Harris Leads Trialists to Hurley U.S. Open Main Event
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6- Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing kicked off the Round of 172 Sunday at South Huntington Beach Pier.
The round saw Matt Pagan (Westchester, CA), 19, Kellen Ellison (Ventura, CA), 21, Richard Christie (Mahia NZL) 20, and Jason Harris (Huntington Beach, CA), 21, advance through the 32-man trials format to earn berths in to the main event, which begins with the Round of 144. Running in conjunction with today's trials event was the ASP North America Pro Junior Series Grade-4 Women's U.S. Open Nike 6.0 Pro Junior, which announced its finalists to conclude the day's action. Surfers competing on the ASP WQS are looking to claim the crucial points on offer at the famed event to help their cause towards qualification for the 2010 ASP World Tour, as well as the historic US$100,000 prize purse put up by Hurley for the this year’s winner. The female surfers on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series are out to put their top two results towards qualification for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships held in Narrabeen, Australia each January and the U.S. Open Nike 6.0 Pro Junior will play an integral role in each of their respective campaigns. Local surfer Jason Harris (Huntington Beach , CA), 21, utilized his familiarity of the south Huntington Beach Pier to advance through three heats today, marking his first appearance in the main event of the Hurley U.S. Open. The native talent blasted the trials’ top heat total of a 14.33 out of 20 to advance through to the Round of 144. While Harris spends most of his time competing on the road, he’s taking advantage of the benefits of surfing at home while competing at the Hurley U.S. Open. “I’m just so stoked to finally make the main event,” Harris said. “There are fun waves and people don’t have to hassle, so I’m stoked. You travel around and do all of these comps, but at home you sleep in your own bed and just cruise down to the beach and I just feel way more comfortable.” The explosive regular-footer is hoping to carry his momentum through to the main event where he will tackle some of the finest up-and-coming competitive talent.
The ASP North America Pro Junior Series saw standout performances by defending event champion Coco Ho (Sunset Beach, HI), 18, and defending U.S. Open champion Malia Manuel (Wailua, HI), 15, in the opening day of the women’s ASP Grade-4 U.S. Open Nike 6.0 Pro Junior. Ho smashed the girl’s top score scores of a near-perfect 9.67 out of 10 and combined it with a second score for an impressive 15.67 out of 20 heat total to advance in to the Final in a stacked heat over Manuel, who advanced in second, while eliminating local standout Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 16. “Just before my good wave came in, I got a little glimpse that Malia (Manuel) got a nine and I knew I had to go for gold,” Ho said. Manuel also earned a ticket in to the Final when she finished second behind Ho after jumping out to an early lead by smashing a near-perfect nine-point ride. Manuel then battled local standout Conlogue, following her every move to keep her from stealing her advancing position in to the Final. “I switched it up a little and paddled out under the pier,” Manuel said. “I got one and made it to the beach. It’s finally linking up and I got a good score. At the end Courtney (Conlogue) needed a five and it was tough. It was a full battle out there. Courtney is a very strong competitor and a strong athlete and if she got a wave she would have taken the advancing spot, but luckily it went my way.” Manuel, who was the youngest surfer in history to win the U.S. Open, is also utilizing the U.S. Open Nike 6.0 Pro Junior as a prelude to the upcoming main event where she will defend her title against a plethora of ASP Women’s World Tour talent as well as some of the finest up-and-coming female competitors. Tomorrow’s Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing action will continue with the men’s Round of 144 and will begin at 7:30am local time. For all of your Hurley U.S. Open inquires log on to