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Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Ezekiel Lau, took first place honors at the recently concluded Vans U S Open at Huntington Beach, making a big statement for Hawaiian surfing.

Sakura Johnson, surfed her way to wave scores of 6.93 and 5.07 to defeat Australian Macy Callaghan 12.00 to 10.40. It was the first WSL championship for the 15-year-old.

She surfed just 1 event in 2021 and her win last week bested her previous top finish in 2022, a 3rd at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro.

The 10,000 points she earned moved her into 4th place in the current Challenger Series rankings. The top 5 women at the end of the season will make the 2023 Championship Tour.

Lau, 28, used his 10,000 points won to move into 3rd place in the men's rankings.

Prior to the HB event, Lau's best finish of the year was a 5th place result at the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach.

In a very exciting final at the Vans US Open, Lau totaled a heat mark of 12.40 on wave scores of 6.90 and 5.50.

He topped Brazil's Joao Chianca's heat total of 11.47.

Local hope Eithan Osborne, from Ventura, finished in 3rd place and Florida's Evan Geiselman rounded out the top 4.

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