Day 5 of the Vans US Open of Surfing saw the men's Qualification Series (QS) Prime-rated contest complete Round 2 as ASP Top 34 hopefuls clashed for a respective spot among next year's elite.
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, current No. 2 on the QS, continued his hot streak after winning the Los Cabos Open earlier in the month and winning his Round 1 heat at the US Open. He topped Dream Tour sophomore Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, progressive sorcerer Dane Reynolds (USA), 28, and American tactician Cory Arrambide (USA), 24, with a big Round 2 heat victory.
â€œI didn't catch a wave for nearly half the heat. Filipe just got one at the 10-minute mark, which meant we didn't get the restart, but it ended up working in my favor,â€ said Banting. â€œYou only have a couple of opportunities so you have to make the most of them. I'm stoked to keep the ball rolling and stay in the competition.â€
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 33, contributed to the international field flaring in Huntington Beach, trouncing his Round 2 heat with a commanding run from start to finish. Gonzalez was surgical on both his forehand and backhand and secured himself a spot in Round 3.
â€œAt the beginning when I started competing it was really hard for me to compete on these types of waves,â€ he said. â€œI've been practicing surfing beach breaks in the summer because it's difficult for me. I started the year a bit lost with the new priority system and Saquarema was horrible for me. This event is looking better for me. I hope.â€
Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach, CA), 16, US Open wildcard, continued to establish himself among the world's best surfers, taking an impressive Round 2 win. The local talent's victory topped WCT surfers Jadson Andre (BRA), 24, and Travis Logie (ZAF), 33, in addition to fellow Cali surfer Jake Halstead, 20.
â€œI'm definitely feeling the pressure because I live here and I should know which waves to get and how to surf the wave,â€ said Igarashi. â€œThat was going through my head the whole time but I'm just so stoked I got the right waves and finished them. I think there was about 11 minutes where I needed a 5.00 to win and time was going by so I was nervous, but I managed to get in two good turns so I'm stoked.â€