
"This year has been great at the US Open and really special," she said. "There's been big groups of girls around who have been sharing their stories and what they're passionate about. I think it's important for us to be out there inspiring the younger generation."
Results: Sally Fitzgibbons 14.03, Johanne Defay 9.10, Dimity Stoyle 3.00
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Enever established a slim lead with a pair of fours, but Moore switched gears and snatched the lead with a 6.67 and 6.70. Enever and Van Dijk stayed busy, but the Hawaiian's back-to-back sixes secured the coveted Quarterfinals slot.
"I was surprised there were really fun waves this morning and I got really inspired watching Malia [Manuel] riding before me," Moore said.
Results: Carissa Moore 13.37, Laura Enever 9.00, Nikki Van Dijk 7.10
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (HAW) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
A long lull at the beginning of the round left the competitors waiting in the lineup, and led to a restart. Immediately after the second horn, Tatiana Weston-Webb took off. After two vertical snaps, the Kauaian cut back for a massive closeout on her forehand near the pilings. Malia Manuel pulled into the next opportunity, managing two strong hacks before the wave flattened out. Weston-Webb took the best of the opening exchange, but a two-turn follow-up ride at the 25-minute mark boosted Manuel into first.
With 10 minutes off the clock, Manuel found her second keeper, complementing a pair of backhand snaps with a hard-won, closing turn on her forehand for an excellent 8.50. Wright was able to find her second wave at the 18-minute mark, but an incomplete finish kept her score to a 4.10.
But Manuel was up again, zig-zagging across the line and hitting two re-forms for a 9.63, putting both her opponents in combo situations with 15 minutes remaining. Wright and Weston-Webb went for broke with more risky maneuvers but couldn't find clean completions.
Results: Malia Manuel 18.13, Tatiana Weston-Webb 10.93, Tyler Wright 7.77
Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Pauline Ado opened the heat with a quick attempt, but the women sat waiting for waves for nearly the entire first half of the heat. After the long wait, Nikki Van Dijk was ready to take the first set wave, connecting fluid backhand turns all the way to the inside, where she pumped for speed to get the re-form to score a 6.00 and take the charge. Ado caught the next wave in the set, but fell back off a floater.
Despite rides on several set waves by Ado, Van Dijk continued to control the heat. With just three minutes left on the clock, Ado needed 7.76 but lost priority when she paddled for a wave but didn't make it, allowing Van Dijk to build on her lead. Ado squeezed the most out of her final wave with rail-to-rail work, but the water filled in before she could get to the inside.
"I want to be busy out there," Van Dijk said. "You never know what the swell [will do] so better to be busy than sorry."
Results: Nikki Van Dijk 11.43 def. Pauline Ado 8.10
Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Enever capitalized on her next attempt, posting a 6.50 and then an additional 6.17 for a two-turn, backhand combo.
Blanchard connected on both her forehand and backhand, but Enever's pocket sixes catapulted the Australian to Round 3.
Results: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.67 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.00
Heat 4: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Tatiana Weston-Webb, World Junior runner-up in 2013, opened the heat in glassy conditions, scoring a 5.67. Her next wave saw her on a clean backhand ride, driving through clean bottom turns punctuated by a backhand snap to score a solid 7.67. The points helped her take an early lead with a combined 13.34.
Bianca Buitendag took a little longer to find her rhythm, but started with a respectable 5.00. She followed up with a solid backhand performance that won her an 8.00 and put her back in the running by the halfway mark.
Still, Weston-Webb retained the edge through the second half leading by 1.67 points. The WCT event was a chance for her to perform on a bigger stage; her entry in the US Open was as a replacement for Courtney Conlogue (USA), who opted out due to injury.
Buitendag meanwhile, World No. 6 in the rankings, worked to catch up. She maneuvered in a weaker wave, but wasn't able to connect on the inside. With just two minutes on the clock, the Kauaian had priority, and was on the lookout for whatever waves might roll in. Buitendag won the paddle battle for a final set wave, but it didn't hold up in the higher tide.
"Huntington is such a tricky wave," Weston-Webb said. "I've been here for the past two weeks, grinding it out. It hasn't been like this at all. I was lucky to have such clean conditions after such mushy conditions, that helped a lot."
Results: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.67 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.97
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Leila Hurst (HAW)
Kauai's Malia Manuel (HAW) and Leila Hurst (HAW) were up next and Manuel established a strong lead, smashing an excellent 8.00 with backhand surfing on a left into the pier to start her Round 2 campaign.
Hurst found a series of small scores and Manuel waited patiently to back up her opener.
Manuel's patience paid off when she picked off another left set, belting a series of backhand turns for a solid 7.17, leaving her fellow islander in a combination situation.
Manuel's selective approach solidified a dominant Round 2 heat victory.
Results: Malia Manuel, 15.17 def. Leila Hurst (HAW) 6.67
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Ho improved on her situation, adding a 5.60 to her scoreline.
A crucial exchange unfolded with just four minutes remaining. In need of a 6.51, Hareb locked in to a Pierbowl left, connecting two powerful outside turns. The goofy-footer posted a 6.83, overtaking Ho for the lead. Hareb took the win.
Results: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.76 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 13.43
Heat 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
The 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing Women's WCT event kicked off Round 2 in improved two-to-four foot waves with a battle of the rookies. Goofy-footer Alessa Quizon got off to a quick start against regular-footer Johanne Defay smashing a 4.83 and a 7.00 to take the lead.
Defay battled back, posting a 5.17 and 6.87, taking the lead off of Quizon, eventually solidifying her spot in Round 3 with two backhand snaps for a 6.57 and the heat win.
Results: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.44 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.83