In one of the most exciting and largest competitions in surfing history, hundreds of thousands of people lined the beach, pier, and stadium setup in Huntington Beach California to witness a very special event. The hype started when Hurley announced the One Hundred Thousand dollar first place purse, the biggest ever competition prize. The stoke was then raised to a whole other level, when the biggest south swell in many years set its aim on the contest period.
The stage was set, and the athletes along with mother nature brought their "A" game. The swell peaked on Friday with serious 8 to 12 foot surf, along with the occasional Double Overhead + bomber shooting white wash under the Pier. The big guns were out aiming for the over sized check, with names like Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Mick Fanning, Andy Irons, and CJ Hobgood. The athletes certainly did not disappoint, with maneuvers like Kelly Slater's carving 360 on a solid 10 foot close out wall or CJ Hobgood's impossible tube ride some how finding the doggie door exit. When it mattered the most though, it was local boy Brett Simpson who became the fan favorite and made it into Sunday's final against World Pro Australian, Mick Fanning.
The final could not have been more exciting as the stadium atmosphere was "oohing", "aahing", and pulling for Brett with every turn and maneuver. Both Brett and Mick were hanging close with a 7.83 and 7.5 as top scores respectively. It was then, a nice right lined up for Simpson - he had a combo of hard slicing carves, and the wave reformed at the end to setup a ramp, where Simpson went for it. He landed a 360 air and the 9.1 score, and that was all he needed to acquire the one hundred thousand dollars and 2500 WQS points. It was truly a Cinderella story for Brett Simpson and could not have been scripted any better.