SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Sunday, October 28, 2012) - The world's best surfers are currently converging upon Northern California to contest the upcoming O'Neill Cold Water Classic, held at Santa Cruz's Steamer Lane from November 1 - 11, 2012.
Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the O'Neill Cold Water Classic is the first event of the season where the 2012 ASP World Title can be decided and all eyes will be focused on surfing's top guns as they battle for this year's crown.
At present, five surfers remain mathematically in contention for the 2012 ASP World Title: Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, Kelly Slater (USA), 40, Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, John John Florence (HAW), 20, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25.
For the 2012 ASP World Title to be decided at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, three events must occur:
1 - Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, must win the event*,
2 - Kelly Slater (USA), 40, must place Equal 13th or lower and...
3 - Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, must place Equal 9th or lower.
*If Parkinson wins the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, but Slater and/or Fanning finish 9th (or higher) and 5th (or higher) respectively, the ASP World Title Race will head to Hawaii and both John John Florence (HAW), 20, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, will be out of contention.
If any one of the those three scenarios fails to eventuate, the 2012 ASP World Title will be decided at the final event of the year at Pipeline.
Parkinson, having won the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in 2000, headlines a group of five current ASP Top 34 surfers who have previously been victorious at the venue: Taylor Knox (USA), 41, in 1993, Jordy Smith (ZAF), 24, in 2007, Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 24, in 2010, and Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, in 2011.
In addition to the prestige of potentially crowning the 2012 ASP World Champion, the O'Neill Cold Water Classic will also play a vital role in the requalification campaigns of the world's best surfers for the 2013 season.
The 2013 ASP Top 34 will be comprised of:
– Top 22 ranked surfers on the year-end ASP World Championship Tour rankings.
– Top 10 surfers ranked on the year-end ASP World Rankings (not including surfers qualifying in the Top 22 on the ASP WCT rankings).
– Two ASP wildcards.
ASP Top 34 surfers are ranked based off their best eight from 10 results on the ASP WCT. The O'Neill Cold Water Classic is one of the last opportunities of the 2012 season for ASP Top 34 surfers to collect sufficient results for requalification.
O'Neill has awarded Jason "Ratboy" Collins (USA), 38, one of two wildcards into this year's O'Neill Cold Water Classic. The remaining event wildcard will be determined via a 12-man trials to be held on Halloween. Trialists include Santa Cruz locals Nat Young, Bud Freitas, Noi Kaulukukui, Adam Replogle, Josh Mulcoy, Randy Bonds, Shaun Burns, Josh Loya and Jimmy Herrick, as well as Jonny Craft (Carmel, CA), Cory Lopez (Indian Rocks, FL) and Tim Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA).
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic will be webcast LIVE via http://www.oneill.com/cwc and www.redbull.tv
For more information, log onto http://www.ASPWorldTour.com
ASP WCT TOP 5 (Heading into O'Neill Cold Water Classic):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 52,700 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 47,200 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 47,000 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) 44,350 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 37,650 pts
PAST O'NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC WINNERS:
2011: Miguel Pupo (BRA)
2010: Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
2009: Nathan Yeomans (USA)
2008: Nat Young (USA)
2007: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2006: Toby Martin (AUS)
2005: Bobby Martinez (USA)
2004: Cancelled due to lack of surf
2003: Kieran Horn (USA)
2002: Adam Replogle (USA)
2001: Roy Powers (HAW)
2000: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
1999: Chris Gallagher (USA)
1998: Chris Gallagher (USA)
1997: Peter Mel (USA)
1996: Beau Emerton (AUS)
1995: Chris Brown (USA)
1994: Todd Prestage (AUS)
1993: Taylor Knox (USA)
1992: Todd Miller (USA)
1991: Matt Archbold (USA)
1990: Tom Curren (USA)
1989: Martin Potter (GBR)
1988: Richie Collins (USA)
*O'Neill began sponsoring the Santa Cruz event in 1988. While other sponsors ran the event from 1992 to 1998, O'Neill has been the title sponsor since 1999, making 2012 the 14th consecutive year of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic.