TOFINO, British Columbia (Sunday, October 25, 2009) – The opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada kicked off today in three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) surf at the primary site of Cox Bay and saw local surfer Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, lead the international field of talent in the nation’s first major professional surfing event by blasting the day’s top scores with committed aerial maneuvers.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada marks the fourth of five contests on the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic series and the event’s ASP 6-Star rating offers crucial points for surfers trying to qualify for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour.
Devries, who has competed in several international ASP WQS events, surfed explosively in front of his home crowd by boosting massive aerials while clinching the day’s highest scores. The talented Canadian was awarded the highest single-wave score of the day, a near perfect 9.50 out of 10 for a critical forehand aerial reverse and the impressive ride was tacked on to his previous score for a 17.17 out of 20 heat total, the highest of the day.
“I was awarded a seven for a smaller alley-oop and I figured if I could get a good score for a smaller air that I’d just go big and see what happened,” Devries said. “On that nine, I had that perfect section and the wind caught my board just right and I was able to land the air, I’m stoked that I made it.”
Devries has turned his professional focus towards his free surfing career and his casual approach to competition seemed to pay off in his opening round heat.
“I used to do lots of 'QS events and now I’m more focused on my free surfing career,” Devries said. “I took that approach out in the water with me today. I didn’t want to just do safe turns to the beach. That’s not how I like to surf and surfing how I normally do when I’m not competing seemed to work out there for me today.”
Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, AUS), 19, donated a sensational performance in his opening O’Neill Cold Water Classic heat and logged the second-highest single wave score of a 9.00 out of 10 on a reeling Tofino lefthander. The young Australian marched on to put his fellow competitors in a combination situation with his impressive 17.00 out of 20 heat total and advanced through to the Round of 96.
“I thought my waves were just alright, but I’m happy with the scores,” Kennedy said. “I’ve got great equipment and I’m nice and warm, so I’m stoked,”
Kennedy is also enjoying Canada’s natural beauty while grabbing his share of the valuable ratings points on offer at the ASP 6-Star event.
“I think Canada’s amazing,” Kennedy said. “It’s such a unique spot, just to come here is great and I’m looking forward to the next heat.”
Sepp Bruhwiler (Tofino, BC), 30, who is a local Tofino surfer, was the first Canadian to advance through to the Round of 96 today, advancing with a last-second wave while eliminating ASP Pro Junior standout Matt Pagan (Los Angeles, CA), 20. Bruhwiler connected with several committed backside blasts on a steep lefthand wall to earn the score.
“I was getting nervous there at the end and was just looking for anything,” Bruhwiler said. “I knew I could do it and got that little left, so I’m so stoked. It’s funny because I’m always getting morning heats. I saw that I was the first Canadian in the event, so it definitely put a little more pressure on me to perform in front of my friends and family.”
Bruhwiler was not only thrilled to advance out of his Round 1 heat today, but the Canadian is also happy to be competing at a premier event in his backyard.
“I’m super stoked and it’s pretty cool to have a high caliber event like this here in Canada for the first time,” Bruhwiler said. “Hopefully surfing will continue to grow here in Canada, that’s what we want.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada will run from October 25 through 31, 2009. For event highlights and information log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/canada
For ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Torrey Meister (HAW) 11.43, Matt Johnson (USA) 10.67, Chris Davis (USA) 4.50
Heat 2: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 9.83, Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN) 9.83, Matt Pagan (USA) 9.50
Heat 3: Nick White (NZL) 16.00, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.34, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 7.16, Matt Currie (CAN) 3.13
Heat 4: Bobby Morris (USA) 9.74, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 5.73, Malcom Daly (CAN) 3.40
Heat 5: Jason Miller (USA) 14.66, Richard Christie (NZL) 13.14, Indar Perez Unanue (EUK) 10.93, Kane Edwards (CAN) 0
Heat 6: Dustin Cuizon (HAW) 13.16, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 12.10, Zach Humphreys (USA) 5.94, Ben Murphy (USA) 4.93
Heat 7: Shaun Burrell (USA) 9.24, Matt Myers (USA) 9.13, Dallas Petersen (AUS) 8.84, Arran Jackson (CAN) 2.10
Heat 8: Peter Devries (CAN) 17.17, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.33, Naoto Takanashi (JPN) 8.47, Nils Schweizer (USA) 7.83
Heat 9: Alex Gray (USA) 16.90, Shota Nakamura (JPN) 11.50, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 8.76, Issac Raddish (CAN) 5.70
Heat 10: David Richards (ZAF) 13.53, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 12.00, Victor Done (USA) 10.00, Eric Frang (CAN) 3.74
Heat 11: Dane Anderson (USA) 8.93, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 8.80, Will Hunt (HAW) 6.97, Omer Bar (ISR) 6.70
Heat 12: Chase Wilson (USA) 13.83, Willie Safreed (USA) 8.17, Logan Landry (CAN) 3.47, Mike Stupka (CAN) 2.90
Heat 13: Stuart Kenned (AUS) 17.00, Tommy O’Brien (USA) 11.97, Danny Estes (USA) 7.97, Reid Jackson (CAN) 5.54
Heat 14: Shannon Brown (AUS) 13.00, Blake Howard (USA) 11.84, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 11.57, Spencer Regan (USA) 3.60
Heat 15: Joe Tanaka (JPN) 14.10, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 12.00, Sean Bacon (USA) 7.17, Kyle Paledeau (CAN) 3.33
Heat 16: Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 10.17, Izuki Tanaka (JPN) 9.63, Brett Barley (USA) 7.60, RB Fisher (CAN) 3.86
Heat 17: Casey Brown (HAW) 14.27, Brandon Ragenovich (USA) 13.44, Matt Meola (HAW) 8.87, Jens Kalwa (CAN) 3.20
Heat 18: Michael Baily (USA) 12.00, Killian Garland (USA) 10.73, CC Unger-Mayor (CAN) 6.57