posted by / News / July 30, 2006


With only minutes to go before competing in the final heat of the US Open, Rob Machado is walking south, down the beach, away from it all. Away from the 10 days of competition, from the barrage of tents and the smorgasbord of free goodies, from the {{{100}}},000 spectators, and from the Huntington Beach pier that’s wrapped with the banners of different sponsors.

“It’s weird,” Rob later divulged. “You get out by Tower Five and there’s a lot of people down there who have no idea there’s a surf contest going on. There’s just kids running around enjoying the beach, having a great time, and you can kind of remove yourself from the chaos of all these tents and humans and judges, and — just for a second — refocus, loosen up and think about what you need to do.”

And after everything was over, while a chocked up Rob cradled his third US Open trophy thanking his family and friends and all those who inspired him, one would be hard pressed to deny that his strategy worked.

Surfing on the 3- to 5-foot H.B. waves against Hanalei’s Roy Powers (current no. 41 on the ASP Men’s World Tour), Rob connected sections, strung together combos, worked the inside reform section, all in his signature smooth Machado-style, leaving Roy needing a 6.33 wave score that was hard to find in the inconsistent summer surf.

“I need this,” Powers said before the final. “My WQS season hasn’t been going so well up until now.”

With all the other big-name ‘CTers, such as {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, Bobby Martinez and the local Huntington protge Timmy Reyes, not even making it to the Semis, Roy had a decent shot at winning the 6-star ’QS event thereby drastically improving his chances at remaining on the World Tour for a second year. But truth be told, his surfing did seem a little bit off during the final heat. Twice, he made the mistake of unwittingly splitting the peak with Rob when he didn’t have priority, causing his best rides to go uncounted and forfeiting the tactical priority back to Rob. And Rob? Well, he was in the zone; it also didn’t hurt that he had the majority of the Californian surfing crowd cheering on his side. After the buzzer rang, Roy stayed out catching some waves and blowing off steam while Rob’s entourage rushed him up the beach through a dizzying swarm of fans. Still, a second place finish for Roy bumped him up from 86 to 26 on the ’QS rat-race, and also earned him some notoriety and cash, which ain’t bad consolation prizes at all.

But believe it or not, apart from the drama that unfolded during the main event of the {{{Honda}}} Men’s US Open of Surfing Presented by O’Neill (try saying that 10 times fast), there were plenty of other newsworthy happenings, as well.

On Saturday afternoon, the 23-year-old former ASP Woman’s World Champ, Sofia Mulanovich graciously accepted an oversized first-place check along with a new Honda AquaTrax Jet Ski, while clothed in the red-and-white striped Peruvian flag.

France’s Lee Ann Curren — yes, Tom Curren’s daughter — showed just how near the apple really falls to the tree, and beat out Rossane Hodge (ZAF), Erica Hosseini (USA) and (one of this year’s Surfing USA Team members) Courtney Conlogue in an incredibly close scoring heat that was decided by mere decimals of a point.

And then of course you had your standard surf exhibitions: air shows, expression sessions, tow-ats — the last of which was mind-boggling to say the least. After witnessing all this, it’s fair to say that there’s still an arsenal of new-aviation moves still uncharted, such as Homer Henard’s mid-air board transfer or Christian Fletcher’s 15-foot boost.

But all of this aside, the surf-exhibitions, the Target Women’s Junior Pro, and even Honda’s US Open of Surfing Men and Women’s finals, by far, the most exciting heat of the day took place during the Lost Men’s Pro Junior first-place showdown. The next few generations of young surfers are perhaps the most abundant harvest of talent the surf world has yet to see. It’s no wonder that they’ve been popping like mad in magazine ads, and events like the NSSA, HASA, ESA, ISA and whatever else fill-in-the-blank-SA are getting more media attention than ever. And this Sunday, Aussie Ben Dunn and Hawaiian Torrey Meister showed why. The two young men sea-sawed in and out of first place for the entire heat, and with ten seconds let on the clock it looked as though Dunn would take it. Then a set rolled through on the outside and Meister was on it, slashing his way towards shore as the heat bell sounded, finishing with a reverse. Meister needed a 7.51, and the wave, well, it was too close to call.

“Kai [Barger] and I were ready to go down and pick him [Meister] up,” Granger Larsen, surf-talent and Meister’s friend said. “But they didn’t call out the score, it was so lame.”

Awaiting the final results around the podium during the …Lost Men’s Pro Junior Final ceremony, people fell silent. The final result was that Meister scored a 7.50, and an elated Ben Dunn won it, but not first without giving his recognition and respect to his piers.

