TOFINO, British Columbia (Saturday, October 31, 2009) – The inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada saw a fairytale ending today when local standout Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, went on an absolute rampage to claim the event over Jay Thompson (Burleigh Heads, AUS), 27, in front of his home crowd in Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Devries stormed through an unbelievable list of some of the world’s finest surfing talent to take out the win today, besting former ASP World Tour Standout Cory Lopez (Dana Point, CA), 32, and current ASP WQS No. 12 Glen Hall (IRE), 27, before topping Thompson at his local break of North Chesterman’s beach. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada was the first time an ASP event had touched Canadian soil and Devries made history as the first Canadian to claim an ASP WQS win.
“I can’t believe it,” Devries said. “This contest was just such a great opportunity for me and thanks so much to everyone, my friends, family, sponsors and everyone in town for all of the support and helping me get to where I am. I’m just so stoked to have all of these guys competing here and I can’t believe I came out on top with all of these incredible guys surfing here.”
The Canadian regular-footer wasted no time getting to work in his match against Thompson and had the current ASP World No. 32 in a combination situation within the first 10 minutes of their heat with devastating forehand maneuvers on the wedgy Tofino peaks.
“I was really stoked with those couple of little rights that I had,” Devries said. “They were nice and clean and had a clean open face. I surfed semi-conservatively to start. Then I was looking for an air section or something a little bigger and then I got that one that went all the way to the beach.”
Thompson proved why he stands tall amongst the world’s finest surfers, and surfed powerfully throughout the entire event before being stopped short of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada title by Devires, but was happy to have his heat against the local standout.
“Pete’s a champion and it was great to surf against him in the Final,” Thompson said. “I was pretty much toast, I didn’t even get a shot at it. I just couldn’t find a wave and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m so stoked for him, it couldn’t have worked out better for him and the hometown. He grew up on this beach and it’s just awesome. Everyone loves to see the fairytale finish for the local legend. Thanks to the town of Tofino, they’ve been great.”
Thompson, who is the first alternate on the ASP World Tour, is looking to find a permanent spot on next year’s ASP World Tour and the runner-up finish launches him to No. 19 on The Grind.
“It’s a good confidence boost,” Thompson said. “I’ve had a few rocky results on the World Tour. I’m just excited for the next few events and hopefully I can finish the year off with a bang and sneak through the backdoor and requalify for the World Tour.”
Lopez advanced though to the Semifinals by punting massive airs and slashing powerful gouges to advance past Hawaiian prodigy Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 20, but was unable to find a rhythm in his heat against eventual event winner, Devries.
“I’m stoked to have made the Semifinals, and to have had the chance to make the Final,” Lopez said. “The swell has changed a lot since the morning, there are a lot more waves and now there are too many waves. It’s just crazy out there. I made some mistakes and didn’t sit far enough out and took a couple of good ones on the head.”
Brandon Jackson (Durban, ZAF), 22, surfed superbly throughout the ASP 6-Star event and earned a crucial third place finish which moves the young South African from 20th to 15th on the ASP WQS, significantly helping his cause towards qualification for the 2010 ASP World Tour. The young regular-footer put on a valiant effort in attempt to find his place in the Final, but fell short to eventual runner-up, Thompson.
“I’m really stoked on the aspect that I got 1800 points out of this result,” Jackson said. “I was hoping to get 1600, it’s a super bonus. It’s really frustrating to get this close and not win. To surf all week and not get the win is tough, but I’m really stoked on the outcome.”
For all of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada highlights log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/canada
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series will continue from November 2 through 8, 2009 at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California with the ASP WQS 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic California and will be webcast LIVE via www.oneill.com/cwc/california
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Final Results:
1- Peter Devries (CAN) 16.43
2- Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.47
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Peter Devries (CAN) 10.23 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 6.50
Heat 2: Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.17 def. Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 11.20
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) 15.93 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.23
Heat 2: Peter Devries (CAN) def. Glen Hall (IRE) 10.70
Heat 3: Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 14.84 def. Mark Mathews (AUS) 11.16
Heat 4: Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.50 def. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.00