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Town Surfers Dominate US Open of Surf Longboard Event at Huntington Beach

It was a clean sweep for the Queens crew at the US Open of Surf as Kelis Kaleopa’a winning her second title in a row and Kaniela Stewart taking home the win for the men.


After a hard-fought week in which many of the world’s best longboarders put together impressive performances, it was all Hawaii on finals day. Kaniela (Kani) took down former world champion Taylor Jensen to move into first place on the ratings


while Kelis beat fellow Oahu native Honolua Blomfeld in the tricky peaks on the south side of Huntington Pier.

The longboard world tour next goes to Australia’s Bells Beach, which has historically been a shortboard world tour stop, but will see a different type of surfing this year.

The US Open also featured the fourth Challenger event of the year, and with only two Challengers left in the season, the qualification picture is starting to come into focus. Hawaii’s Eli Hanneman won for the men, moving him up 23 spots to fourth overall, while Sawyer Lindblad beat Sally Fitzgibbons to take out the women’s event and move into third on the qualification ratings. Sally Fitzgibbons currently leads the race for qualification, while Cole Houshmand will likely be the first male surfer to qualify after winning two of the first four events of the series and placing ninth in Huntington Beach.

The Challenger series will now enjoy a two-month hiatus while the world tour is completed with the final event at Teahupoo, followed by the championship event at Trestles. The Challenger series will then finish up in October with back-to-back events at Ericeira (Portugal) and Saquerema (Brazil).

For those who can’t get enough of World Surf League competition, the final event of the year-long tour hits Teahupoo on August 11. At the end of that event, the top five men and women on the ratings will earn spots in the championship event.

It all comes down to next week. Who will come out on top at the slabbing barrels of Tahiti? We will find out soon!


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