Amongst all the competition, sponsor banners, product samples, motocross, BMX and skateboard demonstrations, the blaring music and carnival games, it’s easy to get worn out and loose sight of what’s important. But Rob summed it up best after enough people kept asking him if he was going to go back on tour; one of the most wearing traveling carnivals of all:

“Being on tour for 10 years, you get too used to being on tour. Contests become just another contest and you kind of blow through them like they’re no big deal. And now they’re kind of more of a big deal for me. Since I don’t surf that many, it’s fun to get excited and get prepared…I love surfing them more than ever.”

But hey, if you did happen to show up for everything else, don’t forget your official souvenir bag.


ASP $125,000 WQS SIX-STAR Final Results: (1st wins the event and earns US$15,000; 2nd finishes runner-up and earns US$7,500

Final: Rob Machado (USA) 13.83 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 11.20

Semifinal Results: (1st advances to the Finals; 2nd finishes equal 3rd and earns US$3,750)

Semifinal 1: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.34 def. Jeremy Flores (REU) 11.33

Semifinal 2: Rob Machado (USA) 14.07 def. Mike Losness (USA) 13.50

Quarterfinal Results: (1st advances to the Semifinals; 2nd finishes equal 5th and earns US$2,000)

Heat 1: Roy Powers (HAW) 11.33 def. Tanio Barreto (BRA) 7.67

Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (REU) 9.{{{90}}} def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 8.10

Heat 3: Rob Machado (USA) 15.17 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.67

Heat 4: Mike Losness (USA) 14.00 def. Michael Campbell (AUS) 9.83

Round Six Results: (1st and 2nd advance to the Quarterfinals; 3rd finishes equal 9th and earns US$1,500)

Heat 1: Roy Powers (HAW) 16.33, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.33, Mason Ho (HAW) 7.76

Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (REU) 11.20, Tanio Barreto (BRA) 10.27, Victor Ribas (BRA) 6.50

Heat 3: Rob Machado (USA) 13.33, Mike Losness (USA) 7.00, Luke Munro (AUS) 5.60

Heat 4: Michael Campbell (AUS) 14.90, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.10, Tim Curran (USA) 10.53


1st: Ben Dunn (AUS) 16.00; earned US$2,500

2nd: Tory Meister (HAW) 16.00; earned US$1,500

3rd: James Woods (AUS) 13.17; earned US$1,100

4th: Nick Rozsa (USA) 11.00; earned US${{{900}}}


1st: Dodger Kremel (USA) 18.60

2nd: Colin McPhillips (HAW) 15.13

3rd: Taylor Jensen (AUS) 13.90

4th: Joel Tudor (USA) 13.{{{57}}}


Round 4 (Heats 2 – 4)

Heat 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.33, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.50, Sheridan Shields (AUS) 5.70 
Heat 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.00, Caroline Sarran (FRA) 7.17, Julia Christian (USA) 6.93 
Heat 4: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 12.83, Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 12.66, Heather Clark (ZAF) 5.20

Quarterfinals (Heats 1 – 4)

QF 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 16.50, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 7.33

QF 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.50, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 6.46

QF 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 11.34, Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 9.26

QF 4: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 16.50, Caroline Sarran (FRA) 11.76

Semifinals (Heats 1 – 2)

SF 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.67, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.43

SF 2: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 14.33, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 8.76

Finals 1 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.83
2 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.67



1 – Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 13.07

2 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12.10

3 – Erica Hosseini (USA) 11.56

4 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) – 11.53


Round 5 (Heats 1- 6)

Heat 1: Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.83, Tanio Barreto (BRA) 12.33, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.94, Ben Dunn (AUS) 6.40

Heat 2: Mason Ho (HAW) 14.67, Victor Ribas (BRA) 12.90, Joel Centeio (HAW) 11.60, Gabe Kling (USA) 9.57

Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (REU) 14.50, Roy Powers (HAW) 13.90, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 8.94, Justin Mujica (PRT) 5.50

Heat 4: Rob Machado (USA) 15.00, Michael Campbell (AUS) 14.40, Maz Quinn (NZL) 12.76, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 8.00

Heat 5: Luke Munro (AUS) 14.84, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.50, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 6.27, Federico Pilurzu (ITA) 5.03

Heat 6: Tim Curran (USA) 15.00, Mike Losness (USA) 13.43, CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.53, Tim Reyes (USA) 12.07



1 – Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA) 17.33

2 – Shane Beschen (San Clemente, CA) 13.20

3 – Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA) 10.64

4 – Asher Nolan (Atlantic Beach, FL) 9.60

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