USA dominated during the home stretch of Vans US Open of Surfing. Sage Erickson (Ojai, Calif.) nabbed her first Championship Tour victory in a heated battle against Hawaiian Tatiana Weston-Webb. With this clutch win on home-state turf, Erickson jumps from the No. 9 to No. 6 on the Jeep Leaderboard … and the nostalgia of winning in her Golden State isn’t lost on the 26-year-old surfer.
“I feel like I’ve been working really hard for a moment like this,” Erickson said. “I can’t believe I’m here. … I can’t be more proud to be from a place like America — you can feel the energy and all the support from all the people on the beach. It’s just amazing to bring my first win home in California and to do it in a place like Huntington couldn’t be more of a surreal situation.”
On the Men’s front, local boy Kanoa Igarashi paddled out to win, and not just win but smash his competitor, Brazilian surfer Tomas Hermes. Igarashi nailed a gorgeous set wave, bashing three major backhand attacks and finishing his ride on the shorebreak, hand raised in near-victory as his hometown crowd roared. He’d rack up a nearly perfect 9.63—the highest single-wave score of the entire competition—and practically locked himself in for the win. His next wave, a 5.60, was enough to crown him with his first-ever Vans US Open of Surfing QS 10,000 win.
The beach lit up with applause and hands in the air as Igarashi’s crew didn’t even wait for his winning feet to tough the sand; they paddled out to greet their victor and congratulate him in the place where he does best … the ocean.
“I felt like this was going to be my year,” Igarashi said. “A lot of people kept telling me it was and I just believed in it and it came true. This place means the world to me. I learned how to surf here. It’s just so special to be here with my friends and family. This contest means so much to me, it was the first place I ever watched pro surfing. Just sitting on the beach watching guys like Kalani Robb battle it out was incredible. I’ve just wanted to be around these guys and to win the US Open with this crowd here — it’s a day I’ll never forget.”
Read the full results from Vans US Open Day 9 here.
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