Simmers’ undeniable backhand took her all the way atop the podium. Credit: WSL/ Morris
Caitlin Simmers (USA) claimed the 2021 US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach presented by Shiseido, the opening stop on the 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), victories. Simmers’ dynamic win against Gabriela Bryan (HAW) marked the biggest WSL win in her young career.
“I don’t really have much to say other than I’m really happy and stoked everything went my way,” expressed Simmers. “I noticed it was really high tide so I couldn’t do what I did in my last heat where I waited 20-minutes for a wave so I just tried to get a quick start. I’m not really trying to qualify and just want to have fun in France and Portugal, and just surf, and enjoy myself.”
“Nothing’s really changed in my mindset this year and I think it’s just doing what I usually do and it’s working out,” Simmers added. “I’m just so stoked to win this one after winning the Pro Junior the last time this event ran and it feels really good to beat Gabriela (Bryan) because she was ripping this whole event.”
Bryan looked unstoppable and overpowered CT veteran Coco Ho (HAW) in brilliant fashion. Credit: WSL/ Morris
“I knew the surfing had to be sevens or above and unfortunately I just didn’t get the waves that I wanted,” said Bryan. “I’m really happy with the way I performed this week and now I’m looking forward to Europe. Second-place is an amazing accomplishment and I’m super proud of myself even though I would’ve like to have won. But I couldn’t ask for a better support crew and everyone sending messages – I really appreciate it.”
A dominant run by two-time US Open victor Courtney Conlogue (USA) was cut short by in-form, eventual winner, Simmers. Conlogue now looks to train hard in the offseason and prepare for a World Title run on the CT next year beginning at Pipeline in January.
Next, competitors prepare for the MEO Vissla Pro Ericeira held at the iconic Portuguese pointbreak of Ribeira D’Ilhas beginning October 2 – 13. It’s the first of two stops in the Old World. The second stop will be the Quiksilver Pro France October 16 – 24.
Global partners for the US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach pres. by Shiseido include Michelob Ultra, Jeep, Hydro Flask, Expedia, Red Bull, Oakley Sunglasses, and BFGoodrich join with event partners Frontier, Flying Ember, US Army, Apple Test, Fu Wax, Super73, Regional, DraftKings, and Waterloo along with local sponsor Visit Huntington Beach representing for Surf City USA.
US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 – Caitlin Simmers (USA) 13.90
2 – Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.60
US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 11.60 DEF. Coco Ho (HAW) 7.94
SF 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 14.83 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.34