SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 3, 2009 – The top seeds competing at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California took to the water in clean four-foot conditions at the famed California pointbreak of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz today where the premier surfers crushed the event’s highest scores and the local favorites fell early.
All surfers competing in the ASP 6-Star PRIME event are looking to capitalize on the crucial ratings points on offer at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic to solidify their spot on the 2010 ASP Dream Tour before heading to Hawaii.
Reyes, who suffered a horrific knee injury, which nearly ended his career at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in 2007, donned a singlet at Steamer Lane for the first time since the accident and absolutely dominated his heat, clinching the event’s highest heat total, a 17.83 out of 20, to lead the event’s top seeds into the Round of 48.
“This was my first heat back at Steamer Lane since the injury, so it’s nice to have a good heat back,” Reyes said. “I’ve been surfing here ever since the injury, I just hadn’t had time to compete here because I was going to Hawaii earlier. I got a couple of nice waves in that heat; they were glassy and easy to surf. Most of the time, the Lane is a really challenging wave, but today was easy.”
Reyes is fresh off of a fifth place result at the ASP World Tour event in Portugal, which marked the best result of his season, and was able to sneak up to Santa Cruz to compete at the Premier event before heading to Hawaii to wrap up the season.
“With Portugal being the last event in Europe, I figured I might as well come and do this contest,” Reyes said. “It’s good to support my sponsors and it’s a really cool spot here and I’m stoked to be in the event again.”
After spending six weeks in contest mode between France and Portugal, Reyes’ competitive skills looked sharp as he dominated the Steamer Lane lineup today.
“I surfed a lot through Europe for six weeks and been around the events the whole time and it makes it easy to be in tune. I feel a little bit more in rhythm with being here at another spot close to home.”
Marcio Farney (Santa Catarina, BRA), 28, annihilated a clean Steamer Lane right breaking off of the cliff and relied on amazing rail-to-rail power surfing to claim the day’s highest single wave score of a near perfect 9.77 out of 10 en route to posting his heat victory.
“I was looking this morning at Steamer Lane and the ones that were breaking closest to the cliff looked the best,” Farney said. “I was able to put a lot of power into those first two turns and was able to get that score. That was the first wave I’ve ever caught out at Steamer Lane, so it’s funny that it was such a good one.”
Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 19, who finished third overall at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic last year, relied on a crisp variety of forehand tail drifts and powerful turns to eliminate local favorites Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, who was the defending O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion, and Noi Kaulukukui (Santa Cruz, CA), 28.
“It’s heavy that those guys didn’t advance,” Larsen said. “When I saw the draw and saw that I had Nat (Young) and Noi (Kaulukukui), they’re the locals here and Nathaniel (Curran) is on the World Tour, so I knew it was going to be a stacked heat.”
Larsen wasted no time in his bout against the local heavyweights, logging a solid eight-point-score in the opening minutes of his heat and held the lead throughout the 25-minute match to claim the win.
“I got lucky I got that one eight-point ride at the beginning and was able to stay in the lead throughout the heat, but it’s hard luck for Nat (Young). He rips this place harder than anyone. He won the event last year when I got third, so I’m pretty stoked to have made that heat.”
Although the young Maui standout may spend most of his time in the warm waters of Hawaii, Larsen’s father is from Santa Cruz and the pair travel to the famed surf destination each year in time for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California.
“This is my favorite 'QS to do of the year,” Larsen said. “My Dad grew up here and I love coming over here with him. It’s great to hang out with him here and it’s a lot of fun. Plus the waves also are pretty good here.”
As the fifth and final stop of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series, the battle for the additional prize purse is now between Adam Melling (Lennox Head, AUS), 24, and Jarrad Howse (AUS), 29, and both surfers will begin their campaigns when the Round of 96 resumes.
Running in conjunction with the O’Neill Cold Water Classic will be the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships, which could begin competition tomorrow. Local favorite Nat Young will be competing in that event.
Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 am local time at Steamer Lane for a possible 8 am start, but may opt for the backup site of Waddell Creek depending on conditions. For all of the LIVE O’Neill Cold Water Classic California information log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/california
For additional Oakley Pro Junior information log on to www.oakleyprojunior.com
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.
