Surf City’s reigning champion at the U.S. Open of Surfing took the top honors for a second year in a row today, besting the world’s No. 1 ranked wave rider.
Brett Simpson, 25, won a $100,000 purse — and a congratulatory hug from Jordy Smith, a 23-year-old South African who is professional surfing’s top-ranked competitor on the World Tour.
The consecutive win was the first in the tournament since 1985-86, the Orange County Register reported.
The waves were puny — 3-4 feet — but the crowds were big for weeklong event at Huntington Beach’s municipal pier. Simpson took out nine-time world champ Kelly Slater in the semi-finals earlier today, in a nail-biting heat that put Simpson in the finals, and he was mobbed by a crowd on the beach when he came out of the water, the Register
“Whatever, man,” Slater said as he passed Simpson.