2 November, 2012 2 November, 2012

Round 1 Upsets Unfold on Opening Day of O’Neill Coldwater Classic

Santa Cruz Local Jason Collins Faces Off Against 11-Time World Champion Kelly Slater in the First Heat Tomorrow Morning.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 1, 2012 – The O’Neill Coldwater Classic, stop No. 9 of 10 on the ASP WCT, kicked off competition on the opening day of the waiting period and saw several upsets unfold in shifting two-to-four foot waves at the iconic California pointbreak of Steamer Lane.

Local wildcard Nat Young made Parko’s day by ensuring Kelly did not advance directly to Round 3.

Nat Young (USA), 21, former O’Neill Coldwater Classic winner and 2012 Trials winner, was responsible for the upset of the day, relegating reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, and ASP WCT Rookie Kolohe Andino (USA), 18, to Round 2 with his signature backhand attack at his local break.

“I just wanted to be able to enjoy that heat,” Young said. “It was a really special heat being able to surf against Kelly Slater. He’s been my idol since I started surfing and having him at my local spot and Kolohe (Andino), he’s one of my best friends, so I was just really excited. The waves weren’t really that great in the heat. I just got a couple of 6s and made it. I’m really happy, but I wish we could have had better waves.”

Dusty Payne (HAW), 23, current ASP WCT No. 33, contributed to today’s upsets, besting two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, and former Pipe Masters champion Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, to advance directly through to Round 3.

“I have such a bad seed for this year and coming up against Mick (Fanning) and Kieren (Perrow) in my first heat, it’s not easy, so I’m happy to make it through that heat,” Payne said. “Those guys are two insane surfers. They’ve both been on Tour for so long and I look up to those guys a lot. I just got lucky and got two of the best waves in that heat.”

Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 27, wasted little time in his Round 1 affair, striking first with an early score against current ASP WCT No. 4 John John Florence (HAW), 19, and Heitor Alves (BRA), 30. The talented natural-footer quickly backed up his ride and held on to the lead throughout the heat’s entirety, despite the efforts of his opponents, to advance directly through to Round 3.

“It was definitely tricky because the tide was coming in,” Gudauskas said. “I surfed out here yesterday in similar conditions. I tried to hug the rock and get the local vibe going and find something with a wall on it. It was a little tricky, but I’m stoked I made it.”

Gudauskas, current ASP WCT No. 33, has lost several close early-round bouts over the course of the season and his Round 1 win today marks a crucial step towards his requalification campaign for 2013.

“This win is huge,” Gudauskas said. “I think Round 2 is the battle zone and I think everyone wants to make it out of that one. Guys like John (Florence) and Adriano (de Souza) are so gnarly that you don’t want to come up against them in Round 2. I’m psyched. Hopefully I’ll come up against one of the top dogs in Round 3 and I can shake it up a little.”

World Tour ratings leader Joel Parkinson advanced directly to Round 3.

Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, put together a series of powerful turns on two right-handers to take a hard-fought victory over Australian flyboy Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, and Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 30, securing his place directly to Round 3.

“It was a really tricky heat because of the seaweed,” Bourez said. “It’s hard to stay focused and not get stuck. When you get the right one, you just have to forget about it and do the best you can. I’ve been traveling since I was 17, so I’m used to the cold water here and after San Francisco last year, I get used to it pretty quickly.”

While several top seeds were relegated to Round 2, current ASP WCT frontrunner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, dominated his Round 1 affair from start to finish, amassing the day’s highest heat-total. Parkinson, a former O’Neill Coldwater Classic winner (2000), looked at home at the righthand pointbreak and unloaded an array of seamless carves to notch a 9-point ride on the way to his 16.83 out of 20 heat total.

“This is my first time back here since I won,” Parkinson said. “It’s a tricky wave, but when they come they’re really fun. It feels good to get that Round 1 heat win for sure, but those guys in the red jerseys that lost today, I think you’ll see most of them in Round 3.”

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, discovered a rare lefthander in his heat and took to the air, lofting a monster air-reverse to notch the day’s highest single-wave score of 9.43 out of 10. Medina, who finished runner-up at the last ASP WCT event in Portugal, is admittedly becoming more comfortable in the Steamer Lane lineup and hopes to put together another banner result at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic.

“That was a fun heat,” Medina said. “I was waiting for the air and that wave was a surprise. Last year I didn’t do well but I’m starting to love this place. It’s been fun. I got here a week ago and have been trying a lot of boards. I’m sticking to the same board as Portugal though and hopefully I can get a good result. I’m feeling better after Portugal and I’m trying to focus on getting a result here.”

Another former O’Neill Coldwater Classic Champion, Jordy Smith, 24 (SAF), advanced directly to Round 3 after overcoming Tiago Pires, 32 (PRT) and Adrian Buchan, 30 (AUS) in the final heat of the day. As part of the festivities at the 2012 O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Bending Colours, a documentary featuring Smith’s surfing journey from teenage prodigy to one of the world’s best surfers will debut to the world on Monday, Nov. 5.

Jordy put on a strong showing in Round 1.

When competition resumes, up first will be Kelly Slater (USA), 40, up against Santa Cruz local wildcard Jason Collins (USA), 38, in the opening heat of Round 2.

Event officials will reconvene tomorrow for a 7:15am call for a possible restart to O’Neill Coldwater Classic competition.

Surfline, official forecasters for the O’Neill Coldwater Classic, have predicted that the current WNW swell will fade through the day on Friday and offer small leftovers for most of the day on Saturday. A larger WNW swell will build all day Sunday, peak overnight, and then ease through the day on Monday. Another fun size WNW swell is lining up for Tuesday.

Watch the O’Neill Coldwater Classic webcast LIVE via www.oneill.com/cwc/ and start the conversation with #oneilcwc

Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.80, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.40, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.60
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.86, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.60
Heat 3: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.16, Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.96, John John Florence (HAW) 7.00
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.30, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.94, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.93
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) 12.17, Kelly Slater (USA) 10.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.57
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.40, Jason Collins (USA) 7.00
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.46, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.67, Brett Simpson (USA) 13.33
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.77, Adam Melling (AUS) 6.80
Heat 9: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.03, Owen W right (AUS) 12.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.33
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.70, Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.56, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.40
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.27, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.93, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.37
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10, Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.93

Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jason Collins (USA)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)

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