Vans U.S Open of Surfing Champions Crowned

After a day of intense competition on Saturday July 27, the Junior men and women’s champions were crowned at The Vans U.S Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach.


Image: Brian van der Brug/ Los Angeles Times


Conditions remained small throughout the day, only providing 2-3ft waves (1 metre) for the competition.


Despite this, Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara, California, took out first position in the men’s junior final against Carlos Munoz, Jake Halstead and Ramzi Boukhiam. 


Coffin selected waves carefully throughout the final, matching up an 8.17 and a 7.60 for a final two wave combined score of 15.77.


His U.S. Open win is critical, as it will contribute to the re-qualification into the ASP World Junior Championships.


“I was shaking during the last two minutes, I was so nervous, but this is the best feeling ever, winning and having my family chair me up the beach,” Coffin said after the final.


South African competitor, Bianca Buitendag was successful in her final against Nikki Van Dijk, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Frankie Harrer. 


Buitendag placed in first position with her near perfect two wave score total of 18.10, as she paired together two strong scores of 9.27 and 8.83.


“Winning this event means a lot to me, there are so many people watching and so many people excited about women’s surfing,” Buitendag said.


The WCT Pro men and women winners were crowned on Sunday July 28, with yet another powerful female surfer taking out the Vans U.S. Open title.


Hawaiian Carissa Moore had a narrow win over local USA competitor Courtney Conlogue. 


Moore belted the waves, posting an 8.17 and a 7.83 to win the final with a score of 16.00.


Image: Rowland/ASP


Although she was unable to secure the higher scores in the exchange, Conlogue’s efforts in her last minute scramble for waves placed her 0.73 of a point behind Moore, finishing with a final total of 15.27.


“To be honest, I’m a little shocked right now because I thought Courtney Conlogue won when the crowd erupted on that last wave,” Moore said in a post-final interview.


“It’s such an honour to win this event in front of this big crowd, I feel amazing!”


Also victorious, Brazilian Alejo Muniz claimed the men’s WCT final against 19-year-old South Californian Kolohe Andino. 


Muniz slashed through the waves with a string of frontside hacks in the first exchange of the final, locking in an 8.43 ride as his beginning top score.


Needing another strong score to take the lead, Muniz fought with his backhand attack to gain a 7.80 point ride as his second top score.


Unfortunately, Andino was unable to source higher scoring waves within the later stages of the final and placed in second with a total of 14.54.


“Today marks the four year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing and I’d like to dedicate this win to him,” Muniz said.


“This is the biggest win of my career and it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever surfed in front of.”


The next major event of the ASP World Championship Tour is the men’s Billabong Pro at Teahupoo, French Polynesia from August 15-26.


Written by Madison Heinze


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