Day 5 saw the men’s Qualification Series (QS) Prime-rated contest complete Round 2 as ASP Top 34 hopefuls clashed for a respective spot among next year’s elite.
Matt Banting continuing his winning streak in Huntington Beach.
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, current No. 2 on the QS, continued his hot streak after winning the Los Cabos Open earlier in the month and winning his Round 1 heat at the US Open. He topped Dream Tour sophomore Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, progressive sorcerer Dane Reynolds (USA), 28, and American tactician Cory Arrambide (USA), 24, with a big Round 2 heat victory.
“I didn’t catch a wave for nearly half the heat. Filipe just got one at the 10-minute mark, which meant we didn’t get the restart, but it ended up working in my favor,” said Banting. “You only have a couple of opportunities so you have to make the most of them. I’m stoked to keep the ball rolling and stay in the competition.”
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 33, contributed to the international field flaring in Huntington Beach, trouncing his Round 2 heat with a commanding run from start to finish. Gonzalez was surgical on both his forehand and backhand and secured himself a spot in Round 3.
“At the beginning when I started competing it was really hard for me to compete on these types of waves,” he said. “I’ve been practicing surfing beach breaks in the summer because it’s difficult for me. I started the year a bit lost with the new priority system and Saquarema was horrible for me. This event is looking better for me. I hope.”
Kanoa Igarashi, making the most of the Vans US Open QS event.
“I’m definitely feeling the pressure because I live here and I should know which waves to get and how to surf the wave,” said Igarashi. “That was going through my head the whole time but I’m just so stoked I got the right waves and finished them. I think there was about 11 minutes where I needed a 5.00 to win and time was going by so I was nervous, but I managed to get in two good turns so I’m stoked.”