Local favorite Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, defeated current Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World No. 1 Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, to clinch his second consecutive title in front of his home crowd at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME US Open of Surfing presented by Hurley and Nike 6.0 to clinch the highly sought after $100,000 check at South Huntington Beach Pier in two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf.
Simpson, who marched to a dream victory in front of his home crowd last year, surfed consistently throughout the event’s entirety to charge to a nearly unimaginable repeat performance to take his second consecutive US Open of Surfing title and mass of ratings points on offer towards his ASP World Ranking. “Last year barely sank in and now I won this year,” Simpson said. “It’s so hard to mentally imagine it all over again because you have to stay consistent and surf so many heats. Luckily I zoned everything out and tried not to worry about the points or the money and that’s when I have competed the best. To be at home with so many friends and family, I’ve enjoyed it so much. To win out here two years in a row is unimaginable. ”
Simpson, who is currently competing on his rookie year on the ASP Dream Tour, jumped out to a quick start in his matchup against the South African juggernaut in the Final and built momentum throughout the heat, leaving Smith looking for a near-perfect score in the final moments of the ASP Dream Tour campaigner’s bout. “Jordy (Smith) has been getting quick starts, so I tried to go out there and get a decent start,” Simpson said. “I got a five, and it was a low scoring heat, but all the waves I caught I maximized. Jordy had that one wave, where if he pulled that air it could have been a different ballgame. That’s the risk you take to be rewarded and with the level these days, that’s where it’s at. I kind of stayed conservative and built my scores, but either way, a win is a win.”
Simpson, who defeated reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, to win his 2009 US Open of Surfing title, rose to the challenge once again this year, topping a marquee list of surfers including nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach ,FL), 38, former ASP World Tour surfer Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 26, ASP Dream Tour rookie Adam Melling (AUS), 25, and Australian standout Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, before defeating Smith in the Final. “It’s amazing to beat those guys,” Simpson said. “I guess this is my best chance to compete against those guys and I know the wave really well and I just go out there and stay confident. I know which waves score the best and that’s all you can do against those guys.”
Smith, who posted the highest scores of the day in the Quarterfinals, ousted dangerous ASP Pro Junior surfer Miguel Pupo (BRA), 18, in the Quarterfinals and reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, in the Semifinals, but was unable to find a rhythm against Simpson and placed second overall. “It wasn’t exactly J-Bay, it’s Huntington, it’s never going to be perfect,” Smith said. “You’ve got to kind of adapt to everything and Brett (Simpson) did that the best. It’s a big event and Brett has done it again, congratulations to him.” Smith has been on an absolute tear throughout the 2010 ASP season and has been a consistent finalist in several events. Although Smith was hungry to clinch the US Open of Surfing title, he was pleased with the result and the ASP PRIME points “It’s still a good result,” Smith said. “We’ll see how the year goes from here. I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. I am having a pretty good year. I’m just relaxing and feeling confident.”
US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Results:
1 – Brett Simpson (USA) 13.97 ?
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.33
US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.00 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.80?
Heat 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.37 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.33
US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.66 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.10
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.26 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.07
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.94 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 7.43
Heat 4: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.14 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.74
US Open Pro Junior Men’s Final:
1 – Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.57?
2 – Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.54?
3 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.23?
4 – Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.67