HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, July 28, 2013) – Alejo Muniz (BRA), 23, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Prime Vans US Open of Surfing over Kolohe Andino (USA), 19, in inconsistent 0.5 to one metre waves at Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday.
South African Jordy Smith (Durban), 25, finished equal fifth in the event when he was defeated by Matt Banting (AUS), 18, in their wave-starved quarter-final clash earlier on the day. Smith’s haul of 3 320 points saw him leapfrog Julian Wilson (AUS), 24, winner of the ASP Prime rated event in Ballito at the beginning of July, into the No. 1 spot on the ASP World Rankings.
The Vans US Open of Surfing was the fourth of eight ASP Prime events on the 2013 calendar, offering crucial points towards surfers’ ASP World Ranking and a coveted US$100,000 first place prize purse.
Muniz started the final by getting the best of an opening exchange with Andino, belting a 8.43 out of 10 for a series of seamless front-side turns. The Brazilian quickly backed that up with a ride on his back-hand, scalping a 7.80 on a left breaking in to the pier to solidify the victory.
“I’m so happy, I can’t believe it,” Muniz said. “Today marks the four-year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing and I’d like to dedicate this win to him. This is the biggest win of my career and it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever surfed in front of. I knew I had to get scores and the waves were dying a little bit with the high tide and the ocean really cooperated with me today.”
Muniz, who entered the Vans US Open ranked No. 24, had struggled to find a big result throughout the first half of his ASP season, but vaults to No. 15 on the rankings compliments of his win in Huntington Beach today.
Kolohe Andino was the last Southern Californian remaining in men’s competition and was in dangerous form entering the final. The progressive regular-footer opened his final exchange with a 7.77 but was unable to find the second score needed to surpass Muniz, finishing runner-up overall.
“Congratulations to Alejo,” Andino said. “He surfed amazing all week. It would have been nice to win, but I just couldn’t find a second wave and I’m happy that I made the final.”
Matt Banting (AUS), 18, the only surfer not on the ASP WCT in the last eight at the event, proved to be dark horse of the 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing, beating a flock of the world’s best surfers on his way to an incredible equal 3rd place finish.
Banting eliminated Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, in the quarter-finals, but was unable to surpass Muniz in their semi-final clash. Banting’s result launches him from 92 to 41 on the men’s ASP World Ranking.
“I’ve dreamt of that heat against Jordy (Smith) my whole life and to surf against him and to beat him, I’m so happy,” Banting said following his quarter-final victory. “I was just wishing that no waves would come and to just better that 3.77 on my final wave. I’m just frothing. I’m not trying to qualify just yet. I’m taking it heat-by-heat and to beat Jordy, anything after that would have been a bonus.”
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VANS US OPEN OF SURFING MEN’S FINAL RESULT:
1 – Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.23
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.54
VANS US OPEN OF SURFING MEN’S SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.00 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.76
SF 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.00 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 11.50
VANS US OPEN OF SURFING MEN’S QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.66 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.27
QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.50 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.43
QF 3: Matt Banting (AUS) 10.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.30
QF 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.64 def. Nat Young (USA) 5.83
ASP World Rankings (After Vans US Open of Surfing)
1 Smith,Jordy ZAF 25720
2 Wilson,Julian AUS 25605
3 De Souza,Adriano BRA 23163
4 Parkinson,Joel AUS 21880
5 Kerr,Josh AUS 21315
6 Slater,Kelly USA 21300
7 Young,Nat USA 18906
8 Bourez,Michel PYF 17820
9 Andino,Kolohe USA 16144
10 Buchan,Adrian AUS 16075
South Africans (In top 100)
35 De Vries,Beyrick ZAF 7416
44 Logie,Travis ZAF 5880
53 Staples,Dale ZAF 4593
93 Joubert,Shaun ZAF 2810
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About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.