Defending Vans US Open Pro Junior Champion Conner Coffin advanced to the Quarterfinals of competition today.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, July 20, 2013) – The 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing kicked off with Men’s ASP 4-Star Pro Junior action, narrowing the field down from 64 to the 16 Quarterfinalists in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) waves at Huntington Beach Pier.
Stop No. 3 of 5 on the 2013 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the Vans US Open Pro Junior plays a vital role regional surfers’ qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Championships. In addition, top international up-and-comers from around the globe competing in the men’s ASP Prime event are also in this year’s Pro Junior draw, elevating the under-21 event to new levels.
Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 20, defending Vans US Open Pro Junior Champion, moved one step closer to defending last year’s title, securing a Quarterfinals berth compliments of two solid performances.
“It’s important for me to do well in the Junior,” Coffin said. “When I was younger, I hated surfing the US Open because the crowd would make me so nervous. I surfed a bunch of amateur events and got really comfortable at Huntington and now I love surfing the Junior and the US Open. I haven’t really been doing the Juniors as much this year, but there are obviously a lot of really good guys in this event. It’s such an insane venue and I’m trying hard to win. I don’t want to lose before the final, that’s for sure.”
The Californian admitted that the international field in the Vans US Open Pro Junior always pushes the level of competition, and has his sights sets on a repeat performance entering the final rounds.
“With so many of the younger guys in the Prime doing this Junior, this event is always really hard,” Coffin said. “It’s probably the gnarliest Pro Junior around. It’s nice being a little older this year. I feel a little more confident and definitely winning last year was good for my confidence.”
Keanu Asing (HAW), 19, a perennial US Open Pro Junior standout, navigated the Huntington Beach lineup with confidence, building momentum throughout the day. The dedicated Hawaiian advanced through Round 1 with solid surfing and would go on to secure a Quarterfinals berth over ASP World Junior standout Cooper Chapman (AUS), 19, in a hard-fought Round of 32 heat.
“I knew I had to come with my A-game and the surfers in this event are some of the best Juniors in the world,” Asing said. “It’s a really prestigious contest and I’m just happy to make it through that heat. I knew I had to come with something strong and do whatever I could. I played to my strengths and it worked out.”
Asing, current No. 55 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, is using the Vans US Open Pro Junior as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the Huntington Beach lineup and hopes to carry today’s success over in to the men’s main event.
“I’ve got a big heat coming up in The Men’s Open and I’m blessed to be able to do the Junior,” Asing said. “It’s more of a practice for me, a warm up, and it gives me some more experience going in to the Prime. I’m just excited to be here and stoked I made a couple of heats.”
While many of the day’s dominant performances came at the hand of ASP Pro Junior veterans, young Hawaiian Seth Moniz (HAW), 15, was a standout during today’s early rounds, earning top scores while securing two heat wins and a spot in the Quarterfinals.
“I’m happy just to make two heats,” Moniz said. “This event is a big event for me and the waves are really fun. It’s probably the best Huntington I’ve surfed for a contest. This is only my third event in the Juniors, I’ve just started out. I got a second in Sunset Beach and I was so nervous starting out today, but making those two heats, I think I can do it. It definitely built up a lot of confidence.”
Tomorrow’s Vans US Open of Surfing action is set to see the Men’s Trials unfold, beginning at 8am local time. The Vans US Open of Surfing will run from July 20 through 28 and will be webcast LIVE beginning Monday, July 22 via http://www.vansusopenofsurfing.com/live
In addition to all of the ASP action, the 2013 Vans US Open is a massive action sports festival that will also include the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational, BMX and Skate Competitions, performances from Modest Mouse, The Faint, Matt Costa and more.
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