The O’Neill Coldwater Classic on Cote’s Cube

Coldwater classic

Nate Yeomans wins a life-changing sponsorship with O’Neill at the 2014 Coldwater Classic. Photo: Ellis/Surfermag.com

Nate Yeomans claimed the 2014 O'Neill Coldwater Classic Invitational title in Santa Cruz, California, on Thursday over local standout Shaun Burns.

In doing so, he won $1,000, a set of tires from Nexen, and a yearlong sponsorship from O'Neill worth $50,000 to pursue his elite pro surfing aspirations.

Nate Yeomans

Yeomans takes the high road to victory. Photo: Ellis/Surfermag.com

For the last two years, the O'Neill Coldwater Classic has been an ASP specialty event that invites 16 of the world's best unsponsored surfers.

"All of the invited surfers have one thing in common: none has a major sponsor, and the grand prize could change their life by giving them the rare opportunity to spend a full year chasing their dreams by competing on the World Qualifying Series circuit to attempt to qualify for the World Championship Tour," the ASP wrote before the contest began, alluding to the high travel costs surfers must endure to pursue a pro surfing career.

"It's frickin' awesome,” said Yeomans after winning the event. “I can't even believe it. I was doing job interviews before I came up here. Luckily, I don't have to work too hard for a while now. I have another baby on the way, so luckily I have 50 grand to support that little critter. I'm going to the Triple Crown next, so hopefully I can take this momentum there.”

Cote's Cube took a road trip up to Santa Cruz to give you a behind-the-scenes look at all the action at Steamer Lane. (See video above.)

Shaun Burns

Runner up Shaun Burns had the crowd support, but came up just short. Photo: Prefontaine

Check www.oneill.com/cwc for more information, photos and video highlights.

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