Taj Burrow won an all-Aussie final over young Matt Wilkinson in great waves at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz, California, Tuesday. The win was Taj’s second of the season, putting him in sixth position going into final ASP World Tour event at Pipeline in December–but the big story of the final day was Wilkinson’s dramatic run to the podium, his first good result in an otherwise disappointing season.
Wilko went into this event with his back against the wall, needing a massive result to qualify for next season. Wilko has won this event before–in 2010 when it was still an ASP World Qualifying Series event–and his confidence was evident throughout the contest. His road to the final included victories over Adriano De Souza (twice), John John Florence, Owen Wright, and Michel Bourez. Now he will climb well inside the cutoff spot, removing all pressure going into the Hawaiian leg.
The bitter pill for Wilko to swallow will undoubtedly be the final heat, where he fell at the end of both his scoring rides, losing by a mere 0.40 as the hooter sounded. Had he connected either of those finishing maneuvers, including his last ride in the dying seconds, he would have easily taken out the first World Tour win of his career.
Going into the final event at Pipeline, only Joel, Kelly, and Mick are in contention for the title. The Billabong Pipeline Masters begins December 8th.
Photo of Matt Wilkinson courtesy ASP
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.10
2 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.70
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.57 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.40
SF 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.73 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.10
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.83 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 8.60
QF 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.83 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.00
O’NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.16 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 6.70
Heat 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.50 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.90
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.00 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.00
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.50 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 9.40
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After O’Neill Coldwater Classic):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 53,900 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,700 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 47,000 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) 44,350 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,350 pts