Top Seeds Start Strong at O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada
TOFINO, British Columbia (Tuesday, October 27, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada saw the event’s top seeds take to the water today in windy two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf and event organizers utilized the event’s mobile permit to land at North Chesterman’s beach today, completing the first 13 heats of Round 2.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada is the fourth of five stops on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series and the event’s ASP 6-Star status plays a crucial role in all surfers quests towards qualification for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour.
Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, is currently sitting just outside of the qualification bubble for next year’s ASP World Tour and the Southern Californian’s hunger to find his way amongst the top 45 was obvious when he dominated his Round of 96 heat today. Yeomans unleashed a precise forehand attack on two sectiony lefthanders to bash the day’s highest heat total (a 17.10 out of 20) while advancing through to the Round of 48.
“For the first 10 minutes in that heat I really didn’t have any scores,” Yeomans said. “We’re pretty much down to the last quarter of the year for qualifying and I knew it was really important for me to make that heat. I’m just outside of the bubble and I was looking to start off strong, so I’m stoked.”
With four premier events remaining on the 2009 ASP WQS season, Yeomans is out to climb back into a firm spot within the top of the ASP WQS rankings to solidify his spot on next year’s ASP World Tour. The explosive goofy-footer has his sights set on a victory at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada as a jumpstart to the remainder of the year.
“It’s been a mad shuffle and I’ve had a few decent results, but I definitely want to win an event this year,” Yeomans said. “I’ve spent some time at home and got my equipment dialed in. I’m feeling confident, so hopefully this is the one.”
Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), 28, was another top seed to crush his competition today. Like Yeomans, Ohno relied on the wedgy lefthanders coming through at North Chesterman’s beach today to advance out of his opening heat.
“I got lucky and got some nice ones in the beginning,” Ohno said. “Then I got that bomb, so I’m stoked to get through. It’s hard out there. It’s bumpy, but there is a particular spot where a good left is coming through, so I was focusing on finding that left.”
Ohno, who is currently ranked 46th on The Grind, is also out the build momentum throughout the last few events remaining on this year’s ASP WQS. Although Ohno has some ground to make up, the flurry of points on offer in the last four events make a last-minute strike to qualify for next year’s ASP World Tour possible.
“I’m definitely looking to make a push and still try and qualify for the 2010 ASP World Tour this year,” Ohno said. “With this 6-Star and three ASP 6-Star PRIME events remaining this year it’s still possible. I’m hoping to do well in this contest and build momentum for the remainder of the year.”
Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, who is the local favorite and the only Canadian surfer remaining in the event, continued to standout amongst the international field battling for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada title. Devries convincingly won his Round of 96 heat today over progressive Hawaiian talent Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI) 20, who advanced in second, to move through to the Round of 48 despite the tough windy afternoon conditions and dropping tide.
“It was a struggle out there,” Devries said. “I didn’t know what was happening out there and no one knew what was going on. We couldn’t hear the scores because of the wind. Luckily, I was able to get those few good lefts out there and they got me through.”
Devries, who posted the top scores on the opening day of competition including a near-perfect 9.50 out of 10 for a massive 360 air, continues to use his relaxed approach to competition while surfing in front of his home crowd do dominate his heats and despite not having competed in several years, the Canadian’s surfing does not seem to be affected by the intensity of competition.
“I’m just trying to stay relaxed and have fun and just surf,” Devries said. “I’m not really thinking about the result, it’s just a pleasure to be able to surf with guys at my home and just see the caliber of surfing that these guys are doing, it’s amazing.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada has a waiting period which runs from October 25 through 31, 2009 and all of the event’s highlights can be found via www.oneill.com/cwc/canada
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.67, Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.17, Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN) 9.27, Noah Cohen (CAN) 7.00
Heat 2: Masotashi Ohno (JPN) 16.10, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 11.93, Sean Holmes (ZAF) 11.10, Matt Johnson (USA) 7.73
Heat 3: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 13.50, T.J. Barron (HAW) 13.07, Nick White (NZL) 8.10, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 7.44
Heat 4: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 17.17, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.86, Bobby Morris (USA) 10.03, Hugo Savalli (REU) 6.70
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 14.66, Blake Thorton (AUS) 10.50, Jason Miller (USA) 9.60, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 7.07
Heat 6: Cory Lopez (USA) 15.84, Richard Christie (NZL) 14.40, Dustin Cuizon (HAW) 12.94, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 0
Heat 7: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 12.73, Anthony Petrusso (USA) 10.27, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.46, Shaun Burrell (USA) 7.70
Heat 8: Peter Devries (CAN) 14.27, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.10, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 9.53, Matt Myers (USA) 6.74
Heat 9: Glen Hall (IRE) 14.66, Dylan Graves (PRI) 11.80, Alex Gray (USA) 11.07, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 7.57
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.03, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 12.20, Shota Nakamura (JPN) 11.07, David Richards (ZAF) 10.10
Heat 11: Brian Toth (PRI) 14.07, Jarrad House (AUS) 8.06, Willie Safreed (USA) 6.20, Dane Andreson (USA) 4.43
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.80, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 11.73, Chase Wilson (USA) 10.50, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 8.10
Heat 13: Charles Martin (GLP) 11.83, Matt Wilson (AUS) 11.16, Blake Howard (USA) 11.10, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.00