The Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 6 of 10 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), is down to the final four competitors after completing the Quarterfinals in three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) conditions today. The day also ran through the Men’s QS 10,000 with the remaining Round 2 heats and the first eight heats of Round 3, in addition to the Men’s Pro Junior Quarterfinals.
Local favorite Courtney Conlogue (USA) dominated her Quarterfinal heat against Pauline Ado (FRA) to earn the final spot in the Semifinals. Conlogue set the tone from the start of the heat with a solid 7.67 (out of a possible 10) to put early pressure on Ado. Ado fought back with a 5.60 and 4.87, but Conlogue locked in the win with a powerful 6.40. Ado will leave a 5th place finish and her best result of 2017. Conlogue will march on to the Semifinals against Sage Erickson (USA), where she will be one step closer to earning her first CT victory at her homebreak.
PHOTO: Fitzgibbons © WSL / Rowland
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), current World No. 2, fell victim to the in-form Sage Erickson (USA), who began her Quarterfinal bout with a series of backhand attacks to post a 6.67. Fitzgibbons responded with back-to-back 4-point rides that had Erickson in need of a minimal score — which she acquired on the dot with a 2.43. But, the Californian found a gem to unleash another searing backhand snap that she was able to bash a closeout maneuver for a 5.03. With time winding down, Fitzgibbons was left waiting out the back with no opportunities and the final horn sounded — sending Erickson to her second CT Semifinal of 2017.
“I feel like Johanne [Defay] and I are really strong contenders out here and she’s such a great surfer,” said Weston-Webb. “She’s been on a roll, but I felt like I had some momentum backing me. I just wanted to take what I learned from the judges yesterday and put it in my surfing. I didn’t get that one really good wave I wanted, but I did my job and I’m so stoked. We were really exhausted from yesterday with a long day on the beach and had to take it step-by-step today.”
“I feel like I’ve come up against girls like Tyler [Wright] and Courtney [Conlogue] quite a bit this year and I feel like I know their respect level and space” said Erickson. “I don’t compete that much against Sally [Fitzgibbons] besides last year and it was aggressive. I was feeling it. We’re going old-school elbow-to-elbow, which was cool to see from her. She’s always so kind and gracious, so to see her fired up was fun so I knew I had to keep level-headed and not get too much into the aggressive game.”
The Vans US Open of Surfing will be broadcast LIVE from July 31 – August 6 via VansUSOpenofSurfing.com, WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.