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High-performance surfing marked day 3 of the Vans U.S. Open as competitors reveled in a four-to-five-foot swell that filled the south side of Huntington Beach Pier. Events on tap for Monday included Rounds 1 and 2 of the Men’s Qualifying Series 10,000 and Women’s Championship Tour Trial.
Jérémy Florès of France, winner of the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters and Championship Tour veteran, wasted no time jumping on the prime conditions and quickly nailed two massive backhands on a wave in one of the larger sets to roll through the beach. His impressive ride earned him a near-perfect 9.17 (out of 10), the single-highest score of the day. Florès finished the heat with 16.20 points (out of a possible 20), sending him straight into Round 3 with the confidence to reach the Final series.

“I’ve been coming here for a while now … and had some good results when I was 16, 17, and 18 years old but the last five years I’ve barely made any heats,” Florès said, explaining that he hasn’t had time to surf the waves in Huntington Beach but thinks it’s an advantage that’ll actually pay off, keeping him on his toes. “I think it’s best to not surf it and just keep that energy for the competition,” he said. “It’d be amazing to win here with all the legends who have already gotten titles and I remember growing up watching this event with all the best surfers winning here.”

Alejo Muniz of Brazil took second in the round with a 15.33 total, stealing some home-brewed thunder from Huntington Beach local, Kanoa Igarashi, who will still advance to Round 3 in runner-up position.

“I think this is the best swell we’ve had here the last three or four years,” said Muniz. He added that while it’s difficult to surf against a local, and especially against Igarashi, who he called “amazing,” his positioning contributed most to taking the top spot for the heat, and second place overall in the round. “I saw where he started the heat and I wanted to sit somewhere else,” Muniz explained. “And it paid off so I could get my first good wave.”
In the Women’s Championship Tour Trials, Maud Le Car of France nabbed the top spot, beating Caroline Marks (USA), Alyssa Spencer (USA) and Tia Blanco, (USA). Le Car takes to the water tomorrow against World Surf League Champion Tyler Wright of Australia and Honolulu’s Coco Ho.
The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing is back at it Tuesday with Rounds 1 and 2 of the Women’s Championship Tour starting at 7:30 a.m. PT.

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