HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Thursday, September 9, 2021) - The US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach presented by Shiseido will be the opening stop on the 2021 WSL Challenger Series and runs from September 20 - 26. Some of the top competitors from around the world will compete at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier for 10,000 valuable points toward Championship Tour (CT) qualification. The Challenger Series is the second of three competitive tiers for the world's best surfers, the 96-man and 64-woman fields are made up of CT surfers with the remainder drawn from the seven WSL Regional Qualifying Series around the world. Surfers compete for a chance to advance to the elite CT by finishing in the Top 12 men's and Top 6 women's spots by the end of this year's condensed four-event season.
"It's great for us to be back in Huntington with its history in pro surfing and the US Open has always been an important part of that history," said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP Tours and Head of Competition. "Everyone's excited for the Challenger Series to start and get the qualification process started again. It'll be great to see who does well and who makes that charge toward CT qualification. Thank you to Huntington Beach for having us back and we're stoked to get that event underway."
Appearances from the world's best women include Rip Cur WSL Finals contender and Olympian Sally Fitzgibbons, fellow Olympian Caroline Marks, former US Open victors Courtney Conlogue and Sage Erickson are just a few coming into this event ready to start their Challenger Series season with a big result.
Conlogue's victory in 2018 was a dream realized, growing up surfing in the Huntington Beach lineup and US Open as a kid, and brought the entire surfing community together after her CT win. "I've competed in the US Open since I was a 11 or 12-years-old and it's a contest that I hold really close to my heart," expressed Conlogue. "It was one of my first (then) 6-Star wins in 2009 and helped me qualify for the Tour. Winning it in 2018 for a second time was really cool and I've had some really good finals with Sage Erickson which brings back all the memories."
"It feels like the game's back on now with the US Open returning," added Conlgoue. "I think COVID-19 taking it out last year was quite a bummer. It's an event where the locals get to come down, cheer on their favorite local surfers and see the international field which I think is really special."
Renowned talents such as Rip Curl WSL Finals contender Conner Coffin, World No. 6 Griffin Colapinto, two-time US Open victor and Olympic Silver Medalist Kanoa Igarashi, and 2020/21' North America Regional QS Champion, former CT competitor, Nat Young headline the men's competitors alongside an international field of event threats. Young begins his road to requalify for the CT and has shown over the last two regional QS events he is ready to put that momentum against some of the world's best.
"It was good to spend some time down surfing the Huntington Beach Pier and also put some heats together at the Jack's Surfboards Pro," said Young. "Getting to surf both four-man and man-on-man heats was perfect after some time off from competing. I have dealt with a lot of life changing events over the past year."
"As far as time away from the jersey goes," added Young. "For me I have dealt with the hardest times of my life with my mom passing and the best times of my life being at home with my daughter. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. My mom dedicated her life to supporting me in chasing my dreams and now I have motivation to accomplish much more in her honor."
The 62nd year of this long-standing event in Huntington Beach now joins forces with Shiseido as the presenting sponsor. Shiseido comes on not only as an event sponsor, but will also be spearheading a beach cleanup during the event window with WILDCOAST to give back to the local community. Shiseido's mission is simple: "Beauty Innovations for a Better World." The company was founded in 1872 in the city of Ginza, Tokyo, and continues to bring its products to stores around the world. Global partners for the US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach pres. by Shiseido include Michelob Ultra, Jeep, Hydro Flask, Expedia, Red Bull, Oakley, and BFGoodrich join with event partners Frontier, Flying Ember, US Army, Apple Test, Fu Wax, Super73, Regional, DraftKings, and Waterloo. Visit Huntington Beach will have their presence as local partners of this long-standing event and are proud to keep pro surfing in their city's beaches. "We are thrilled to once again host the U.S. Open of Surfing," says Kelly Miller, President & CEO of Visit Huntington Beach, Surf City USA's official destination marketing organization. "The combination of our century-old rich surf culture and history, nearly 10 miles of uninterrupted beaches, and active outdoor lifestyle make Surf City USA® a natural choice for hosting world-class sporting events like the U.S. Open of Surfing Huntington Beach."
The US Open of Surfing presented by Shiseido will run September 20 - 26 in Huntington Beach, California, and be broadcast live at www.WorldSurfLeague.com.