Day six of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach proved just as action-packed as the past five, as sixteen of the world’s best female longboarders took to the water as the Finalists in the inaugural Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational were set. In a surprising upset, 2016 WSL Longboard Champion Tory Gilkerson (USA) was eliminated in a wave-for-wave Semifinals battle with Kaitlin Maguire (USA). Maguire advances to the Finals.
Kelis Kaleoppa (HAW) won big in the Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds, putting her signature elegance on display with long, skillful rides. It’s predicted the Oahu, HI native will take it all but she now faces finalists Maguire (USA),Honolua Blomfield (HAW) and Jennifer Smith (USA).
On the Men’s QS 10,000 front, surfers competed in Round 3 and 4, which saw Brasilian wave riders dominating. Yago Dora (BRA) and 2015 WSL Champion Adriano De Souza (BRA) eliminated current CT competitor Keanu Asing (HAW) and San Clemente, Calif.’s Kei Kobayashi (USA).
Brasil continued to reign with Miguel Pupo (BRA) giving a nearly unstoppable performance to advance into into Round 4 although 2015 US Open runner-up Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) proved why he’s a worthy competitor with an 8.07 (out of 10) ride to overtake current World No. 4 Italo Ferreira (BRA).
US Open trials winner Reef Heazlewood (AUS) advanced over CT rookies Griffin Colapinto (USA). Yago Dora (BRA) moved on after a few solid rides in Round 4 Heat 1. The 18-year-old, QS newcomer is in the water to win and has so far surfed seven heats including trials.
For Friday morning, the Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Round 4 Heat 3 as been called ON with a 7:35 a.m. PST start. The Women’s Championship Tour (CT) are on standby as they prepare to get their event underway with Round 1 draws.
“We’re seeing a slight improvement from yesterday and we’ll finish up Round 4 of the men’s before moving into Women’s CT,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “We’ll get things started at 7:35 a.m. and run all the way through women’s Round 2 so it should be another big day of competition. Good luck to all our competitors.”
To view the Women’s Duct Tape Invitational Results, click HERE.
To view the Men’s QS Results, click HERE or copy this link.