With the California sun and adoring eyes of fans shining on them, Tyler Wright, 20, of Australia, and Filipe Toledo, 18, of Brazil, won the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing here in Huntington Beach on Sunday, August 3. The energy during both the women's and men's final heats was indescribable. You had to be in the water or on the sand to fully comprehend the passion and sportsmanship of surfing.
Photographer Michael Lallande captured some killer moments during the nine-day competition, and here are 20 of our favorites of this year's champions.
On the heels of her crowning, Wright said of the Open: "I wouldn't be here without my team, and they mean the world to me. All the girls have been ripping this entire event, and it's been wonderful to see. I felt really relaxed and comfortable, and everything has gone really well for me this week, and I loved it."
A "super stoked and excited" Toledo said following his victory: "I just turned my game to the air game so I could do what I love to do and it worked. I had to surf though a lot of pain with my ankle (following a sprain in Africa) and just put it out of my mind. I felt comfortable in these conditions."
Wright advanced to World No. 3 in the ASP Women's World Championship Tour with a final USOS score of 14.77 and $60,000 prize purse. The next stop of the women's WCT is the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles from September 9 to 20. Here's a look at Wright's "magic" board, the Sub Scorcher II from Matt "Mayhem" Biolos.
Flyboy Toledo is now World No. 20 with a final USOS score of 17.56 and $100,000 prize purse. The next stop of the men's WCT is the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 15 to 26.