My wife and I went down to watch the men’s round of 16 at the Hurley US Open yesterday. (Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay for the women’s semis and finals, which was a bummer.) But the waves were still going berserk and the jet skis (PWCs) were still towing competitors out to the line up. Not common in Huntington, there were even some serious barrels ridden this round. Crazy. Kelly Slater rode a particularly huge wave, got covered up and emerged victorious with a 10. Couple broken boards, couple upsets (Rob Machado did not win his heat)…it was a stacked and exciting Round of 16.
The fog finally lifted this morning and the final heats of the Round of 144 were completed. The Round of 96 began and some of the bigger names started showing up to surf. Some of the bigger shocks so far are that Bruce Irons, Damien Hobgood and Sunny Garcia are all out already. There have been some good waves out there, but some of the heats are definitely getting better sets than others. The swell is still inconsistent. But the storm in Tahiti is promising some extreme end-of-competition action. Local boys Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach) and Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente) competed in the same heat. Both succeeded and will be moving on to the Round of 48. We’ll have to keep our eye on those two… Hope to get back down there tomorrow and get some pictures of the ladies in their next heats.