Surfing U.S. Open Championship Decided

Florida’s 26-year-old Cory Lopez won the prestigious Honda Element U.S. Open of Surfing on Sunday, taking home the first place trophy and $15,000 in prize money. Chelsea Georgeson, a surfer in her second year on the World Championship Tour, won the women’s division.

Lopez posted a score of 16.60 in the final round thanks to a fiery start, notching an 8.83 first wave. Australia’s Taj Burrow placed second with a score of 15.17, followed by top-ranked pro surfer and 2002 World Champ Andy Irons of Hawaii.

The nine-day annual event brings out nearly 600 surfers and over 300,000 spectators to the famed Huntington Beach pier. Sponsored by Honda Element and O’Neill, the contest doles out $125,000 in prize money to the men, $30,000 for the women.

The victory marks a return to full health for Lopez. Long known for navigating some of the most treacherous breaks in the world, a nagging ankle injury resulted in sub-par performances for Lopez on the 2002 Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour (WCT). The U.S. Open is the first event Lopez has won since his 2001 victory at the WCT Billabong Pro Tahiti and his second tour victory overall.


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