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U.S. Open of Surfing to hit the waves

The international competition returns to Huntington Beach this weekend

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: July 24, 2012 01:15 PM

Surf City will grab the international spotlight this weekend, when the 2012 U.S. Open of Surfing comes to town. More than 750,000 fans of surf, sun and sand are expected at the annual event, bringing tourism dollars to local hotels and businesses.

From July 28 to Aug. 5, 14 acres of prime beach south of the Huntington Beach Pier will host Southern California’s biggest surf event of the year, with shopping, music and art, as well as skate demonstrations and competitions.

"The US Open of Surfing is the epicenter for action sports culture. This year we will introduce the biggest stadium in surf and largest skate contest on the beach as the top action sports athletes, art and music talent hit the sand in Huntington," said Sandy Bodecker, vice president of Nike Action Sports.

Title sponsor Nike is bankrolling the event, along with supporting sponsors Hurley and Converse. The US Open is owned and produced by IMG, a sports entertainment management and promotions firm.

“There is no other event like the US Open of Surfing. Together with Nike, Hurley and Converse, we have created the ultimate arena for athletes, musicians and artists to showcase their talent,” says James Leitz, senior vice president of IMG. “With hundreds of thousands of people coming down to the beach to celebrate action sports, the atmosphere is electric, vibrant and youthful. This US Open of Surfing is the epitome of the California lifestyle.”

Web coverage of last year’s weeklong event generated more than 3.6 million webcast views, breaking viewership records, with plans to expand online content to an even larger audience this year.  

The winners of the men’s and women’s competitions at the event will take different roads following the U.S. Open. For men, the tournament is marked as a North American Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Prime event, which grants the winner valuable points toward the ASP Top 34 tour. Women’s competitors will have much more riding on their performance, as the HB stop represents the final event on the 2012 World Title Tour. The U.S. Open event may name the World Champion in women’s surfing next weekend.

"The US Open is the biggest stage in competitive surfing, and I'm excited to compete again in Huntington, where the world's best athletes come together to vie for one of the most prestigious titles in the sport," said Carissa Moore, the 2011 Women's World Champion. "To compete in an arena with surfing at center stage is a dream come true, and I'm putting everything on the line to bring home the US Open title again."  

The event also serves as the stage for Converse Coastal Carnage, a professional/amateur skateboarding event, which will feature some of the country’s stop skating talent competing in a custom, state-of-the-art skate bowl for a chance at a $90,000 prize purse. Nike Skateboarding will also host the “Damn Am HB,” an amateur skate exposition on a custom street course designed after some of the best street spots in the world.

In addition, the event will feature interactive exhibits, public skate courses, autograph signings, giveaways, and one of the week’s most popular events, the US Open Music Stage, which will feature a lineup of popular bands.

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