TOFINO, British Columbia (Monday, October 26, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada completed Round 1 competition today in windy two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf and the mobile event opted to run competition at North Chesterman’s beach in Tofino, which lies on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
The inaugural O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada has now narrowed the competitive field down from 144 to 96, with all surfers out to claim the valuable ratings points on offer at the ASP 6-Star event towards qualification for the 2010 ASP World Tour.
Wade Goodall (Sunshine Coast, AUS), 23, who is well-known for his innovative free surfing maneuvers and his success in the ASP Pro Junior ranks, crushed the event’s top scores in his opening heat at North Chesterman’s beach today, unleashing a brutal backhand attack on two lefthanders to take the opening round’s highest honors with a near-perfect single wave score of a 9.60 which was added to his previous score of an 8.17, securing the highest heat total of the event as well.
“It’s super junky and I just got a bit lucky,” Goodale said. “It’s pure luck if you get a good one. I just got two that opened up and allowed me to get a few good turns in and get a few good scores. Luckily I got them.”
Goodall has been preparing himself for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada over the last few weeks while spending time in Northern California and his comfort in today’s windy, cold conditions paid off.
“I’ve been surfing the cold water over the last few weeks,” Goodall said. “I was up in Northern California for a bit and got used to the booties, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
Kevin Sullivan (Lahaina, HI), 22, navigated through the tough beachbreak conditions today to claim one the day’s highest scores (a 16.17 out of 20) with impressive backhand surfing on two Tofino lefthanders.
“My heat started off well and I got a couple of waves right away,” Sullivan said. “It was pretty hard to hear out there and there were waves all over, so you never know which wave is going to be good or which one is going to be bad.”
The young regular-footer admits that the adjustment from the tropical Hawaiian climate of his hometown to the chilly waters of Canada has been no easy task, but Sullivan managed to donate an impressive performance despite the drastic change in conditions he’s accustomed to.
“It’s definitely a big adjustment coming from Hawaii,” Sullivan said. “I ended up surfing a swell right before I left with 80 degree weather, so coming straight to the cold weather, and wearing a wetsuit restricts you on a wave, but I’m stoked to get through after the long journey.”
Parrish Byrne (Wollongong, AUS), 22, also secured his spot in to the Round of 96 by donating a solid Round 1 performance after battling through his first run in the cold Canadian waters while competing in Canada’s first major professional surfing event.
“I never thought I’d end up surfing in Canada,” Byrne said. “It has such a beautiful landscape and there are fun waves here. I’m stoked to be here for the contest and hope I can continue to surf well in the next round.”
Round 1 standouts will tackle the event’s top seeds including current ASP WQS No. 6 Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 24, and current ASP WQS No. 5 and O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland winner Adam Melling (Lennex Head, AUS), 24, when competition resumes.
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada coordinators will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am local time for a possible 8:30am start. The event has a waiting period from October 25 through 31, 2009.
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Round of 144 Results:
Heat 19: Parrish Byrne (AUS) 12.50, Brandon Barnes (USA) 9.00, Janek Peladeau (CAN) 3.03, Isaiah Oke (CAN) 0
Heat 20: Beyrick De Bries (ZAF) 13.60, Yukiro Tsuki (JPN) 12.83, Phillip Goold (USA) 9.00, Keegan Varney (CAN) 4.57
Heat 21: Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 16.17, Jason Collins (USA) 11.67, Nicolau Von Rupp (DEU) 8.40, Frazer Mayor (CAN) 3.30
Heat 22: Kieran Horn (USA) 13.60, Gutemberg Da Cunha (BRA) 6.67, Ryan Cameron (CAN) 5.77
Heat 23: Wade Goodall (AUS) 17.77, Ryah Arthur (USA) 10.10, Raphael Bruhwiler (CAN) 5.60
Heat 24: Jason Harris (USA) 10.76, Gabe Garcia (USA) 10.67, Simon Bauer (CAN) 6.60