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Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing begins Saturday

The event will have the largest first-place prize, $100,000, in competitive surfing history.

July 18, 2009|Pete Thomas

The Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, which will have the largest first-place prize in competitive surfing history, begins a nine-day run today alongside the Huntington Beach Pier.

Winner of the men's division in the six-star ASP World Qualifying Series contest will receive $100,000, thanks to an $80,000 sponsor boost. A star-studded field includes nine-time world champion Kelly Slater, three-time world champion Andy Irons and three-time U.S. Open champion Rob Machado.

Also in the contest lineup are C.J. Hobgood and Adriano de Souza, who are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the world. Defending champions are Nathaniel Curran of Oxnard and, in the women's division, Malia Manuel of Wailua, Hawaii.

Manuel, at 14, last year became the youngest-ever U.S. Open champion.

The contest awards valuable points for WQS athletes trying to qualify for the elite World Tour and for World Tour athletes who might need WQS points to re-qualify for next year's tour. For many, though, the $100,000 first-place award is incentive enough.

Additionally, next Friday and Saturday the Hurley Pro Trials will be held to determine who earns a wild-card entry into the upcoming Hurley Pro World Tour contest at Lower Trestles in San Clemente.

The elimination contest will begin with two four-man heats: Brett Simpson, Yadin Nicol, Dillon Perillo and Conner Coffin (all Hurley surfers); and Tanner Gudauskas, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson and Dusty Payne. The Trials begin Friday at 3:20 p.m. and conclude Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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pete.thomas@latimes.com

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