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There will be no three-peat

H.B. local Brett Simpson found no break at his home break during his 30-minute heat Wednesday.

August 03, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer )

It's said that all good things must come to an end.

Late Wednesday morning at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, Brett Simpson's two-year reign did just that.

The Huntington Beach athlete was among the Men's Prime Draw, Round 1 heat competitors on day four of the Nike U.S. Open of Surfing, but did not advance after placing third (10.24 score) in a heat headed by two young hotshots: first-place Thiago Camarao of Brazil, who won with a 13.17 score, and John John Florence of Hawaii, who finished second (12.26). Davey Cathels of Australia was fourth (7.00).

The top two finishers in each heat advance in the competition.

There will be no three-peat for the disappointed Simpson, who gave his board a quick pound with his right fist after the horn sounded to end his 30-minute heat.

He found no break at his home break.

"I made a mistake on a wave that I had a good opportunity on," said Simpson, who, despite being frustrated with his performance, showed his usual class by smiling and posing for photos with well-wishing fans as he exited the water. "You don't get a ton of opportunities out there, so you need to take advantage of what's there."

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Simpson might not be in the running for the 2011 Men's crown, but he still is the only surfer to win consecutive U.S. Open Men's titles.

"I'm stoked with my achievement," he said. "I'll be back next year to get it."

The nine-day Nike U.S. Open of Surfing extravaganza, which, in addition to surfing, includes skate and BMX competitions, gets into the meat of its schedule Thursday. The event runs through the weekend, culminating in championship finals Saturday and Sunday.

In early opening-day Round 1 heats of the Men's Prime Draw on Tuesday, Evan Geiselman of the USA successfully maneuvered through conditions he found to his liking, and Richard Christie of New Zealand was thrilled to make his way through to surf again.

"I'm happy to be moving on," Geiselman said after winning the fourth heat of the day Tuesday in the Men's Round 1 competition.

The New Smyrna Beach, Fla., native, who also lives in San Clemente, managed to combine his two top wave scores (6.60, 5.77) to take a heat that included second-place Blake Thornton of Australia advancing.

Geiselman said that he and Thornton competed in the same Men's Prime Draw heat a year ago and finished with the same placements. Geiselman also won last year's Junior Pro Men's title, but was eliminated from this year's competition in his first heat Sunday.

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