The O’Neill Coldwater Classic Santa Cruz kicked off yesterday with shifting 2-4ft surf at Steamer Lane in Northern California. As the 9th stop on the ASP World Championship Tour, the iconic point break serves a vital role for athlete ranks and could possibly be the location where the 2013 Champion is crowned. Check out the Heat Highlights episode for Round 1 of the CWC:
Event wildcard, Nat Young, established the greatest upset of the day by defeating his long time idol, Kelly Slater (USA) and good friend Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 1 of competition. Young used his powerful backhand attack to take out the ASP WCT competitors.
“I just wanted to be able to enjoy that heat,” Young said. “It was a really special heat being able to surf against Kelly Slater. He’s been my idol since I started surfing and having him at my local spot and Kolohe (Andino), he’s one of my best friends, so I was just really excited. The waves weren’t really that great in the heat. I just got a couple of 6’s and made it. I’m really happy, but I wish we could have had better waves.”
Despite the fact that he is recently returning from a difficult injury, Dusty Payne (HAW) took down two-time ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning (AUS) and former Pipe Masters Champion Kieren Perrow (AUS) in an incredible upset during Round 1.
“I have such a bad seed for this year and coming up against Mick (Fanning) and Kieren (Perrow) in my first heat, it’s not easy, so I’m happy to make it through that heat,” Payne said. “Those guys are two insane surfers. They’ve both been on Tour for so long and I look up to those guys a lot. I just got lucky and got two of the best waves in that heat.”
Patrick Gudauskas (USA) defeated the current ASP WCT No. 4 John John Florence and Brazilian powerhouse Heitor Alves (BRA). Gudauskas was able to maintain his lead against his opponents to advance directly to Round 3.
“It was definitely tricky because the tide was coming in,” Gudauskas said. “I surfed out here yesterday in similar conditions. I tried to hug the rock and get the local vibe going and find something with a wall on it. It was a little tricky, but I’m stoked I made it.” This Round 1 win was extremely important for the talented natural footer’s requalification campaign in 2013.
“This win is huge,” Gudauskas said. “ I think Round 2 is the battle zone and I think everyone wants to make it out of that one. Guys like John (Florence) and Adriano (de Souza) are so gnarly that you don’t want to come up against them in Round 2. I’m pysched. Hopefully I’ll come up against one of the top dogs in Round 3 and I can shake it up a little.”
Yadin Nicol (AUS) came out on top in Heat 9 with a 16.03 total score over Owen Wright’s (AUS) 12.50, and Brazilian Miguel Pupo trailing with a 10.33 out of 20.
Michel Bourez (PYF) used a series of powerful turns to defeat Josh Kerr (AUS) and Raoni Monteiro (BRA) to advance directly to Round 3 of competition.
“It was a really tricky heat because of the seaweed,” Bourez said. “It’s hard to stay focused and not get stuck. When you get the right one, you just have to forget about it and do the best you can. I’ve been traveling since I was 17, so I’m used to the cold water here and after San Francisco last year, I got used to it pretty quickly.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS) was one of the only top seeds able to dominate his heat in order to advance directly to Round 3. Parkinson is familiar with the icy break as a former O’Neill Coldwater Classic winner and showed off how comfortable he was by lining up a series of seamless carves to score a 9 point ride to accumulate a heat total of 16.83 out of 20.
“This is my first time back here since I won,” Parkinson said. “It’s a tricky wave, but when they come they’re really fun. It feels good to get that Round 1 heat win for sure, but those guys in the red jerseys that lost today, I think you’ll see most of them in Round 3.”
After discovering a rare lefthander, Gabriel Medina (BRA) completed a monster air-reverse to solidify the highest single-wave score of the day with a 9.43 out of 10. Medina plans on using the same board he competed with in Portugal where he has a great second place finish.
“That was a fun heat,” Medina said. “I was waiting for the air and that wave was a surprise. Last year I didn’t do well but I’m starting to love this place. It’s been fun. I got here a week ago and have been trying a lot of boards. I’m sticking to the same board as Portugal though and hopefully I can get a good result. I’m feeling better after Portugal and I’m trying to focus on getting a result here.”
In the final heat of the day, Jordy Smith (ZAF) took down Tiago Pires (PRT) and Adrian Buchan (AUS). Smith proves to be a stand out threat to other competitors a a former O’Neill Coldwater Classic Champion.
Day 2 of the O’Neill Coldwater Classic waiting period was put on hold for lay day and event officials will meet tomorrow at 7:30am, Saturday morning to decide when competition will resume.
Keep checking back at TheSurfChannel.com for regular updates during the O’Neill Coldwater Classic.
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.80, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.40, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.60
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.86, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.60
Heat 3: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.16, Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.96, John John Florence (HAW) 7.00
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.30, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.94, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.93
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) 12.17, Kelly Slater (USA) 10.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.57
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.40, Jason Collins (USA) 7.00
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.46, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.67, Brett Simpson (USA) 13.33
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.77, Adam Melling (AUS) 6.80
Heat 9: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.03, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.33
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.70, Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.56, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.40
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.27, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.93, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.37
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10, Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.93
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jason Collins (USA)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)