HUNTINGTON BEACH — The glow of the spotlight bathed two local favorites in a warm embrace a year ago. Whose turn will it be to shine center stage this time in Huntington Beach?
Will it be one of the several athletes from neighboring Newport Beach?
The answer begins to reveal itself Saturday, the day the U.S. Open of Surfing gets underway at the Huntington Beach Pier.
The world's largest professional surfing competition, featuring the Men's and Women's Pro and the Men's and Women's Junior Pro, launches nine days of high-powered events through Aug. 8. This year's event comes on the heels of a 2009 extravaganza that drew 500,000 fans and offered record prize money and a competition that played out in incredible surf.
Last year, the event concluded with a double-whammy on its final weekend when a pair of locals, Courtney Conlogue, of Santa Ana and Huntington Beach native Brett Simpson, emerged with the coveted Women's and Men's Pro titles before an enthusiastic crowd that wildly cheered on the winners.