contest wire

Bombing Swell Decides O'Neill Cold Water Classic California Quarterfinalists

| posted on November 09, 2009

kieranhorn_prefontaine

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 7, 2009 – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California saw the event’s top performers march through the Round of 16 today. The chilly waters at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California offered solid eight-foot surf to decide the event’s Quarterfinalists.

Kieran Horn (Santa Cruz, CA), 35, who won the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in 2003 when the event was an ASP 4-Star, battled through three heats in the day’s wild conditions to earn a Quarterfinals berth at his home break of Steamer Lane while posting the highest heat total of 16.83 out of 20. Horn nearly fell in the Round of 24 to Australian standout Adam Melling (Lennox Head, AUS), 23, but blasted a 9.50 out of 10 to carry him through the heat, eventually allowing him to eliminate Dylan Graves (PRI), 23, in the Round of 16.

“I just felt so out of rhythm out there,” Horn said. “I was dodging the sets and sitting way out the back of the point and taking all of the waves on the head. Luckily, I finally got a few waves. Finally I got a wave and did a couple of carves and it had a nice little peak. I knew I had to do something and just did a big float and held on.”

Horn’s guaranteed fifth place result at this year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic California comes as a bit of redemption after last year when he suffered a shocking Round 1 loss.

“Last year was small and I had a heat where the guys hassled the heck out of me,” Horn said. “This year there has been waves and it feels good. I don’t know how many more years I’ll be competing, and so I want to take advantage of my opportunity.”

Horn is now the only local Santa Cruz surfer left in the draw and is out to carry the torch for his hometown in an attempt to keep the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California title in Santa Cruz.

“Since it’s a 6-Star PRIME we didn’t have as many local surfers in the event this year,” Horn said. “With Nat (Young), Noi (Kaulukukui) and Jason (Collins) getting knocked out early, I knew I was the only one left. There’s not really any additional pressure, once I get in the water I’m not really thinking about it.”

Alejo Muniz (Santa Catarina, BRA), 20, put a stop to a rampaging Sebastian Zietz (Kilauea, HI), 21, in the Round of 16 to advance through to the Quarterfinals after the two surfers struggled to find waves in the bombing disorganized surf at Steamer Lane. Zietz had posted the event’s only perfect 10-point ride in the Round of 24,

“I’m so happy, because I didn’t know that I made it through,” Muniz said. “I didn’t know that I made it through because I couldn’t hear the announcer. I rode my normal board and it was too small for these conditions, but I’m pretty stoked to make it through. There are big closeouts, but the jet skis really help.”

Muniz, who is a standout on the ASP Pro Junior Series and recently placed equal third at the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali, knows the Quarterfinals berth will play a crucial role in his seed for next year on The Grind and is hoping to continue his momentum through tomorrow’s action.

“I had a good result in Portugal earlier in the year, so I’m really happy to get another good finish here in Santa Cruz,” Muniz said. “I’m just taking it heat-by-heat though and hopefully I can do well again tomorrow.”

Muniz’s upcoming Quarterfinals battle will be no easy match however, as he will face compatriot and current ASP World No. 3 Adriano de Souza (Guaruja Sao Paulo, BRA), 22, in the opening Quarterfinals heat.

“Adriano is my hero and it will be great to surf against him,” Muniz said. “I’ve never had the chance to surf in a heat with him before and I’m really looking forward to the heat.”

Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, tore through two heats today and posted a solid 15.50 out of 20 heat total to advance through to the Quarterfinals in the premier event over Brazilian standout Marcio Farney (Santa Catarina, BRA), 28.

“It’s tough out there. It’s bumpy and all over the place,” Yeomans said. “I was able to get a couple of good ones though and there is a fun left coming through.”

The San Clemente talent is currently sitting in the No. 22 position on the ASP WQS, setting him just outside the bubble for qualification for the 2010 ASP World Tour. Yeomans is hungry to launch back within the top 15 on The Grind with a good result at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California, but is focusing on the smaller tasks ahead of him rather than his final goals.

“It’s nice to get a result,” Yeomans said. “It’s a long year and it’s been awhile. Obviously, I have my goals set, and each heat I’m getting that much closer. Tomorrow is the Quarterfinals, so I’m just preparing for that.”

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California and Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships Champions will be crowned tomorrow afternoon. The event will get started at 8 am with Heat 1 of the Quarterfinals of the main event.

For all of the LIVE action log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/california <http://www.oneill.com/cwc/california> . For Oakley Pro Junior inquiries log on to www.oakleyprojunior.com <http://www.oakleyprojunior.com> .

