TOFINO, British Columbia/Canada (Wednesday, October 13, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada saw some of surfing's biggest names punt the event's biggest scores to decide the final 16 surfers in two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at North Chesterman's Beach.
Surfers competing at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada are out to capitalize on the valuable ratings points on offer towards qualification for the prestigious ASP World Tour.
Mitch Coleborn (Sunshine Coast, AUS), 23, dominated his Round of 24 heat today by punting massive aerials on both his forehand and backhand to notch the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.43 out of 10, while accumulating the event's highest heat total, 16.80 out of 20, to put fellow competitors Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, who advanced in second, and Austin Ware (Solana Beach, CA), 29, in a combination situation.
"I just got a couple of okay scores at the start and I was just stoked to have a fun surf," Coleborn said.
The innovative goofy-footer looked unfazed by the colder Canadian waters after spending a week in the Pacific Northwest and found himself feeling at home in the peaky beachbreak conditions of North Chesterman's.
"I'm actually used to all of this rubber by now," Coleborn said. "I've been up here for about a week, so I've gotten used to it and these beachbreaks are actually pretty similar to where I'm from, so I'm having fun."
Julian Wilson (Coolum, AUS), 22, was another form surfer in the Round of 24 who opted for progressive above-the-lip surfing to advance into the Round of 16 and has been quietly building momentum throughout the O'Neill Cold Water Classic's early rounds.
"I feel good and I've been kind of building momentum through these first few rounds," Wilson said. "It's hard to adapt to these soft waves with all this rubber, so it's hard to get going. In a heat you want to be moving around, but I'm getting more comfortable with it and the waves are fun and there are sections out there. Everyone's catching waves and whoever is surfing best is getting through heats, so it's how you want it to be."
Wilson, who is in the hunt for a spot on the 2011 ASP World Tour, is hoping to use the upcoming man-on-man format to his advantage and made his goal of winning the ASP 6-Star event clear.
"I'm here for the points and nothing less than a win, really," Wilson said. "I'm feeling good and feeling like I can do it. It's man-on-man now and that's where I feel a lot more comfortable. I'm excited to make it to the man-on-man round and hopefully I can take it all away."
Ben Dunn (Maclean, AUS), 24, who competed on the ASP Dream Tour for several years before failing to make this year's field reduction down to the 32-man format, has been a standout throughout the event's entirety and hopes he can use his experience of the man-on-man format earned throughout his ASP World Tour career to his advantage in the remaining rounds.
"I haven't actually had many man-on-man heats in the Star or Prime events this year," Dunn said. "I've lost in the three-man and the Round of 48 in the last few comps and I'm looking forward to surfing the man-on-man heats."
The talented natural-footer is also looking to claw his way back amongst the ASP Dream Tour ranks, but knows the road ahead will be no easy task.
"I've left it a bit late to get back on this year," Dunn said. "Including this one I've only got five events left this year to try and do it, so I'd have to go pretty good in all of them. I'm only going to try and take it one heat at a time."
Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 27, defending O'Neill Cold Water Classic Champion and local hero, continued his chances of defending his title this afternoon, taking out a heat win over Hank Gaskell (Hana, HI), 24, who advanced in second, and 2008 ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (Haiku, HI), 20, while earning the day's second-highest single-wave score of an 8.33 out of 10 with precise backhand surfing to assist in his victory.
"I'm feeling more relaxed," Devries said. "It kind of took some pressure off having another local guy going (Sepp Bruhwiler) and I know Hank (Gaskell) and Kai (Barger) from traveling, so it was fun to go out there and have a heat with two guys that you know. It felt mellow and relaxed out there."
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada will pick back up with the Round of 16 when competition resumes.
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 Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Peter Devries (CAN) 14.83, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 12.03, Kai Barger (HAW) 8.04
Heat 2: Richard Christie (NZL) 14.80, Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.93, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 10.10
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.00, Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.17, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 10.97
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.70, Rudy Palmboom (NZL) 9.66, Tonino Benson (HAW) 9.09
Heat 5: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.10, Eric Geiselman (USA) 13.53, John Florence (HAW) 11.37
Heat 6: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 16.80, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 13.00, Austin Ware (USA) 11.37
Heat 7: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.70, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.50, Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN) 11.47
Heat 8: Benn Dunn (AUS) 12.97, Cory Arrambide (USA) 11.27, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.70
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Round of 48 Results:
Heat 9: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 14.70, John Florence (HAW) 12.10, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 11.73, Benn Murphy (CAN) 5.60
Heat 10: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.10, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.40, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 9.07, Matt Johnson (USA) 7.60
Heat 11: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.70, Cory Arrambide (USA) 9.83, Blake Thornton (AUS) 8.47, Indar Perez (EUK) 4.73
Heat 12: Ben Dunn (AUS) 14.10, Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN) 12.00, Gony Zubizaretta (ESP) 11.96, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 7.67