The winningest surfer in the history of the ASP World Tour, Kelly Slater, had the finals of the U.S. Open of Surfing within his sights today. In his way, however, was Huntington Beach hero and defending Open champion Brett Simpson, who held on by a mere hundredths of a point to beat the legend in a head-to-head semi-finals heat.
That was Simpson's second close finish of the day. Just a short time earlier, Simpson held off another challenger in Nathaniel Curran, the 2008 Open champion. Both men had tasted victory in this event before, so this heat was a battle right until the end.