O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series In A Nutshell

By Casey Butler

The third event in the O'Neill Cold Water Classic series kicked off yesterday, with perfect 3-4 foot waves at the Dunes in Cape Town. South Africa, still buzzing from the World Cup and Jordy's J-Bay win, now hosts what some call "the wildest event in pro surfing." The water on the Cape Peninsula is an invigorating 54 degrees and the swell is rolling in.

"By Wednesday, it really is a Cold Water Classic, as temperatures plummet and we are looking at 10 to 12 foot surf in strong SSE winds," says Spike at Wavescape.

The CWC is a unique series that consists of five extra harsh events: Tasmania, Scotland, South Africa, Canada, and California all ranging from, 4-Star events to 6-Star Primes. Surfers tackle these events to earn points toward their ASP One Ranking and hopefully, their eventual placement on the World Tour.

At the same time, the points earned at these specific events count toward the Cold Water Classic Championship Title–the winner of which takes home $50,000. Each event counts equally and right now Stuart Kennedy and Royden Bryson are tied for the number one spot. Last year, Aussie Blake Thornton took South Africa and, ultimately, the title.


Devan MacNicol not letting the chilly waters of South Africa get to him: Photo: Courtesy of O'Neill

After South Africa, two events remain to determine who scores the coveted title (and that wad of cash): Tofino and Santa Cruz in October. Last year, Canadian charger Peter Devries put his 6-mill muscle memory to good use and ruled supreme at his home break, which is said to be the coldest of the CWC events.

Just a few days after Tofino, the action heads south to Steamer Lane, where waves can reach up to triple overhead, with water temperatures never getting above 60 degrees. Orange County native Nate Yeomans, won last years event and will be looking to defend his title.

Follow the action at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic site.