seabasss_preSANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 6, 2009 – After calling a lay day for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California yesterday, today’s action saw Steamer Lane come alive to deliver a pumping four-to-six foot swell while the event’s top seeds displayed an amazing performance of progressive surfing for the local Santa Cruz crowd.

The event’s ASP 6-Star PRIME status has attracted the finest pedigree of global surfing talent in search of the valuable ratings points on offer for the 2010 ASP World Tour.

Sebastian Zietz (Kilauea, HI), 21, relied on his unbelievable above-the-lip approach to surfing to secure the day’s highest scores of a near perfect 9.77 out of 10 with three critical fins-free turns on a cranking righthander. The Hawaiian added an additional top score allowing him to clinch the event’s highest heat total of a near-perfect 18.74 out of 20 after a seesaw battle with Australian talent Yadin Nicol (Margaret River, AUS), 23.

“The waves were going off and it’s that in-between-tide where it’s not really kelpy yet,” Zietz said. “All of the guys were ripping and pretty intimidating early on. I got that first one where I kind of fell on my first turn and somehow made it happen and found my feet at the end.”

Zietz had a slow start to his Round of 48 heat, but was able to out-position fellow Hawaiian Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 19, to find the waves needed to surpass Nicol to take out the heat win while advancing through to the Round of 24.

“I was kind of getting a little sneaky on Granger (Larsen) on a couple,” Zietz said. “It was tough because it looked like they were going to break on the outside, but they would fade out and wall up perfect throughout the inside. I was lucky to get those ones right under him.”

Nicol, who secured the event’s second-highest heat total of 17.73, nearly claimed the heat win, but advanced in second behind Zietz in a wave-for-wave tradeoff in the battle of the regular-footers in the stacked 25-minute matchup.

“I really only caught two waves that were good ones and made the most of them,” Nicol said. “Seabass (Sebastian Zietz) had some good ones and Granger (Larsen) had some good ones. It was really fun to get through it.”

Although Nicol finished in second, he was excited to be a part of the progressive surfing movement unfolding at Steamer Lane in today’s ideal conditions.

“It pushes your level out there when everyone’s surfing that well,” Nicol said. “You really want to just get the best waves and when the waves are good like that you can open up a little bit more and have a bit more fun with it.”

Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), claimed an impressive heat victory when he usurped a list of iconic surfers including Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), 21, who advanced in second, Pipeline prodigy John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 16, and legendary three-time ASP World Champion and event wildcard Tom Curren (Santa Barbara, CA), 45, in the quality Steamer Lane surf.

“It’s funny because everyone’s been talking about that heat,” Ward said. “Jordy (Smith) is one of the best surfers in the world, hands down, and Tom (Curren) is one of the best surfers of all time, and John John (Florence) is kind of the prodigy. I was kind of the underdog, but I like it.”

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, looked hungry to win the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships when he won a stacked Quarterfinals heat at his homebreak of Steamer Lane today. Topping current ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings leader Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, who advanced in second, he also eliminated young prodigy Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 15, and defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 19.

“I’d love to win this contest,” Young said. “I’m pretty bummed about what happened earlier this week. I tried my hardest, but I’d like to come back to win the Junior.”

Young capitalized on his local knowledge of Steamer Lane today and crushed the increasing swell on his backhand to take out the critical heat win.

“I try to catch the ones that I know are good that I’d want to ride if I were free-surfing,” Young said. “Right now, it’s against the cliff, that’s where everybody is and there are some fun ones.”

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California and Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships will continue tomorrow and event organizers will reconvene at 7 am at Steamer Lane for a potential 7:30 am start. For all of the LIVE action log on to <> . For additional Oakley Pro Junior information log on to <> .

Special thanks to all of the sponsors of the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic and Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships: O’Neill, Oakley, Red Bull, Corralejo Tequila, SURFER and SURFING, as well as, the official hotel partner, The Dream Inn and Aquarius Restaurant, and food partner, Whole Foods Market.

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Centeio (HAW) 17.26, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, James Taipan Wood (AUS) 9.04, David Richards (ZAF) 5.40
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.46, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.13, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 10.26, Blake Wilson (AUS) 9.90
Heat 3: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 18.74, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.73, Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.10, Kyle Knox (USA) 12.83
Heat 4: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.26, Marcio Farney (BRA) 10.06, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.70, Micah Byrne (USA) 9.60
Heat 5: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 12.83, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.04, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.17, Christophe Allary (REU) 8.97
Heat 6: Andre Silva (BRA) 12.94, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 12.64, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 11.63, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 8.00
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.83, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.77, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.94, Tim Reyes (USA) 7.00
Heat 8: Heath Joske (AUS) 13.30, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 12.70, Brian Toth (PRI) 11.16, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.33

