Photo Story: Van’s US Open of Surfing, Days 3 + 4

Conditions on the upswing as Kolohe Andino, Jordy Smith and Adriano de Souza begin to scorch.
By Brian Roddy

The Van’s US Open of Surfing got its hands dirty with some gardening these past few days. Losers were weeded out from the field and heat-by-heat, Huntington Beach’s nearby bar district became more and more crowded. By Thursday night, it was standing room only in most pubs. And the party was thumping.

Meanwhile, in the ocean, the competition raged onward. Less than enticing conditions on Wednesday lead to fun, and building, surf on Thursday. The men’s field was whittled down to 24, with 13 World Tour Surfers still in the mix. Adriano de Souza won the first heat of the Round of 24, in a heated matchup of Brazilian twenty-somethings.

“I was nervous because I creased my board twice, but I knew I couldn’t leave Jadson [Andre] and Alex [Ribeiro] out there alone,” de Souza said. “For me this year this event’s so much fun because I’ve had a big year already and I’m happy to be making my heats here at the US Open. I was happy to get my two scores in that one. Everyone’s fighting for one spot out there and outside of the water we’re all friends, but in the water it’s business. We’re all there for the same thing and it involves money and points. I’m stoked to get that heat win.”

In that same round, Kolohe Andino, just 19 years young, found himself in a throwdown between World Tour surfers Julian Wilson and Sebastian Zietz. He used his Orange County prowess to shake a win out of Huntington Beach.

“I have so much respect for Julian (Wilson) and Seabass (Sebastian Zietz),” Andino said. “I wanted to beat them really bad. The waves are more fun today, they’re more peaky and I’m stoked on that. This contest is so hard and all of the Primes have WCT guys and then guys that want the money or points. I like these waves, I’ve surfed these waves my whole life and I’m really excited to make it to the next round.”

On the Women’s side, Sally Fitzgibbons smoked her Round 3 heat to earn a direct flight to the Quarters. World title hopeful Carissa Moore narrowly lost to cohort Coco Ho, and now she’s got to battle it out with Lakey Peterson to earn her spot in the QFs.

With swell on the come-up, expect to see some extraordinary things as we come upon the business end of the event. Winners, who will be declared on Sunday, will have to pull some ballsy maneuvers to keep the crowd, and the judges, content. And as for everyone else? Well, the HB nightlife is only one heat loss away.
 

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Jordy Smith Docks It
US Open of Surfing
Jordy Smith Docks It Looks like those early morning freesurfs have been paying off. © Damea Dorsey
Julian Wilson, Focused
US Open of Surfing
Julian Wilson, Focused Freesurfing ain't always free. © Damea Dorsey
Sofia Mulanovich, That Smile
US Open of Surfing
Sofia Mulanovich, That Smile The denim dame. © Damea Dorsey
Sofia Mulanovich Lays Back
US Open of Surfing
Sofia Mulanovich Lays Back A pacific style. © Damea Dorsey
Jordy Smith Hacks
US Open of Surfing
Jordy Smith Hacks Big man, small wave, big turn. © Damea Dorsey
Jordy Smith, Buckets
US Open of Surfing
Jordy Smith, Buckets Jordy knows how to move some water. © Damea Dorsey
The Crowd
US Open of Surfing
The Crowd It's BIG, it's notorious. © Damea Dorsey
Evan Geiselman Floats the Tail
US Open of Surfing
Evan Geiselman Floats the Tail A strong showing from the 19-year-old goofyfoot. © Damea Dorsey
Adriano de Souza's Big Finish
US Open of Surfing
Adriano de Souza's Big Finish The stamp of a champ. © Damea Dorsey
Adriano de Souza, Fin Throw
US Open of Surfing
Adriano de Souza, Fin Throw Nose pickin' is a habit. © Damea Dorsey
Michel Bourez Gazes On
US Open of Surfing
Michel Bourez Gazes On "Hmmm. Well this doesn't look very much like Tahiti." © Damea Dorsey
Kolohe Andino Waits For the Horn
US Open of Surfing
Kolohe Andino Waits For the Horn He'll have 25 minutes to sell the judges. © Damea Dorsey
Kolohe Andino, A Good Start
US Open of Surfing
Kolohe Andino, A Good Start Why not let the fins breathe on your very first wave? © Damea Dorsey
Julian Wilson Gets Lippy
US Open of Surfing
Julian Wilson Gets Lippy The man with the best air of the event takes the more conventional route. © Damea Dorsey
Kolohe Andino, Too Easy
US Open of Surfing
Kolohe Andino, Too Easy An air that Brother could do in his sleep, but most other folks could only do in a dream. © Damea Dorsey
Julian Wilson Strikes Back
US Open of Surfing
Julian Wilson Strikes Back And it was a battle. Kolohe got the best of Julian, but Jules has a chance at redemption in the next round. © Damea Dorsey
Michel Bourez, In Form
US Open of Surfing
Michel Bourez, In Form Spartan's gonna be a Spartan. © Damea Dorsey
Kolohe and A Pal
US Open of Surfing
Kolohe and A Pal Kelly asks Brother how he did it. © Damea Dorsey
Michel Bourez, Post-Heat
US Open of Surfing
Michel Bourez, Post-Heat He lost by a miniscule margin, but he has another shot at it in the next round. © Damea Dorsey
A Crowd That Never Ceases
US Open of Surfing
A Crowd That Never Ceases We wouldn't be surprised if half these people tried to sleep on the pier. © Damea Dorsey
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