2005 O’Neill Coldwater Classic Update

Surf: 2-3ft beach break peaks at Waddel Creek with a side-shore devil wind.
Events Held: 8 Mens Round 4 heats
Nature's Call: Haunting fog early, with sea lions and sharks galore.
Predicted: Savior North swell on the way; Steamer Lane to emerge from the fog and pump for the weekend?

Paddling out into artic-cold water, after putting on a wet wetsuit in the damp, dreary Santa Cruz morning is one of those experiences that until the dripping ice water from your wadded up wetsuit touches your legs, slides over your torso and sends you into convulsions; you just won't understand the feeling.

Zach Keenan has become all too familiar with this experience lately. After a controversial heat yesterday in which the surfers in his heat were called in early during a fog bank, only to be sent back out to finish the small amount of time remaining; Zach found himself again, sliding that wet wetsuit this morning under a veil of fog, only to paddle out and be called back in once again. This time he had to drive with that wetsuit on in the car 20 miles to the contests new location at Waddel Creek.

After coming second to an always squeaky clean Rob Machado in Heat 1(who scored an 8.67 on the first wave ridden in the event), Zach had this to say about his frigid morning, "It's tough, you know the weather is so iffy and unpredictable, and the water is like liquid ice, but it's nice to make it through."

Heat two saw 17-year-old South African, Jordy Smith turn some heads in the lackluster surf with a few methodical backhand slices to the beach combined with a smooth forehand approach. David Giddings was able to tap into an 8.67 that allowed him to take the win in heat #5, while {{{Imperial}}} Beach's Kyle Knox surfed powerfully on his way to winning heat #7 in the very un-Santa Cruz like conditions.

With only 8 heats being run today, the aggressive pack of sea lions that came into investigate the colorful intruders must have felt somewhat victorious in their effort of driving out the competitors. Sea lions however, weren't the only wildlife on everyone's mind. With a Great White Shark attack occurring only two days earlier at Salmon Creek, in Bodega Bay, the threat is always lurking. Before a free surf this morning Brett Simpson, who is seeded in the round of 64 remarked, " I'm just gonna go out and try not to get attacked." Words uttered often when you enter into the red triangle. With the wake from the rumored shark research boat just outside the lineup, all joking takes on a haunting realism when your legs are dangling below you in the lineup. Let's just hope the contest kicks off at Steamer's at 7am tomorrow like it's supposed to, and we can all leave the creepy lineup at Waddel to its locals.