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 96 Results:
Heat 16: Mason Ho (HAW) 16.00, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 10.66, Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.54, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 5.66
Heat 17: Torrey Meister (HAW) 15.67, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.06, Jack Perry (AUS) 9.70, Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.10
Heat 18: Adam Robertson (AUS) 13.23, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 10.56, Chris Waring (USA) 8.25, Anthony Petruso (USA) 7.93
Heat 19: Mark Mathews (AUS) 12.73, Jesse Heilman (USA) 9.17, Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 8.67, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 8.27
Heat 20: Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.17, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.60, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.24, Izuki Tanaka (JPN) 3.90
Heat 21: Austin Ware (USA) 11.67, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 10.63, T.J. Barron (HAW) 9.33, Sean Holmes (ZAF) 8.40
Heat 22: Kieran Horn (USA) 13.27, Luke Munro (AUS) 12.27, Alex Gray (USA) 10.57, Eric Geiselman (USA) 5.97
Heat 23: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 11.60, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.87, Blake Jones (USA) 7.70, Jason Miller (USA) 5.17
Heat 24: Shaun Ward (USA) 15.77, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.57, John John Florence (HAW) 9.93, Tom Curren (USA) 9.40

Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.20, Tonino Benson (HAW) 11.83, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.70, Andrew Doheny (USA) 4.17
Heat 2: Luke Davis (USA) 15.20, Cody Thompson (USA) 12.90, Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.60, Matt Meola (HAW) 5.93
Heat 3: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.60, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.53, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.94, Evan Thompson (USA) 5.67
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 15.57, Dillon Perillo (USA) 13.57, Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.23, Cory Arrambide (USA) 5.60

Forecast Overview: A strong local storm has been tracking through the Northern Gulf of Alaska starting Wednesday (11/4) generating 50 kts winds and peak seas confirmed in the 40 ft range and expected to bump up to 42 ft this Friday AM. And even as this system starts to wind down, still up to 2000 nmiles of 35 kt fetch is to be aimed right at Central CA. Swell from this system has already hit the outer buoy at 5 PM Thursday with seas at 25-29 ft @ 17 secs and pure swell 21-24 ft @ 16.8 secs and holding dead solid through 8 AM Friday. This is exactly on-track with our expectations and should result in solid swell for the remainder of the contest window. There is a bit of an issue though with the swell direction. This system took a rather northerly track through the Gulf, resulting in most swell energy pushing down no further south than the 304 degree great circle path, with most energy up at 310-315 degrees. This rather extreme northern angle will limit the amount of energy available to the Lane, which in the long run maybe isn’t such a bad thing. If it were real west, the swell would be so large that a reasonable contest would not be possible. So the short story is, solid longer period swell is on the way for the remainder of the event.

On Saturday (11/7) things to get quite interesting with the arrival of the new Gulf swell. At the buoy swell of 12-14 ft @ 17 secs is expected with seas 17 ft @ 17 secs. But much less swell will make the wrap into the Lane with surf 4-6 ft overhead on the sets with maybe a few larger ones sneaking in. Wind to be light north at 5 kts early and holding till about 10 AM with glassy conditions though a distinct lump will be running through the swell. Then winds to start coming up from the northwest at 12-15 kts in the afternoon and sideshore modest chop expected outside of the point. Again a 3.5 ft tide early to actually favor the more sizeable swell coming up to 5.5 ft at 1 PM, swamping it a little but not nearly as bad as previous days, then dropping after that to 1.5 ft near sunset.

On Sunday (11/8) still solid swell from the Gulf gale is expected at 9-10 ft @ 15-16 secs early and seas to 13 ft @ 15 secs. This should result in surf of double overhead and maybe a few bigger ones with the lesser period allowing for a more effective wrap into the Lane. Winds again north at 5 kts early with a lurp running through the swell due to being generated relatively locally. Wind turning northwest near noon but not as strong as the day before, at only 10-12 kts or so adding a bit of texture and maybe light chop outside the point. Same basic tide set-up is expected with a 3.5 ft tide at sunrise slowly working up to a 5.1 ft high at 2 PM, then fading from there.

About O’Neill
O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene surf wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop soon after.

While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s set of core values – innovation in style and technology – has seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of action sports. From the first neoprene surf wetsuit and board leash, to the world’s first stitchless board shorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s spirit of innovation will always drive the company forwards.

Today, O’Neill can be found the world over. In touch with its rich heritage and the universal appeal of board riding culture, O’Neill will always be committed to growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands based on a unique half-century of history as the First Name in the Water.

About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at <>

About Source Interlink Media’s Action Sports Group (ASG)
Reaching more than two million enthusiasts, Source Interlink Media’s Action Sports Group (ASG) is the dominant force in the action sports and adventure sports arenas. In addition to publishing leading lifestyle publications such as Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Bike, Powder and Canoe & Kayak, Source Interlink Media’s ASG delivers a cutting-edge network of online properties, events and television programming.