The 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch will welcome Reef Heazlewood (AUS) into the World Surf League (WSL) Men's Qualifying Series (QS) event after winning the trials today in two-to-three foot (0.6 - 1 metre) waves at the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier.
Heazlewood took down a tough 32-man field, made up of local talent, former Championship Tour (CT) competitors, up-and-comers, and international challengers to earn entry into the men's QS 10,000 event. Heazlewood now has the opportunity to compete against some of the world's top male surfers tomorrow in the opening heat of men's Round 1.
The Final witnessed Heazlewood take on Californians Kevin Schulz (USA) and Kade Matson (USA), and Brazilian David do Carmo in front of the massive Southern California crowd. To win the day, Heazlewood scored a solid 7.50 (out of a possible 10) and a 6.47 against his rivals. American Schulz came close but was unable to close the 2.67-point gap for the win.
"I am pretty excited," said Heazlewood. "I probably shouldn't be as excited as I am because I feel like I've just won the contest and I have the first heat of the event tomorrow. I just need to reset after this and get ready for tomorrow. I plan to get some good sleep and good rest to be ready to fire up for tomorrow.
"I came here last year and got second in the Pro Junior event. I feel like I've got a good connection with the wave. I've got some really good people with me, my mum and some coaches. To see the hard work pay off is the best feeling. I am looking forward to hopefully keeping on going tomorrow and to get through some rounds."
The Vans US Open of Surfing will continue tomorrow with the women's CT Trials at 7:00 a.m., followed by the first two rounds of the men's QS (Round 1 H1-8, Round 2 H1-8).
Heazlewood will be first up in the men's QS event against Imaikalani deVault (HAW), Kei Kobayashi (USA), and Kalani Ball (AUS).
You can watch the Vans US Open of Surfing live on CBS Sports Network (US only, check local schedule), the WSL website, the WSL app, and Facebook.