SANTA CRUZ, California (Sunday, November 8, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic California witnessed an action packed day of competition when Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, claimed the event over Heath Joske (Coffs Harbour, AUS), 20, in pumping eight foot (2.5 meter) waves at Steamer Lane. Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, won the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships and also claimed the ASP North America Pro Junior Series Title.
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic California's ASP 6-Star PRIME status attracted some of the world's top surfing prospects out to qualify for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour, who were all hungry to capitalize on the mass of points available at the premier event.
Yeomans wasted no time in the bombing surf at Steamer Lane, jumping on the scoreboard early and leading the heat throughout the entire bout against Joske. The San Clemente native capitalized on the surf at middle peak, ping a solid 15.33 heat total to earn the convincing win. Yeomans dominated on both his forehand and backhand to take the biggest victory of his career.
"I can't believe it," Yeomans said. "This is the biggest result of my career and I'm speechless. I've been winning 2-Stars for too long and it was time for a big 6-Star win. To have my name up there with all of the great surfers who have won this event over the years is amazing."
Yeomans, who was sitting in the No. 27 position on the ASP WQS entering the O'Neill Cold Water Classic California, catapulted up the ratings and is currently sitting within the top 15 after his impressive performance. The win helps his cause towards qualification for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour and with two ASP 6-Star PRIME events remaining in the season, the goofy-footer will look to Hawaii to solidify his position amongst the top 45 in the world for next year.
"I'm just floating right now," Yeomans said. "This just gets me so pumped to try and get another result in Hawaii."
Joske, who was in devastating form throughout the event, plowed through several of the world's top talents including former ASP World Tour surfer and current top ASP WQS competitor Luke Munro (Currumbin, AUS), 26, to earn the runner up finish behind Yeomans, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final.
"I'm over the moon with the second place," Joske said. "Nate (Yeomans) just smoked it out there and I couldn't even buy a wave. I was just getting flogged by eight foot sets. I'm stoked for him and pretty happy."
Joske, who groomed his competitive ss as a standout on the ASP Pro Junior Series, will log 3063 points on to his current rating on The Grind, helping his seed for next year's quest for a spot on the coveted ASP Dream Tour.
"This is such a great result for me and it's really going to help my seed for next year," Joske said. "Hopefully I can do well in Hawaii also and give it a good shot for the World Tour next year."
Munro earned a third place finish at the ASP 6-Star PRIME event. The explosive Australian talent was currently sitting in the No. 15 position on the ASP WQS and needed the valuable ratings points on offer at the contest to help his quest for a qualifying spot for the 2010 ASP World Tour.
"This result is really important for my year and my career," Munro said. "I was right on the bubble for qualifying and this will bump me up a few spots, so I'm really happy to have made the Semifinals."
Alejo Muniz (Santa Catarina, BRA), 20, also claimed an equal third place finish by upsetting current ASP World No. 3 Adriano de Souza (Guaruja Sao Paulo, BRA), 22 in the Quarterfinals, but was unable to surpass Yeomans in the Semifinals.
"The Quarterfinals was great heat win," Muniz said. "Adriano (de Souza) is one of my heroes and to win a heat against him was amazing."
Blake Thornton (AUS), 24, who was eliminated in the Round of 96, was also handsomely rewarded today as the first place finisher on the O'Neill Cold Water Classic series.
Young, who was the 2008 O'Neill Cold Water Classic California champion and the 2007 Oakley Pro Junior champion, won the event with amazing wave ion at his home break of Steamer Lane. Young dominated his heat to top fellow finalists Tonino Benson (Kona, HAW), 19, Dylan Goodale (Kauai, HAW), 17, and Cody Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), 20.
"I'm so psyched," Young said. "I wanted to win I wanted to do well in this contest. I had a shocker in the WQS and it got me fired up and made me want to win."
The victory also saw the talented goofy-footer pass Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, to take the title of 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion.
"It was in the back of my head going into this event," Young said. "It's great to have won the regional title at home."
Although Young won the ASP North America Pro Junior title, he has officially qualified for the prestigious ASP World Junior Championships via the ASP WQS as the top mainland American surfer of junior age on The Grind.
"I was the only kid from Santa Cruz in the junior, so I'm stoked," Young said. "It's great to build momentum up for Worlds, even though it's far away, it's good to win this event at home with so many good guys in the draw."
Also representing ASP North America in the ASP World Junior Championships will be stylish regular footer Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, Luke Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA), 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 20, and Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), 19
For O'Neill Cold Water Classic California highlights log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/california
For Oakley Pro Junior highlights log on to www.oakleyprojunior.com
O'Neill Cold Water Classic California Final:
1 – Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.33
2 – Heath Joske (AUS) 8.60
O'Neill Cold Water Classic California Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.50 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.00
SF 2: Heath Joske (AUS) 11.43 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 8.86
O'Neill Cold Water Classic California Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.00
QF 2: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.00 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 12.53
QF 3: Heath Joske (AUS) 13.17 def. Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 9.10
QF 4: Luke Munro (AUS) 9.67 def. Kieran Horn (USA) 8.46
Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships Final Results:
1 – Nat Young (USA) 15.07
2 – Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.76
3 – Cody Thompson (USA) 7.73
4 – Dylan Goodale (HAW) 7.10
Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Tonino Benson (HAW) 16.26, Cody Thompson (USA) 16.00, Conner Coffin (USA) 15.84, Luke Davis (USA) 14.40
SF 2: Nat Young (USA) 14.00, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 10.67, Dillon Perillo (USA) 10.26, Michale Dunphy (USA) 7.83