Honda US Open of Surfing - WQS

31 Jul 2006 0 Share

US Open of Surfing: Former world number 2 Mick Campbell scored the events only 10 point ride on his way to the Quarter Finals

US Open of Surfing: Former world number 2 Mick Campbell scored the events only 10 point ride on his way to the Quarter Finals

Former two-time event champion and last year's runner-up Rob Machado (Cardiff, CA) re-asserted his U.S. Open of Surfing supremacy today winning his third title in front of thousands at Huntington Beach.

"I will never get tired of coming here," Machado said. "The crowd down here has been so amazing all week. The energy that was out there in the final was unbelievable. I lost a close final to Andy Irons here last year and that was hard to swallow, so this feels fantastic."

Muscling out Roy Powers (Hanalei, HI) in the six-star ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O'Neill, former world No. 2 Machado now finds himself in the WQS top-50 despite having only surfed a handful of events in 2006.

"I've only surfed three contests this year but I'm heading to Europe to compete in a couple of events there which should be fun because I haven't surfed there in years," Machado, who is semi-retired from competitive surfing, said. "I guess I'll just see where I'm sitting on the ratings (WQS) after that and take it from there."

Incidentally, Machado has won two of the three events he's surfed in 2006 - today's proceedings, as well as a four-star competition at Pipeline (Hawaii) - and now appears quite capable of qualifying for the Foster's ASP Men's World Tour should he be so inclined.

Powers, current no. 41 on the Foster's ASP Men's World Tour, needed just an average wave score of a 6.33 to change today's outcome.

"Rob is a machine and can get the scores on any wave he goes on," Powers said. "I could have applied a bit more pressure, but I wanted to win honorably and I came really close - all I needed was one more score."

Powers' runner-up finish finds him rocketing from 86th to 26th on the WQS ratings, a move that will no doubt aid the young Hawaiian in his quest to re-qualify for the Foster's ASP Men's World Tour.

"I need this," Powers, currently struggling in his World Tour rookie season, said. "My rookie season hasn't been going so well. Hopefully this momentum goes my way in the coming qualifying events and maybe even on the World Tour."

Mike Losness (San Clemente, CA) punctuated his best ASP event to date with a third-place finish at the Honda U.S. Open. The flexible goofy-footer surfed incredibly well all event before succumbing to boyhood-hero Machado.

"A few rounds ago I was happy, so I'm just ecstatic now," Losness said of his finish. "I don't feel bad that I lost in that heat, there's something to be said about drawing really good guys in your heats because those are the guys you want to beat and those are the heats you want to surf."

Losness has concentrated on endeavors outside the competitive realm in recent years, but today's success may well inspire the 25-year-old to focus on elite-tour qualification.

"This was really big for me because I don't do the WQS - I do some of the events but I want to do more next year," Losness said. "Having a result like this will really put me up in the standings, so when I travel around the world to compete, I won't have to surf through the trials to get into the events. I've actually just entered a five-star in Portugal at the end of the month so who knows what will happen this year."

Jeremy Flores (Reunion Island), 18, surfed brilliantly all week but failed to advance past Powers in the semifinals. Competing in his first event ever in Huntington Beach, his third-place finish rockets him to fifth on the WQS ratings and puts him in excellent position to qualify for next year's elite tour.

"I'm pretty young - I just turned 18 two months ago so I have no pressure to qualify for the World Tour," Flores said. "I have a lot of time ahead of me. I'll be stoked if I qualify this year but if I don't I'm sure I will within a few years. I'm dedicating this year to surfing contests so we'll see how it goes."

Michael Campbell (Port Macquarie, AUS) was on fire this morning securing the only perfect 10-poin

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