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California and Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships will continue tomorrow and event organizers will reconvene at 7 am at Steamer Lane for a potential 7:30 am start. For all of the LIVE action log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/california <http://www.oneill.com/cwc/california> . For additional Oakley Pro Junior information log on to www.oakleyprojunior.com <http://www.oakleyprojunior.com> .

Special thanks to all of the sponsors of the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic and Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships: O’Neill, Oakley, Red Bull, Corralejo Tequila, SURFER and SURFING, as well as, the official hotel partner, The Dream Inn and Aquarius Restaurant, and food partner, Whole Foods Market.

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.50 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.20
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 6.83 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.33
Heat 3: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.00 def. Marcio Farney (BRA) 7.93
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.34 def. Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 8.40
Heat 5: Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 15.50 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 8.73
Heat 6: Heath Joske (AUS) 15.60 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.77
Heat 7: Kieran Horn (USA) 16.83 def. Dylan Graves (PRI) 11.33
Heat 8: Luke Munro (AUS) 16.47 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 14.03

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.93, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.37, Joel Centeio (HAW) 9.83
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.33, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.00, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.67
Heat 3: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.40, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 8.40, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 8.07
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) 11.27, Marcio Farney (BRA) 10.90, Andre Silva (BRA) 8.57
Heat 5: Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.16, Heath Joske (AUS) 12.93, Adam Robertson (AUS) 12.60
Heat 6: Brett Simpson (USA) 11.10, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 10.90, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 9.43
Heat 7: Kieran Horn (USA) 14.50, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.50, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 7.66
Heat 8: Luke Munro (AUS) 14.67, Dylan Graves (PRI) 11.66, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.60

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 48 Results:
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.17, Adam Robertson (AUS) 9.40, Torrey Meister (HAW) 7.07, Jesse Heilman (USA) 6.77
Heat 10: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.60, Dylan Graves (PRI) 11.86, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 11.84, Mark Mathews (AUS) 9.60
Heat 11: Kieran Horn (USA) 15.00, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.34, Austin Ware (USA) 10.74, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.13
Heat 12: Luke Munro (AUS) 11.83, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 8.57, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 7.70, Shaun Ward (USA) 7.53

Forecast Overview: A strong local storm has been tracking through the Northern Gulf of Alaska starting Wednesday (11/4) generating 50 kts winds and peak seas confirmed in the 40 ft range and expected to bump up to 42 ft this Friday AM. And even as this system starts to wind down, still up to 2000 nmiles of 35 kt fetch is to be aimed right at Central CA. Swell from this system has already hit the outer buoy at 5 PM Thursday with seas at 25-29 ft @ 17 secs and pure swell 21-24 ft @ 16.8 secs and holding dead solid through 8 AM Friday. This is exactly on-track with our expectations and should result in solid swell for the remainder of the contest window. There is a bit of an issue though with the swell direction. This system took a rather northerly track through the Gulf, resulting in most swell energy pushing down no further south than the 304 degree great circle path, with most energy up at 310-315 degrees. This rather extreme northern angle will limit the amount of energy available to the Lane, which in the long run maybe isn’t such a bad thing. If it were real west, the swell would be so large that a reasonable contest would not be possible. So the short story is, solid longer period swell is on the way for the remainder of the event.

On Sunday (11/8) still solid swell from the Gulf gale is expected at 9-10 ft @ 15-16 secs early and seas to 13 ft @ 15 secs. This should result in surf of double overhead and maybe a few bigger ones with the lesser period allowing for a more effective wrap into the Lane. Winds again north at 5 kts early with a lurp running through the swell due to being generated relatively locally. Wind turning northwest near noon but not as strong as the day before, at only 10-12 kts or so adding a bit of texture and maybe light chop outside the point. Same basic tide set-up is expected with a 3.5 ft tide at sunrise slowly working up to a 5.1 ft high at 2 PM, then fading from there.

About O’Neill
O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene surf wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop soon after.

While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s set of core values – innovation in style and technology – has seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of action sports. From the first neoprene surf wetsuit and board leash, to the world’s first stitchless board shorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s spirit of innovation will always drive the company forwards.

Today, O’Neill can be found the world over. In touch with its rich heritage and the universal appeal of board riding culture, O’Neill will always be committed to growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands based on a unique half-century of history as the First Name in the Water.

About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at oakley.com <http://www.oakley.com>

About Source Interlink Media’s Action Sports Group (ASG)
Reaching more than two million enthusiasts, Source Interlink Media’s Action Sports Group (ASG) is the dominant force in the action sports and adventure sports arenas. In addition to publishing leading lifestyle publications such as Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Bike, Powder and Canoe & Kayak, Source Interlink Media’s ASG delivers a cutting-edge network of online properties, events and television programming.