HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, August 4, 2012) – Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 19, and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), 17, have won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior at Huntington Beach Pier in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves.
Coffin dominated the final day of ASP Pro Junior competition with a powerful Semifinals performance and went on to leave his fellow finalists in a combination situation with a 17.10 out of 20 heat total to solidify the biggest win of his career.
“I can’t even put this in to words,” Coffin said. “I’m just so happy. I’ve been doing this contest for a long time and it’s my sponsor’s event. I used to struggle out here and I’ve been working hard on that and I’m just glad that Final went my way.”
Coffin’s win was no easy task, as the Santa Barbara standout topped local surfer Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach, CA), 14, Cooper Chapman (AUS), 17, and defending Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA), 17, in the Final.
“Filipe (Toledo) is a freak and he can do those airs on point,” Coffin said. “I just got lucky that he didn’t put it together in the Final. I had two 8s, but with him that’s nowhere near safe. He can get 8s and 9s in every heat.”
Nikki Van Dijk, freshly crowned Women’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champion, made a charge in the back half of the ladies final and put together a powerful combination of turns to clinch the prestigious Women’s Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior title.
“I’m really happy to just have had a good heat out there,” Van Dijk said. “I’m happy to win for Australia. Even a win in the Pro Juniors is huge because it’s the hardest comp to get in to. There are so many people here and the best surfers. All of the girls surfed really well.”
While ASP Pro Junior Champions were crowned today, Quarterfinalists in the men’s ASP Prime event were decided via some amazing performances from several of the world’s best surfers.
Dane Reynolds (Ventura, Ca), 26, took a come from behind victory over former event champion Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 27, in impressive fashion. Reynolds was in need of an excellent score in the dying minutes of the heat and lofted a big frontside air-reverse on a close out section to overtake Curran by a final score of 16.90 to 16.70.
“I just surf a lot and try it over and over again,” Reynolds said. “When it’s a bad wave you feel less pressure because it’s up to you and you want to push it as hard as you can. I hate when I’m on a good wave and I feel like I need to surf it at 70 percent. I’d almost rather get a bad wave and try and surf it 150 percent. I’m really excited for the next round. I’ve never beat Kelly and it’ll be a fun challenge.”
Reynolds will face off against reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, in the Quarterfinals.
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, has been consistently putting on excellent performances in every round and maintained his form in the Round of 16 to top Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 21. De Souza’s advancement into the Quarterfinals will put him up against fellow Brazilian Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, and the natural footer is excited for the challenge.
“It will be nice, I haven’t had a heat against Gabriel (Medina) before and I’m looking forward to it,” de Souza said. “Gabriel is such a good surfer in all conditions, he got second in Fiji and he’s obviously good out here. He’s a top five talent and it looks like the waves will increase tomorrow. We’ll see what the conditions are like tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”
John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 19, put in a dominant effort to surpass fellow Oahu native Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 19, and strung together a series of airs and turns to earn his spot in the Quarterfinals.
“I haven’t surfed against him (Keanu Asing) in awhile and he’s really good in these waves, so I was nervous,” Florence said. “I think everyone that makes it to the final day wants to win. It’s such a crazy event with so many people here and I’d love to take this one.”
Florence will face off against fellow ASP WCT campaigner Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, in the Quarterfinals.
Julian Wilson also took a come from behind win today, edging out two-time Nike US Open of Surfing Champion and local favorite Brett Simpson (USA), 27. Wilson also took to the air on his heat-winning wave and posted an 8.93 for the score to advance to the Quarterfinals.
“Brett (Simpson) had momentum,” Wilson said. “I had a good wave at the start that would have put me in a good position, but I fell. He got two good scores and put pressure on me. I was looking to go right and get an air, so I was just trying to bank one out the back and it came. I’m happy I made it.”
Men’s and Women’s Nike US Open of Surfing Champions will be crowned tomorrow. To watch the event LIVE log on to www.usopenofsurfing.com
While the action in the water is guaranteed to provide plenty of entertainment, the Nike US Open of Surfing, owned and operated by IMG, a global leader in sports and entertainment, is part of a major action sports festival that includes skateboarding, music, art and more.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspnorthamerica.org
MEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING ROUND OF 16:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.90 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 8.66
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.07 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 8.70
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.50 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.37
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.90 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 16.70
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.90 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 9.93
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.74 def. Nat Young (USA) 11.40
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) 16.70 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.10
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (USA) 14.93 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 14.00
MEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING PRO JUNIOR FINAL RESULT:
1 – Conner Coffin (USA) 17.10
2 – Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.60
3 – Cooper Chapman (AUS) 11.97
4 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 3.03
MEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (AUS) 17.96, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.53, Michael February (ZAF) 11.37, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 11.17
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.60, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 12.00, Kalani David (HAW) 9.67, Taylor Thorne (USA) 8.93
WOMEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING PRO JUNIOR FINAL RESULT:
1 – Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.90
2 – Leila Hurst (HAW) 12.33
3 – Quincy Davis (USA) 11.83
4 – Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) 11.30
WOMEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Quincy Davis (USA) 17.00, Leila Hurst (HAW) 14.20, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.49, Chandler Parr (USA) 8.71
SF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 18.34, Bailey Nagy (USA) 11.50, Frankie Harrer (USA) 7.50