SANTA CRUZ, California / USA (Tuesday, October 18, 2011) – The 2011 ASP PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California is set to unfold at the iconic pointbreak of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz from October 26 through 31 2011 and will see several of the world’s best surfers battle for the crucial points on offer at the elite event.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California is the last of the three event O’Neill CWC series which offers a bonus for the series’ top performer. In addition to the additional money on the table, the event’s ASP PRIME status plays a crucial role in surfers’ quests to qualify or retain their status on the ASP World Title events.
Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 30, former O’Neill Cold Water Classic California winner (2009), is fresh off of a runner-up finish at the ASP PRIME in the Azores and is looking to carry the confidence from the result back to his native state.
“My second place in the Azores was an awesome result, and it just makes me want to go that much harder,” Yeomans said. “My goal for this year is to win at least one PRIME event. The lane is another event to push myself to achieve that goal. The result is for sure a confidence boost and a great way to start the back half of the year.”
Yeomans admits that Steamer Lane can often be a tricky wave to navigate and hopes to engage his years of experience at the break to carry him to a positive result against the flock of international talent in the draw for this year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic California.
There are so many good guys in these events and I think success at the lane really boils down to being on the right waves,” Yeomans said. “Local knowledge or knowing the line-up is a huge advantage and can make the difference between success or failure.”
In addition to the crucial ASP PRIME points on offer, Yeomans is hungry to repeat a victory at a location with such a rich history in California surf culture.
“It’s one of the big three events in California that everyone wants to win, especially guys from Cali,” Yeomans said. “It’s also one of the few PRIME contests in the second half of the year. A majority of the winners in the last decade or so have joined the World Tour because of that result. I’m looking forward to hanging on the cliff with a hot coffee in hand, a thick jacket on and watching the world’s best battle all the elements at the CWC.”
Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 20, local favorite for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California, is looking to combine his intimate knowledge of Steamer Lane and the support of competing in front of his friends and family to earn a top-tier performance at this year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic.
“My experience at Steamer Lane helps a ton with my confidence,” Young said. “I know this wave like the back of my hand. I haven’t had the best of years this year, and I feel like I am due and really hungry for a big result. Having my family and friends down there is epic, my Mom and Dad and all my good friends are down there watching my heats and supporting me. Sleeping in my own bed is nice as well.”
Young, who has arguably one of the most lethal backhand attacks of his generation, has sculpted his approach compliments of Steamer Lane and knows that timing the tricky wave on your backhand can be no easy task.
“The Lane is a very tricky wave, especially timing it with the backwash and stuff,” Young said. “I feel like it has really shaped my backhand into what it is and it is just second nature when I’m surfing out there.”
Other top names in the 2011 O’Neill Cold Water Classic include ASP World Tour surfers Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, Brazilians Alejo Muniz (BRA), 21, Gabriel Medina (BRA), 17, Orange County’s Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 26 and Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 25, progressive Hawaiians Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 22, and John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 18, and defending event champion Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 23, as well as several others.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California holds a waiting period from October 26 through 21, 2011 and is webcast LIVE via www.oneill.com/cwc