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U.S. Open of Surfing: A California dream

·2 min read
Huntington Beach, CA, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 - Kanoa Igarashi competes in a quarterfinal heat at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Kanoa Igarashi competes in a quarterfinal heat at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Open of Surfing, on the south side of the Huntington Beach pier, was a California dream. All four men's semifinalist reside in and compete out of California: Nola Rapoza of Long Beach, Jake Marshall of Encinitas, Olympic silver medalist Kanoa Igarashi of Huntington Beach and Griffin Colapinto of San Clemente.

On the women's side, two of the semifinalist compete out of California, including Courtney Conlogue of Santa Ana and Caitlin Simmers from Oceanside.

Colapinto went on to win the men's championship, but had to battle with Igarashi to reach the final. The last time Colapinto went up against Igarashi was the 2018 U.S. Open of Surfing finals, where he lost. This proved to be Colapinto's year, with dominating wins over Igarashi and Marshall in the finals.

Simmers, who turns 16 next month, battled another local, Conlogue, in her semifinal heat. She eventually won the women's championship, edging Gabriela Bryan to become one of the youngest to win.

Surfer Jake Marshall stretches and meditates moments before competing in the finals
Jake Marshall stretches and meditates moments before competing in the finals of the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Kanoa Igarashi stops to meditate as he enters the water to compete in a semifinal heat
Kanoa Igarashi stops to meditate as he enters the water to compete in a semifinal heat at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Kanoa Igarashi competes in a quarterfinal heat at the U.S. Open of Surfing
Kanoa Igarashi competes in a quarterfinal heat at the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Griffin Colapinto is greeted by friends from San Clemente after he qualified for the finals of the U.S. Open of Surfing
Griffin Colapinto is greeted by friends from San Clemente after he qualified for the finals of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Griffin Colapinto lands an airborne cutback move, helping him seal a finals win in the U.S. Open of Surfing
Griffin Colapinto lands an airborne cutback move, helping him seal a finals win in the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Griffin Colapinto is carried from the surf after winning the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach.
Griffin Colapinto is carried from the surf after winning the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Griffin Colapinto is carried from the surf after winning the final
Griffin Colapinto is carried from the surf after winning the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Caitlyn Simmers' father, Jessie, speaks to her moments before she surfs in the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing
Caitlyn Simmers' father, Jessie, speaks to her moments before she surfs in, and wins, the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Caity Simmers competes in a preliminary heat to qualify for the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing
Caity Simmers competes in a preliminary heat to qualify for the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Caitlin Simmers is carried out of the surf after winning the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach.
Caitlin Simmers is carried out of the surf after winning the final of the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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