25 March 2010 – Marrawah, Tasmania, Australia – The northwest corner of Tasmania put on quite a show for this third day of competition at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Tasmania as the top seeds took to the water.
Starting at 8.30am and finishing at 6pm, this was a day of two to three meter waves, offshore winds, and as the morning fog cleared, even clear blue skies and sunshine. These were not typical Cold Water Classic conditions as the competition ploughed through the round of 96 and into the first four heats of the round of 48.
Among the surfers making the most of the conditions on offer was Bobby Martinez, straight off his third place finish on the Gold Coast just a few weeks ago.
“I don’t really think I’m running off confidence from that event,” said Bobby as he cruised into the round of 48. “You need a lot more than confidence to win this event. There are a lot of good surfers out there.”
“I love it out here,” he said of the remote Tasmanian location. “I came here with my wife straight from the Gold Coast and it’s so peaceful here, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – so different to all the hustle and bustle of the other surf towns.”
Another surfer sharing that sentiment is Hawaiian Sunny Garcia in his second year out here in this corner of Tasmania for the 6-Star ASP event. Sunny made it through his heats in both the round of 96 and 48.
“I was lucky,” said Sunny. “I wasn’t surfing well this morning but I managed to get though. Then this afternoon I felt like I was surfing worse so I changed my board, but I still didn’t feel like it came together.”
“But I love being here,” he said. “It’s great staying at Audrey and Phil’s house and just being so remote. Everyone is so friendly and the place is amazing.”
Joining Bobby in the round of 48 which will start with heat 5 tomorrow morning, is Cory Lopez, Dayyan Neve, Gabriel Medina, Heath Joske, and Chris Ward among a host of talent.
However a few shock exits littered the competition today. In the round of 96, the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion and $50,000 prize money winner – Blake Thornton – was knocked out, along with Aritz Aranburu, Mark Mathews and Drew Courtney.
But one of the biggest shocks of the day came – once again – from John John Florence. But not in the way you would expect. After his perfect 10 yesterday John John finished third in his heat behind a massively in-form Shaun Cansdell and Uruguay’s Marco Giorgi.
Jordy Smith – the other standout from yesterday – did not however fall victim to the same fate. Instead, despite still battling the flu, he paddled out and impressed all on the beach with his powerful surfing as he cruised through his heat.