Overview: Swell from the remnants of Typhoon Lupit arrived as expected providing a nice pulse of swell for the contest. But that is to pale in comparison if what the models are currently serving up comes true. A solid storm is scheduled to build in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs/Fri (11/6), generating 50 kts winds and possibly up to 41 ft seas. This system is to be on the northern edge of the swell window for the Lane, cutting down swell size some, but there should be plenty left to spare. But this is just a forecast system, with no winds currently blowing on the oceans surface yet to generate swell. Still, it is providing tantalizing possibilities.
Wednesday (11/4): Residual swell from ET Lupit is to be sliding in at 4 ft @ 13 secs resulting in sets in the chest to shoulder high range with a few to head high. Calm to light south wind early at 1-5 kts with textured conditions, turning southwest 5 kts in the afternoon continuing to provide a bit more texture on the water. Same basic tide set-up is expected with high of 6 ft at 10 AM and -1 ft at 5 PM.
Thursday (11/5): Swell from ET Lupit is to be drifting down with residual energy at 3 ft @ 12 secs resulting in surf about waist high at the Lane and a bit inconsistent. South winds of 5 kts is expected early and building over out waters, putting a pretty good bump on it and building through the day. That same high tide in the morning (6 ft at 11 AM ) could make sets far and few between. Tide dropping to -0.6 ft at sunset.
Friday (11/6): The first leading edge of new rumored Gulf energy is to start hitting early, building through the day with swell to 7 ft @ 12 secs mid-afternoon resulting in surf in the 5 ft range (head high) at the Lane. Calm winds early and glassy conditions forecast, with a light west flow in the afternoon and perhaps a little textured, but not bad. Swell Direction to be 290 degrees, but turning north fast.
Saturday (11/7): Assuming the models are correct, possible large north swell is to start arriving pushing 15 ft @ 16 secs, with surf double overhead plus at the Lane. Swell Direction 305+ degrees. High pressure is to be building in with wind calm early and glassy conditions, turning north 15 kts in the afternoon and chop building in over the exposed areas of the outer point. Tide building to 5.9 ft at noon should make for some solid sets in the early morning heats.
Sunday (11/8): Large north swell to continue at 13 ft @ 15 secs from 308 degrees. Surf double overhead plus early. Winds north 10 kts early and nearly clean at the Lane, then building in the afternoon with chop pushing into the bay. High tide of 5.5 ft expected at 1 PM favoring the early morning heats.
O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.34, Blake Wilson (AUS) 11.50, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.67, Luke Campbell (AUS) 6.57
heat 2:David Richards (ZAF) 10.00, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 9.70, Renato Galvao (BRA) 8.96, Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) 4.87
Heat 3: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 14.16, James Taipan Wood (AUS) 13.50, Tommy O’Brien (USA) 12.04, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 7.56
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.50, Joel Centeio (HAW) 13.93, Richard Christie (NZL) 12.67, Glen Hall (IRL) 7.50
Heat 5: Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.00, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 10.33, Noi Kaulukukui (USA) 9.77, Nat Young (USA) 9.27
Heat 6: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.90, Micah Byrne (USA) 10.03, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 9.93, Marco Giorgi (URY) 9.09
Heat 7: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 16.53, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 10.94, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 10.60, Casey Brown (HAW) 10.23
Heat 8: Marcio Farney (BRA) 16.50, Kyle Knox (USA) 15.47, Blake Thornton (AUS) 10.83, Charlie Brown (BRA) 6.53,
Heat 9: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 13.37, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 11.77, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 11.73, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00
Heat 10: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 15.16, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 10.90, Luke Davis (USA) 10.23, Andrew Bennett (USA) 6.20
Heat 11: Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 15.07, Cory Lopez (USA) 12.04, Nick White (NZL) 11.96, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 9.17
Heat 12: Andre Silva (BRA) 13.47, Christophe Allary (REU) 12.33, Roy Powers (HAW) 11.07, Matt Pagan (USA) 10.07
Heat 13: Tim Reyes (USA) 17.83, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 13.77, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 11.56, Hugo Savalli (REU) 9.96
Heat 14: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 16.00, Brian Toth (PRI) 13.50, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 11.17, Brett Barley (USA) 6.07
Heat 15: Heath Joske (AUS) 14.60, Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.33, Jason Collins (USA) 11.90, Parrish Byrne (AUS) 8.47
O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 128 Results:
Heat 15: Kieran Horn (USA) 14.67, Blake Jones (USA) 10.33, Dean Randazzo (USA) 6.50, Shey Yates (USA) 4.84
Heat 16: Jason Miller (USA) 7.87, Tom Curren (USA) 6.10, Chad Compton (USA) 5.10, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 1.63
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.
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