Filipe Toledo went into the U.S. Open a heavy favourite, and he just walked away from Huntington with $100,000… to no one’s surprise.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, you know… my home crew is here, my family, my girl, my wife,” said Filly. “I just want to thank God for all the blessings in my life.”
His second Open win, third if you count his Pro Junior title, Mr Toledo just put himself in elite company – other two-time winners include Mark Occhilupo, Sunny Garcia and Andy Irons.
Facing 17-year-old Ethan Ewing in the final, Filipe took a few minutes to find rhythm. In fact, the Aussie led for a bit, but the H.B. Pier is Toledo’s zone. He got himself going with a one-turn 6.8 and immediately backed it up with a rapid-fire, three-turn combo for a 7.8.
Considering it was Ewing’s first Open, a runner-up finish ain’t bad. He fires up the QS ratings and is now sitting at second. It’s fair to say that if he can pull a few good results together later this year, we’ll see him on the CT in 2017.
“I was just feeling really comfortable against these older guys,” said Ethan. “I just expected to make a heat or two, but this is unreal.”
Chaired up the beach by his brother, Filipe’s the modern master of the Huntington pit. Thousands of people on the beach stand watched; stank, sweaty in the summer heat.
“I’m leaving tonight for Indonesia, so it’s a good break for me,” he said. “It will be good to train for Tahiti.”
On the ladies’ side, it was Tati Weston-Webb earning her first-ever CT win. Edging out Malia Manuel, last year’s rookie of the year has now cracked the Top 5. And speaking of ratings, with her semifinal final finish, Tyler Wright’s bounded in front of Huntington hometown fav Courtney Conlogue in the 2016 title race.
“It’s all part of the plan, I guess,” said Tyler. “It’s something Micro, and Matt Biolos and myself have all been working on. I’ve been here for over a month and this is the first event I’ve ever felt really prepared for. Win every heat, win every final, that’s it.”
Amongst all the mayhem going into finals weekend, love was in the air. In maybe the most viral moment of the Open (digital, not clinical), Sebastian Zietz got down on one knee and asked his gal Krisy Fulp to make him a better man. Going big, Bass hired a plane to tow a banner with the message “Krisy will you marry me?” while he popped the question in front of the lifeguard tower on the pier.
In the post game show Strider Wasilewski surmised, “It rivalled the crowd in Brazil. I didn’t think we’d ever get anything close to it.”
Damn it, Rio!
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