KANOA GOES BACK TO BACK AT THE VANS 2018 US OPEN
There was no shortage of drama on the final day of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, but when the spray settled it was two Huntington Beach surfers standing atop the podium. Back from injury, surfing with passion and conviction, Courtney Conlogue claimed the women's title, while Kanoa Igarashi became the first surfer to win back-to-back Men's Opens since fellow Huntington surfer Brett Simpson did it in 2009 and 2010. Igarashi went up against a very in-form Griffin Colapinto in the final. A back-and-forth affair, it was an 8-point ride at the end that sealed the deal for Igarashi. "That was the best heat I've ever had," said Igarashi. "On that last wave, I don't know, I felt like something just took over me and whatever I was going to do on that wave I was going to land it. When I stood up on that wave I knew I already had the score." From Round 1 all the way to the end of the contest, Igarashi kept referencing how inspired he was by Simpson's performances years ago and was heavily motivated to follow in his footsteps. "The whole contest I was just thinking about this final heat," said Igarashi. "I paced myself the whole time and let it all out at the end. It was a really hard heat, the waves were slow, but I just believed that Huntington was going to give me the waves and it did."