The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing recommenced on Thursday, August 2, 2012. Mother Nature served up three foot swell and the surfers pounded away at it with panache. Here's a quick look at some of the results:
Round 4 of the women's surfing competition was intense on Thursday as the ladies battled it out for a spot in the quarterfinals. It had all the drama of a good novella minus the leading men. The round opened up with what proved to be a close surf heat between Malia Manuel and Tyler Wright. Both ladies opened up Heat 1 with low scoring rides. Then, with less than 11 minutes to go, Manuel delivered a solid 6.33 point ride. It turned out to be the best ride of the surf heat. She backed it up with a 4.77 point ride, thus winning the heat with 11.10 points. Wright completed the surf heat with 10.17 points.
The surf heat that followed reconfirmed that fortune is indeed fleeting. Stephanie Gilmore, who had been riding high after her recent WCT win, found herself on the losing end of things. At the time, Gilmore was surfing against the formidable, Sage Erickson. Erickson unleashed a 6.67 point ride. Gilmore answered back by delivering a 6.17 point ride. Then Erickson served up a sensational 8.07 point ride that cinched her spot in the quarterfinals.
Other dramatic Round 4 moments included a beautiful 8 point ride by Coco Ho in Heat 3 and strong performances by both Paige Hareb and Pauline Ado in Heat 4.
The juniors' quarterfinals and Round 24 of the men's surfing competition both took place on Thursday. Between the two events, spectators got to witness an intoxicating mixture of power surfing and amazing airs. Conner Coffin and Kanoa Igarashi rocked the juniors' quarterfinals by delivering some of the highest wave scores of the day. Coffin served up a 9.50 point ride and an 8.50 point ride during his heat. Igarashi's best waves were an 8.60 point ride and an 8.17 point ride. Accordingly, both will be surfing in the semi-finals.
As far as Round 24 went, you would have thought that Gabriel Medina had ducked into a phone booth and slapped a big S on to his chest before his heat. He spent most of Heat 5 defying gravity with moves that included a jaw-dropping air reverse. Medina, however, wasn't the only man delivering superhuman like maneuvers on Thursday. Other stand out moments included Filipe Toledo's pair of air reverses, Nathaniel Curran's 9.33 point ride and John John Florence's 9.17 point ride.
The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing is expected to get back underway at 8:30 a.m. PDT on Friday, August 3, 2012. Personally, I am looking forward to watching the juniors' finals. During the events, I plan on rooting for members of the Pac Sun USA Surf Team.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys watching water sports with her family. She also has a history of interviewing pro surfers.
More from this contributor:Nike U.S. Open of Surfing Webcast Starts July 30, 2012: Fan View
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