The US Open Of Surfing: Friday

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Words: David Campbell
Photos: ASP/Rowland

michel bourez on his way to beating kelly photo rowland

Friday morning has come. This machine has chewed me up and spat me out. We locked eyes and it was decided, I am not worthy. The only thing that can be compared to the scene here is that of Hollywood, the glitz, the glam, there is even a walk of fame just as the celebrities have on Sunset Blvd. Congratulations to Taylor Knox on his surf star this year! Everyone at the bars talks about which surf super celebrity they were crooning with last night and how radical of an awesome time it was. Try and have a genuine conversation to a stranger and watch as their eyes lock on that area a couple of inches above your shoulder and to the left of your head, scanning the room for a pro surfer, this is called the Pro Hoe Stare and it’s downright disgusting. Although in the mornings, you can see the true surf fans scurry to the beach for the 7:30am start, it helps me forget about this nonsense. Today we are really getting into the main event of the surfing. None of the numbskulls are at the shopping malls, yet. Its all about the surfing and today there is entertainment promised. After all that is, what a surf contest is all about, entertainment. With Los Angeles being that close to Orange County, why wouldn’t it smell of Hollywood?

Yesterday, we saw round three hit the water with similar conditions from the previous days. The format has returned to the normal WCT three man heats with a no knock out round, winners moving onto round five and losers duking it out in round four today. It’s like as if the contest just started but everybody that is remaining in the event has had to fight tooth and nail in those 4 man heats to make it this far. Kolohe Andino feeling very at home here, winning his heat against Sebastian Zietz and Julian Wilson. Hoping kolohe and Julian will meet again later in a man on man heat, this would make an epic showdown at the the surf stadium. Victor Duvignac and Marc Lacomare continued to show that both are a force to be reckoned with. Victor taking out an on fire Michel Bourez and Bede Durbidge, both WCT tour surfers, and Marc taking out sixth ranked in the world rookie Nat Young. Adrian “Ace” Buchan being a stand out for the day taking out Kelly. Round five starting early this morning with clean conditions three to four feet and an occasional five foot set wave with a new SW swell coming in. Entertainment will be delivered and this Beast will be fed.

mitch crews flying high photo rowland

First heat of the day showed everyone on the beach that Jadson Andre is god damn hungry to take out his opponents, who happened to be Seabass. With Jadson grabbing 6 waves only 10 minutes into the heat, everyone on the beach could sense the want from this young Brazilian. Seabass couldn’t keep up and his body language didn’t seem up for this fierce competitiveness.

Obviously, when Kelly hits the sand it grabs everyone’s attention. The most important heat of the event so far. Mr. Kelly Slater surfing against the Spartan Michel Bourez. A battling heat with these two clawing at every wave that came their way. The surf stadium is in full effect, the crowd is reacting to every turn and pump of Slater’s. Kelly needing a high five with 15 seconds left to secure the win, took a nice wave and stretched the left as much as he could, but as the buzzer sounded, everyone was scratching their heads. Was it enough? And is this getting redundant of Kelly pulling giant scores out of his ass in the dying seconds? No, It’s exciting as hell and makes me love competitive surfing, but today he did not get the score he needed. Bourez took the heat with an 11.80 over Kelly’s 11.54. Moods have changed, it’s a bit somber, people didn’t just pack up and leave, but you can sense they wanted to. Seriously, hope the US Open didn’t just blow its load too early. The Beast has spoken.

slater k0893open13rowland

Friday afternoon we have local musician Matt Costa playing and then the headliner Modest Mouse take to the beachside venue. With around 20­3,000,000 people expected to attend the US Open today, this could get out of hand. Good on Vans for getting this band to play, they don’t do many concerts all that often and this could be something really special. Though they are an indie­cool band and Huntington Beach can turn anything cool into a douchey mess by adding a flat brimmed hat and some horrible tattoos. At this massive concert on the beach we will have all our favorite surfers enjoying the tunes along with Paris Hilton and Zack Braff. Hollywood has infiltrated and there is nothing you can do about it.


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