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Hamilton has strong showing at U.S. Open

Kaua‘i’s Bethany Hamilton won both her heats yesterday at the GO211 Live featuring the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach.

The women competing hit the water yesterday with glassy, 2- to 4-foot wave conditions at the pier. Surfing in Heat 8 of the Round of 48, Hamilton (14.00) defeated Aussies Samantha Cornish (12.17) and Sarah Beardmore (3.20) and France’s Caroline Sarran (8.84).

Later, Hamilton beat out fellow Hawai‘i surfers Coco Ho (12.34) and Leilani Gryde (10.83) and Brazil’s Suelen Naraisa (8.40).

Ho earlier in the day had won both heats leading up to the face-off against Hamilton. Ho won Heat 4 of the Round of 60 with a score of 15.50 over an international field from France, Spain and Australia. Ho then defeated high-ranking Aussies Sally Fitzgibbons and Courtney Conlogue, while scoring the highest single wave score with a 9.33 in Round 2.

Kaua‘i’s Malia Manuel is still in the competition with two second-place finishes in rounds 2 and 3. Manuel fell just barely behind Australia’s Nicole Atherton in the Round of 48 and then to former 2006 U.S. Open champion Sofia Mulanovich.

Another Hawai‘i surfer who fared well yesterday was Melanie Bartels of Makaha, O‘ahu won both of her heats. Bartels, like Ho, posted a 9.33 score in her Round 2 heat.

“I just got that little right off the pier and I just tried to hit it as many times as I could,” Bartels said in a release. “We haven’t had an event in a long time, and this is a great contest to get us in the groove again after the break.”

Lawa‘i’s Gabi Cope missed the cut with a third-place finish in her first round.

The men will hit the water today and the women’s competition will commence tomorrow afternoon.

For results, see today’s Scoreboard above.

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