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Local surfers in U.S. Open

Newport Harbor High alumna is among top shredders competing for titles owned by Orange County champions.

July 28, 2010|By Michael Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com

With five days of free music with top national acts, a larger BMX course, two skate bowls, more grandstands, four TV production compounds, a 6,000-square-foot press room, a 7,000-square-foot retail store, 13,000-square-foot retail areas for Nike 6.0, Hurley and Converse, seven jumbotrons, 72 hours of live webcasting from four live sets and a whole lot more, Leitz said, the U.S. Open of Surfing has become "one of the largest sports, music and youth cultural events on the planet."

The interactive Festival Village features more than 100 exhibits and includes autograph signings, prize giveaways, DJs and guest emcees. Among the top national acts performing at the U.S. Open Music Stage Tuesday through Aug. 7 are Cobra Starship, Cold War Kids, Bedouin Soundclash, Switchfoot and Weezer.

During the U.S. Open, a pair of induction ceremonies will take place at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, beginning with the Surfing Walk of Fame in front of Jack's Surfboards at 10 a.m. Aug. 5. The Surfers' Hall of Fame takes place at 10 a.m. Aug. 6, in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.

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The $350,000 U.S. Open includes a $250,000 Men's Prime division that awards a $100,000 first-place prize and 6,500 points to the winner. Doheny will compete in a Men's Prime division that includes, among others, Simpson, Huntington Beach athletes Tim Reyes, Brad Ettinger, Shaun Ward and Jason Harris, Rob Machado (Cardiff), three-time world champion Andy Irons (Hawaii), Mick Fanning (Australia), Taj Burrow (Australia), C.J. Hobgood (Florida), Dane Reynolds (Ventura), Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente) and Jordy Smith (South Africa), who is ranked No. 1 in the world.

Smith won the Billabong Pro Men's title in South Africa last week.

Machado (2006, 2001, 1995), Irons (2006, 1998), Hobgood (2007) and Burrows (2004) have all won the U.S. Open Men's title.

The $60,000 Women's six-star division has a $20,000 first-place prize — a record high — and 12 of the top 16 women on the ASP World Tour are entered in the competition. Hosseini and Gilchrist will go up against the likes of Conlogue, world champions Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) and Sofia Mulanovich (Peru), Jessi Miley-Dyer (Australia), Jacqueline Silva (Brazil), ratings leader Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Coco Ho (Hawaii), Sage Erickson (Hawaii) and Karina Petroni (Florida).

Gilmore (2007) and Mulanovich (2006) are previous winners of the U.S. Open Women's title.

Leitz said with the Women's prize purse raised to $60,000, and with $20,000 going to the winner, the U.S. Open Women's Pro purse is "one of, if not the" highest first-place prizes in women's surfing.

The U.S. Open Women's Pro and the $10,000 U.S. Open Women's Junior Pro (ASP grade-four event) finals are Aug. 7. The U.S. Open Men's Pro and $10,000 U.S. Open U.S. Open Men's Junior Pro (ASP grade-two event) finals are Aug. 8.

The U.S. Open of Surfing is open and free to the public.

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