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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 4 August 2017

The quest for 2018 CT inclusion lies ever closer for Michael February after his highest heat score at Huntington Beach helped him hop into Round 4 and the top 24, writes Spike.

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FEBRUARY ON THE MARCH: Mikey is sitting #4 on the QS rankings. Photo WSL / Morris

In Round 2 of the rather confusing "Vans US Open of Surfing - Men's QS", Mikey Feb found himself last in the four-man heat with five minutes to go but scooped a 7.10 on his backhand, followed by an explosive backhand attack on a set wave that finished in the shorebreak for a near-perfect 9.17.

“That wave at the end was such a blessing,” February said. “Those last two waves and then that 9 just really helped put me at ease. It’s been the best start of my career ever. Coming into the US Open last year, I started in the Round of 112 because of my seed, and now here being 4th on the QS is a completely foreign feeling for me.

"I’m just trying to feel it out and get sorted, but I’m really happy to get that first heat out of the way. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want to qualify, everyone on the QS is trying to do that and I’m stoked with results from my last few events and just want to keep the positives alive going into the next few.”

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WALLING UP: Nikki van Dijk's wave shows that it was actually cooking. Photo WSL / Rowland

In Round 3, he didn't get the waves he wanted, but still came out on top with a 13,57. With his spot in Round 4, which is the last 24 of the event, he's guaranteed points but will be hoping to go further. This will further cement a possible, if not probable, spot on the CT next year.

The Vans US Open of Surfing - Men's QS is running concurrently with another two events at the famous Californian break. The headline act is the Vans US Open of Surfing. Nice touch WSL. Male fans might be confused initially, but dropping the qualifying gender phrase when there is no CT men's event is better form. It's a tricky one though. An event suffixed with "Women" suggests it plays second fiddle to the one that doesn't. The upcoming event in Tahiti is not called the Billabong "Men's" Pro Teahupo'o.

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PIER PRESSURE: A lefthander breaks towards the pier, similar to Durban. Photo WSL / Rowling

The Vans US Open of Surfing is the sixth stop out of 10 on the women's WSL Championship Tour (CT), which is down to the semi-final after the quarter yesterday in 3-5' surf. Hawaiians and Americans dominate the semis, with Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA) and Courtney Conlogue (USA).

The men's sixth stop (out of 11) was actually the Corona Open J-Bay with Tahiti coming up in six days the seventh. The trio of events at Huntington is completed by the "Vans US Open of Surfing - Men's Jr" event. Of the 64 who started the junior event, none were South African. In the women's, Bianca Buitendag got a wild card, but she lost to Conlogue.

South Africans fared a lot better in the QS event, barring Matt McGillivray who lost out in Round 1. Apart from February, after his higher seeding put him directly in Round 2, Beyrick de Vries started well, making it to Round 3, but fell in his heat against a top lineup of Carlos Munoz (CRI), Connor O'Leary (AUS) and Heitor Alves (BRA).

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
 QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.80 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.90
QF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.86 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.50
QF 3: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.74 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.10
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.07 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.47

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinal Match-Ups:
 SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
SF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Round 3 Results (H1-8):
 Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.83, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.13, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.34, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 10.70
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.50, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 11.83, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.40, Joan Duru (FRA) 8.67
Heat 3: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.50, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.20, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.44, Sebastian Zeitz (HAW) 8.64
Heat 4: Davey Cathels (AUS) 14.70, Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.00, Lucas Silveira (BRA) 10.33, Victor Bernado (BRA) 8.40
Heat 5: Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.63, Nat Young (USA) 12.43, Marc Lacomere (FRA) 11.70, Ian Crane (USA) 11.44
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.26, Adam Melling (AUS) 9.87, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.77, Michael Dunphy (USA) 4.40
Heat 7: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 13.97, Connor O’ Leary (AUS) 13.30, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.50, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 9.67
Heat 8: Michael February (ZAF) 13.57, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 13.00, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.53, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.00

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Pro Junior Quarterfinal Results:
 QF 1: Cole Houshmand (USA) 13.30, Kade Matson (USA) 13.26, Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 10.10, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 8.67
QF 2: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 13.50, John Mel (USA) 12.74, Yuji Nishi (JPN) 12.43, Luke Gordon (USA) 12.23
QF 3: Cody Young (HAW) 13.26, Che Allan (BRB) 11.40, Tyler Gunter (USA) 10.40, Ryland Rubens (USA) 9.70
QF 4: Crosby Colapinto (USA) 14.23,Elijah Fox (HAW) 12.87, Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.84, David Economos (USA) 9.63

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