The O’Neill Coldwater Classic is only a few days away as competitors wait anxiously in Santa Cruz, California for the event waiting period to begin. Jason ‘Ratboy’ Collins was awarded the first wildcard in the event and the trials will be held on October 31st at 8am to decide the final wildcard. ASP WCT Top 4 surfers — Joel Parkinson (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) — will gather for a press conference during a break at the trials.
Jason ‘Ratboy’ Collins looks forward to his wildcard position at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic as a Santa Cruz local.
“I’m super excited to get the wildcard. I knew there were a few people up for it,” said Collins. “It’s pretty cool for a local to get the opportunity to go out and surf against talent like Slater and Parko, guys you’ve looked up to. It’s also cool to see the event get upgraded, like it used to be. We used to get guys like Martin Potter, Tom Curren… everybody would come up here, but it’s been quite a few years.”
The O’Neill Coldwater Classic will hunt down the final wildcard in a 12-man trial event the day before the waiting period begins. The Santa Cruz locals are sure to put on an incredible show with surfers such as: Nat Young, Bud Freitas, Noi Kaulukukui, Adam Replogle, Josh Mulcoy, Randy Bonds, Shaun Burns, Josh Loya and Jimmy Herrick. Other athletes traveling to Santa Cruz for a chance to face the best athletes in the world include: Johny Craft, Cory Lopez and Tim Reyes. The Santa Cruz community is looking forward to the performance of local athlete, Nat Young, who took home the O’Neill Coldwater Classic title in 2008 at just 17 years old.
“Its pretty crazy to have a World Tour event at The Lane. Not only the fact that it’s a ‘CT, but also the fact that there is a good possibility someone could be crowned World Champ here! I’m really excited to see the whole set up and the difference from the past few years,” said Young. “I’m excited to see guys like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson surf The Lane. I have never seen them surf out here and it will be exciting to see what they do.”
The O’Neill Coldwater Classic has become an ASP WCT stop this year and will serve a vital role in depicting the ASP World Tour Champion 2012. With such possibilities, the top athletes will be incredibly focused on their performance as to accumulate as many points as possible. There are 3 specific requirements that must be fulfilled in order for the ASP World Title to be decided at the CWC:
- Joel Parkinson (AUS) must win the event.
- Kelly Slater (USA) must place equal 13th or lower.
- Mick Fanning (AUS) must place equal 9th or lower.
*If Parkinson wins the O’Neill Coldwater Classic, but Slater and/or Fanning finish 9th (or higher) respectively, the ASP World Title Race will head to Hawaii and both John John Florence (HAW) and Adriano De Souza (BRA) will be out of contention.
If any of the three listed above does not occur, the ASP WCT title will be decided at Pipeline.
Parkinson previously won the O’Neill CWC in 2000 and will lead the pack of past winners that are currently competing on the ASP WCT, including Taylor Knox (USA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and Miguel Pupo (BRA). This year’s event is not only going to potentially decide the World Tour Champion, but it will also be one of the last chances for the ASP Top 34 to re-qualify in 2013.
The 2013 ASP Top 34 will be comprised of:
-Top 22 Ranked surfers on the year-end ASP World Championship Tour Rankings.
-Two ASP wildcards.
Keep checking back at TheSurfChannel.com for regular Coldwater Classic updates!
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)