About halfway through the second heat of the Women's competition at the Vans US Open of Surfing on 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, a private high school in Newport Beach.
"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 overdoing it. I was going at a pretty high frequency."
Conlogue, of Santa Ana, had no need to worry about her plan of attack. What she did, from the get-go, was set the pace in her three-person heat, which 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 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 a coveted spot in Thursday's Women's Round 3 as the Vans US Open of Surfing heads into its final four days of nine days of surf, skate and BMX competitions, art and music 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 their first heats Tuesday.
Fitzgibbons, who surfed the fifth of the six Women's heats, posted the top two-wave score of 16.70 on Tuesday.
Conlogue, No. 4 in the Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Women’s Title rankings, is seeking her second Open Women’s crown. She won the title in 2009.
"I'm really excited and it's really important to win that first heat and get an automatic spot in that third round," Conlogue said. "I felt good out there and I felt like I was in sync with the sets. The surf wasn't bad."
The Men's Prime finished up its 24th and final heat in the Round of 96 on Tuesday morning and it saw Timmy Reyes of Huntington Beach finish second with a two-wave score of 13.34. The 31-year-old, a graduate of Edison High, was overtaken late by Nat Young (Santa Cruz, USA) who won the heat with a score of 13.93.
Both advanced to the Men's Prime Round of 48 in the afternoon.
"I had a really good feeling out there today," Reyes said of his opening heat. "I've had some really good results the last four contests and I wanted to keep that momentum going."
Brett Simpson of Huntington Beach also advanced to the Men's Prime Round of 48. He finished third in his Round of 48 heat Tuesday with a score of 12.66, which was behind winner Michel Bourez (French Polynesia, 14.04) and second-place Miguel Pupo (Brazil, 13.90).
Simpson secured a spot in the Round of 48 by finishing second in a close Round of 96 heat Monday to Alex Ribeiro (Brazil).
Defending Men's champion Julian Wilson (Australia), Jadson Andre (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Bede Durbidge (Australia) and Kelly Slater (USA) all won their Men's Prime Round of 48 heats Tuesday.
The pool of US Open of Surfing title hopefuls will continue to be whittled down in the next few days. The Men's Prime Round 3 and Women's Round 3 heats are Thursday as is the Junior Men's quarterfinals. Friday's schedule starts with the Men's Prime Round 4 heats and includes the Women's quarterfinals and Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational quarterfinals presented by Pacifico.
On Saturday will be the Men's Prime Round 5 heats, Junior Women semifinals and final, Junior Men semifinals and final, and Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational semifinals and final. The BMX final and skate qualifiers also are Saturday.
The nine-day US Open of Surfing comes to a close Sunday with the Men's Prime quarterfinals, semifinals and final, Women's semifinals and final, and Van Doren Invitational Skate semifinals and final.
A two-night concert program begins Thursday with musical acts FMLYBND, Twin Shadow and The Faint performing at the House of Vans Stage. Huntington Beach native Matt Costa and the band Modest Mouse will perform Friday.