HUNTINGTON BEACH — About halfway through the second heat of the Women's competition at the Vans US Open of Surfing Tuesday, Courtney Conlogue said a thought crossed her mind as she waited out the surf at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.
"I had caught a lot of waves up to that point and as I sat there, waiting for the next set, I thought that I should probably pace myself," said the 20-year-old, a 2010 graduate of Sage Hill School. "You definitely want to stay busy out there and give yourself as many chances as you can, and that's what I was doing. I just hoped that I wasn't over-doing it. I was going at a pretty high frequency."
Conlogue, of Santa Ana, had no need for worry about her plan of attack. What she did, from the get-go, was set the pace in her three-person heat that included a pair of talented Australian athletes, Rebecca Woods and Laura Enever. Conlogue's first wave score of 5.83 in the early stages of the 30-minute heat, established the tone and it catapulted her the remainder of the way.
Around the 17-minute mark, she scored a 7.43. For good measure, she posted a 7.03 with under five minutes to surf. When the 30 minutes were up, Conlogue won the heat with a final, two-wave score of 14.46. Woods (10.44) was second and Enever third (9.36).
The win gave Conlogue, who won the Open Women's title in 2009, a coveted spot in Thursday's Women's Round 3 as the Vans US Open of Surfing on a day that heads into its final four-day stretch of surf, skate and BMX competitions, art, music and an interactive village at the pier.
Also securing spots into the Women's Round 3 were Silvana Lima (Brazil), Alana Blanchard (Hawaii), Carissa Moore (Hawaii), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) and Pauline Ado (France) each of whom won heats Tuesday.
Fitzgibbons, who surfed the fifth of six Women's heats, posted the top two-wave score of 16.70 Tuesday.
"I'm really excited and it's really important to win that first heat and get an automatic spot in that third round," said Conlogue, who is ranked No. 4 in the Assn. of Surfing Professionals Women's World Title rankings. "I felt good out there and I felt like I was in sync with the sets. The surf was pretty good."
The Women's Round 3 heats start at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The Women's Round 4 heats are Friday, quarterfinal heats are Saturday, and the Women's US Open semifinals and final are Sunday.
US Open of Surfing Schedule
7:30-10:30 a.m.: Women's Round 2 (heats 1-6), Surf Stadium
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Vans US Open Retail Store & Merchandise Kiosks Open, Retail Store
9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Off The Wall Pass Opens, Photo Booths
9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Vans Open Skate, Public Bowl
9-11 a.m.: BMX Practice, Concrete Bowl
10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Men's Round 2 (heats 7-12), Surf Stadium
11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Girls' Skate Practice, Concrete Bowl
Noon- 1p.m.: Autograph Signing (Pro Skater, X Games gold medalist, Manny Santiago), iON Booth