former ASP World Junior Champion Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 21, was a standout during the Vans US Open of Surfing Trials and will compete in tomorrow’s main event.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, July 21, 2013) – Day two of the Vans US Open of Surfing completed the 24-man trials, with four international standouts advancing to the men’s ASP Prime main event in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) waves at South Huntington Beach Pier.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, who was forced to surf the trials due to an entry error, delivered an electric performance throughout the three-round trials, igniting the Huntington Beach lineup with a vigorous attack on both his forehand and backhand.
“I forgot to sign up for the event, but I’m pretty stoked to make the trials,” Medina said. “I knew it was going to be hard and I was just trying to get a few waves and warm up for the main event.”
Medina, current ASP World No. 18 and Semifinalist in last year’s US Open of Surfing, viewed the trials as a good opportunity to become comfortable with the tricky Huntington Beach lineup before surfing the main event and has high hopes of a final appearance at this year’s Vans US Open of Surfing.
“I feel good here in Huntington Beach,” Medina said. “It’s a beachbreak and last year I got third. I hope this year I can make one more heat. It’s always fun to be here and I like these waves.”
Garrett Parkes (AUS), 21, current No. 60 on the ASP World Ranking, dominated his trials heats today, attaining the day’s high heat-total of 17.07 out of 20 for impressive forhehand surfing. The Australian admitted that advancing in to the Vans US Open main event is crucial in his ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) qualification campaign and hopes to earn his share of the valuable points on offer at this year’s Prime rated event.
“The US Open trials are just as hard as any other Prime heat because most of these guys are usually in the Primes,” Parkes said. “I’m stoked to have had some good heats and be in the main event and get some points. It was my goal to make the top 100 and get in to the Primes for the back half of the year so I’m stoked to be in this event.”
Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 21, 2009 ASP World Junior Champion and current No. 47 on the World Ranking, was another up-and-comer to put in a standout performance today. Like Parkes, the Frenchman is also hungry to prove himself among the world’s best surfers and is eyeing a big result at the Vans US Open of Surfing this year.
“Huntington is a tricky wave to surf and I’ve never done that well here,” Huscenot said. “The trials was really tough, I’m stoked just to make it to the main event and I need to get some points to help my rating. I’m on a good roll right now and I’m really stoked with how I’m surfing. I just want to try and make a few heats now.”
Following the Men’s Trials, the Women’s Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior completed two rounds, with Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), 18, and ASP Women’s WCT surfer Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), 19, leading the field to decide the event’s Semifinalists.
Van Dijk, defending Women’s US Open Pro Junior Champion, returned to Huntington Beach in dangerous form, earning the divisions top scores of multiple 8-point rides while securing a Semifinals berth.
“I was really lucky to pick that one off the start,” Van Dijk said. “As I was paddling out I saw a few come in off the side and I was lucky to get that one early. It felt good to have a couple of heats out there after winning last year. Winning last year was a great confidence booster and it’s just fun to be back. Hopefully I can do it again and have some fun.”
Van Dijk, current No. 11 on the ASP Women’s World Ranking, is amidst her ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) qualification campaign for 2014 and is using the Vans US Open Pro Junior to keep her competitive skills sharp in between events.
“I’ve had three months off and I felt like this was a good warm up for the ‘QS events coming up,” Van Dijk said. “It felt good to get back in a heat and I’m just loving being back here in Huntington. It felt good to have a few good heats at the start and hopefully we have a good week.”
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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