SANTA CRUZ, California/USA Thursday, September 5, 2013 – For three days in November, Santa Cruz’s famed Steamer Lane will play host to the 2013 O’Neill Coldwater Classic Invitational with an all-new format. For the past three decades, The Lane has hosted various incarnations of the Coldwater Classic. This year’s event will be like none before; a men’s specialty event sanctioned by Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America for unsponsored professional surfers. It will boast a unique winner take all grand prize. That grand prize is a yearlong sponsorship from O’Neill Wetsuits and $50,000 in travel incentives and contest fees.
“O’Neill is extremely excited to be supporting athletes who may be considered underdogs. Helping surfers who’ve paid their dues, chase the dream of qualifying is good for our sport,” said O’Neill Wetsuits’ Director of Marketing Brian Kilpatrick.
The 16-man field of competitors will include 10 invited unsponsored surfers, two wildcards and four surfers determined by the public via an online vote. Wildcard submissions are now being accepted HERE through Sept. 18 just by completing a form and submitting action footage and a headshot. The public will be able to vote on finalists Sept. 30 through Oct. 6.
An amateur field of 80 under 18 local competitors will also participate as part of the ‘Ratboy Rampage’ in honor of local legend Jason ‘Ratboy’ Collins. The competition will hit Steamer Lane for the three days with optimal conditions during a holding period of Nov. 6-10, 2013.
What really sets the event apart this year is what is on the line. One surfer will not only earn the 2013 title, but a complete year of sponsor support from the first American surf brand, O’Neill. With an estimated value of $50,000 USD, the grand prize winner will receive a travel, event and expenses budget to compete in at least seven of the ASP World Qualifying Series events in pursuit of qualifying for the World Championship Tour and a personal videographer, at specific events and locations, to document the thrill of victory (or agony of defeat) with a minimum of six video segments during the 2014 competition year. O’Neill, the originator of the wetsuit, will also throw in a hefty arsenal of the best wetsuits through an O’Neill Wetsuits sponsorship, as well as boardshorts and apparel.
Since 1987, the O’Neill Coldwater Classic has been Northern California’s premier professional surfing event held at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. ‘The Lane’, with its natural ancient Roman stadium like setting with steep, vertical cliffs overlooking the fabled right point break, is considered by many to be one of the best spectator venues for a surf contest to be found anywhere in the world.
Check out last year’s ASP WCT stop at Steamer Lane for the O’Neill Coldwater Classic 2012: