Erickson, Dora win equal-money Vans US Open of Surfing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Sage Erickson of Ojai, California, and Yago Dora of Brazil won the women’s and men’s divisions of the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch on Sunday.

It was the first time the event paid equal prize money, with Erickson and Dora each receiving $30,000.

Each winner also earned 10,000 points in the World Surf League men’s and women’s Qualifying Series.

In a 3-to-5 foot (1-to-1.7 meter) swell, Erickson claimed the all-California final over defending champion Courtney Conlogue of Santa Ana with a 15.43 out of a possible 20.

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She praised WSL deputy commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer, a former pro surfer, and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt for leading the push for equal pay.

“To be home in California, have a heat against Courtney and to be 10,000, it’s more than just points,” Erickson said. “It’s equal pay, it’s a prime, it’s a lot for us women and a big shout out to Jessi for believing in our sport and to Sophie leading the WSL as a strong woman.”

Dora beat Liam O’Brien of Australia in the men’s final. Dora came out strong with the day’s top single-scoring wave of a near-perfect 9.27 after soaring through the air and landing it smoothly. He scored another 8.60 on another massive air-reverse before shooting through the pier to finish it off and seal his first-ever QS 10,000 victory.

Surfing makes its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games next summer.

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