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Big week in Surf City

August 01, 2002

Wet and wild with Rockin' Fig

It's the big week in Surf City as the $150,000 Phillips U.S. Open

of Surfing is going full steam. The shape is actually pretty good,

considering a lot of times when it's mackin' like it is, it gets out

of control. Long freight train lefts and bowly rights were seen much

of the time outside, with some reforms going all the way through

connecting to the shore break. The overcast skies in the mornings,

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gave way to sunshine pretty early most of the time with air

temperatures in the 70s. So far, conditions have been pretty

happening, and the biggest crowds for the start of a U.S. Open

contest were seen, with the sands full of beach-goers getting a treat

with the high level of surfing going on. The start of the contest

will feature many rounds of eliminations, in this case we've already

run six of the men's rounds and narrowed the field of longboarders

down to the semis. In the juniors we have run three rounds and one in

the women's. Round seven of the men starts today, with the advancing

surfers meeting up with the seeded surfers. The farthest you can be

seeded is until round nine, which has the top seeded guns. Like

current world champ C.J. Hobgood, and former six-time world champ

Kelly Slater; three-time champ, Tom Curren and the power master

Sunny Garcia from Hawaii. Last year's winner Rob Machado has the big

moves and he's in it. Also coming to town is Aussie shredder Mick

Fanning winner of the last C.T. event at J-Bay last week, and the

explosive Taj Burrow as well. Huntington Beach's Jeff Deffenbaugh got

a wildcard seed there too. Plus other notable rippers; Shea Lopez,

Pat O'Connell, Taylor Knox and Tim Curran from the U.S.; Brazil's

Rodrigo Dornelles and New Zealand's Maz Quinn just to name a few.

Some of the longboard semifinalists are Huntington Beach's Josh Mohr,

who ripped some big heats and former world champ and styler, Joel

Tudor. You also won't want to miss current world champ Colin

McPhillips, who had some great cut-backs, and nose-ride specialist

Josh Baxter, if you're into riding a longboard. The juniors have been

going off and the women have been tearing it up too. All I can say is

come on down it's going to be happening. Also this week is the

induction ceremonies for the Surfing Walk of Fame on Main Street,

today at 10 a.m. in front of Jack's Surf Shop. In the Surf Champion

category Kelly Slater is getting a star. In Surf Pioneer its Miki

Dora, Surfing Culture Steve Pezman, Woman of the Year Kim Mearig. The

Local Hero's is Brad Gerlach, a former Huntington Beach High School

student and number two in the world standings in 1991. Our own

Huntington Beach High School surf coach Andy Verdone is making the

Honor Roll. Then, on Friday, across the Street at Huntington Surf &

Sports, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Laird Hamilton and Joel Tudor

will put their feet in cement at the inaugural 2002 Hall of Fame.

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