TOFINO, British Columbia/Canada (Tuesday, October 12, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada tore through the remaining Round of 96 heats today before completing the first eight heats of the Round of 48 and today's action saw local hero and defending event champion Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 27, continue his reign by issuing the upset of the day when he ousted 2009 ASP Rookie of the Year Kekoa Bacalso (Mililani, HI), 25, and Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, AUS), 20, to advance into the Round of 24.
Surfers competing in the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada are out to capitalize on the ASP 6-Star points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking in an attempt to qualify for the 2011 ASP World Tour.
Devries, who struggled to find a rhythm in his Round of 96 heat, wasted no time in his stacked Round of 48 heat, notching a 7 point ride in the opening seconds by dismantling a crisp righthand wall with a tail-drifting forehand turn followed up with a clean forehand carve and an air-reverse to solidify the score before quickly finding a backup score.
"It was so nice to get that wave within the first couple of seconds," Devries said. "It was nice to get that start going and feel comfortable right away."
Devries, who is competing at his home break of North Chesterman's beach, capitalized on his local knowledge of the chilly Canadian surf destination in today's soft conditions to take down some of surfing's biggest names.
"Knowing this break definitely helps, especially with these mushier conditions," Devries said. "Drawing Kekoa (Bacalso) in kind of mushy beachbreak is probably a little easier than drawing him in good waves because he's such a good surfer. Stu (Kennedy) and Richard (Christie) went nuts too. All of these heats are really hard."
The Canadian natural-footer's advancement into the Round of 24 has come as a relief for Devries, as the pressure of entering the O'Neill cold Water Classic as defending event champion had left Devries analyzing the importance of advancing out of the early rounds this year.
"If you win an event you always want to put in a good showing the following year," Devries said. "For me, I don't really do contests, so this is the one chance I get. To lose first round would have been really tough after winning last year, so I'm glad I have the chance to keep going."
Rudy Palmboom (Durban, ZAF), 22, was another surfer who launched out to a quick start in his Round of 48 heat, and the talented South African tore into a solid lefthander and blasted the day's highest single-wave score, an 8.0 out of 10 en route to earning the round's highest heat total, a 13.77 out of 20.
"I was actually pretty stoked because I was able to get into that one as soon as the buzzer went," Palmboom said. "I felt pretty lucky to stroke into that one, it was a fun wave."
Palmboom, who is competing in his second O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, is one competitor who thrives on the cold Canadian waters and often wild weather and uses the unique conditions as extra motivation.
"I came last year and it's pretty amazing," Palmboom said. "It's one of the best places I've been to. I actually love the weather and it's not that cold right now. I don't mind the extra wetsuit either. I love it."
Hank Gaskell (Hana, HI), 24, took out an impressive heat win over former ASP Dream Tour surfer and Round 1 standout Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 28, to advance into the Round of 24 and is out to post a noteworthy result at this year's ASP 6-Star event before heading into the coveted Vans Triple Crown.
"I'm stoked to get that heat win," Gaskell said. "At one point everyone in that heat was in the lead. I dropped down to third and eventually got the wave I needed to get through that heat. I need a good result here before heading into Hawaii, so I'm just really happy to have made that heat."
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic holds a waiting period from October 9 through 15, 2010 and is webcast LIVE via oneill.com/cwc/canada.
For additional ASP information log on to aspworldtour.com or aspnorthamerica.org.
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Hank Gaskell (HAW) 12.66, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 12.33, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 11.44, Tim Reyes (USA) 10.24
Heat 2: Peter Devries (CAN) 13.07, Richard Christie (NZL) 12.76, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 9.90, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 7.40
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20, Kai Barger (HAW) 9.74, Heath Joske (AUS) 9.26, Kieran Horn (USA) 7.67
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.76, Tonino Benson (AUS) 10.57, Sam Orozco (USA) 7.90, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 5.10
Heat 5: Geln Hall (IRL) 12.17, Cory Lopez (USA) 9.40, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.33, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 6.37
Heat 6: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 13.77, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 11.43, Chris Waring (USA) 11.33, Nils Schweizer (USA) 10.30
Heat 7: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.24, Austin Ware (USA) 11.34, Killian Garland (USA) 10.73, Tim Curran (USA) 5.80
Heat 8: Eric Geiselman (USA) 12.60, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11.40, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 9.83, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 9.63
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Round of 96 Results:
Heat 17: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 10.87, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 8.17, Nick Riley (AUS) 7.70, Issac Radysh (CAN) 4.43
Heat 18: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 12.67, Matt Johnson (USA) 9.53, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 9.17, Brandon Barnes (USA) 6.94
Heat 19: Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.73, John Florence (HAW) 11.60, Jared Thorne (USA) 10.34, Michael Dunphy (USA) 8.10
Heat 20: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.34Benn Murphy (CAN) 8.13, Yujiro Tsuji JPN) 7.47, David Rutherford (MEX) 6.90
Heat 21: Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.10, Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN) 9.66, Casey Brown (HAW) 8.87, Yoackim Guichard (NOR) 6.60
Heat 22: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.14, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 8.27, Jason Harris (USA) 7.77, Matt Myers (USA) 7.20
Heat 23: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.10, Cory Arrambide (USA) 10.94, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.30, Keli Everett (HAW) 8.73
Heat 24: Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.80, Indar Perez (EUK) 9.50, Beto Mariano (BRA) 8.94, Jamie Lowe-Wylde (CAN) 3.26