TOFINO, British Columbia/Canada (Sunday, October 10, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada cracked the opening round of competition today in four-to-six foot (1.75 metre) surf, but only completed four heats due to a massive incoming tide ready to swallow all of North Chesterman's beach.
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic, the fourth of five stops on the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Series, has attracted several of the globe's finest surfing talent in search of the valuable ratings points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking to help their cause towards qualification for the ASP World Tour.
Jarrad Howse (AUS), 33, donated today's top performance by relying on both his sharp forehand and backhand attack at North Chesterman's beach to earn the day's highest single wave score, an 8.17 out of 10, en route to posting the highest heat total, a 15.20 out of 20, to take his opening heat win over 2009 ASP World Tour Rookie of the Year Kekoa Bacalso (Mililani, HI), 25, who advanced in second.
"It was tricky because when I watched it this morning there were lots of waves on the right and it changed," Howse said. "I had to change my game plan and start getting those lefts, which suit me, I'd rather go on my backhand."
Howse, who is a former ASP Dream Tour surfer and veteran campaigner of the ASP Star Series, now focuses his career competing in unique cold water locations such as Canada.
"I love coming to places like this," Howse said. "I'm pretty much strictly a cold water person now. I cherish my time in places like this. I've been doing the tour for about 10 years now, so to come to places like Canada, it's a breath of fresh air."
Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 28, was another Round 1 standout, clinching his heat win over an international field including defending event champion and local favorite Peter Devries (Tofino, CAN), 27, who advanced in second, by threading the needle of a clean forehand barrel and igniting a second righthander with several critical forehand turns.
"I saw the draw and knew the first heat was pretty heavy and was going to take a lot out of me," Reyes said. "I'm just happy that we ran today while there were waves. It was just nice to surf a heat and not wait too long so I could stay focused and not wait too long for heats. I'm just happy to make it through and stoked Pete (Devries) made it through."
Reyes, who is a former ASP World Tour standout, had taken a sabbatical from full-time ASP competition over the past year, but is out to capitalize on the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada to launch his campaign towards a spot amongst the elite in the near future.
"I'm definitely going to try and get back on tour," Reyes said. "I really haven't had events where I could focus and I've tried to diversify my surfing and take it to a different level. I've just been trying to surf a bit of everything. I'll be back on, I just took this year to focus on different stuff, but this is my first event where I'm focused on requalifying and want to see what I can put together for these two cold waters and Hawaii."
Devries, defending O'Neill Cold Water Classic champion, struggled to find his feet in his opening heat as reigning event champion, but locked into a critical righthand wall in the dying minutes of his bout to advance through to the Round of 48 behind Reyes.
"That was a shocker," Devries said. "It was tough out there. I just wasn't feeling the bumps out there. I was feeling good going in, but once I got out there I felt terrible. I had a few waves to start and things kind of tumbled down hill. I was able to semi-put it together and got through, so I guess that's all that matters."
The O'Neill Cold Water Classic holds a waiting period from October 9 through 15, 2010 and is be webcast LIVE via oneill.com/cwc/canada.
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Jarrad Howse (AUS) 15.20, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.77, Malcomb Daily (CAN) 2.80, Josh Loya (USA) ns
Heat 2: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.26, Peter Devries (CAN), 11.24, Jay Quinn (NZL) 10.74, Balaram Stack (USA) 10.13
Heat 3: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.83, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.90, Brad Ettinger (USA) 6.33, Shannon Brown (AUS) 5.20
Heat 4: Richard Christie (NZL) 13.43, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 10.00, Raphael Bruhwiler (CAN) 9.77, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 9.30
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Upcoming Round of 96 Heats:
Heat 5: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Kieran Horn (USA), Izuki Tanaka (JPN), Keegan Varney (CAN)
Heat 6: Dayyan Neve (AUS), Tonino Benson (HAW), Josh Kerr (AUS), Bud Freitas (USA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (USA), Heath Joske (AUS), Dege O'Connell (HAW), Johnny Norris (USA)
Heat 8: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Kai Barger (HAW), Nobuyuki Osawa (JPN), Sam Orozco (USA)
Heat 9: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Leigh Sedley (AUS), Nils Schweizer (USA), Noah Cohen (CAN)
Heat 10: Glen Hall (IRL), Chris Waring (USA), Chase Wilson (USA), Greg Urata (USA)
Heat 11: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Dylan Graves (PRI), Phillip Goold (USA), Jimmy Herrick (USA)
Heat 12: Cory Lopez (USA), Teppei Tajima (JPN), Dane Gudauskas (USA), Reid Jackson (CAN)
Heat 13: Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Killian Garland (USA), Matt Pagan (USA), Janek Peladeau (CAN)
Heat 14: Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Jason Collins (USA), Tim Curran (USA)
Heat 15: Ausin Ware (USA), Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF), Taylor Thorne (USA), Gutemberg De Cunha (BRA)
Heat 16: Sebastien Zietz (HAW), Eric Geiselman (USA), Ricky Whitlock (USA), Dane Anderson (USA)
Heat 17: Nathan Yeomans (USA), Nick Reilly (USA), Sam Lamiroy (GBR), Issac Radysh (CAN)
Heat 18: Nathan Hedge (AUS), Mitchel Coleborn (AUS), Matt Johnson (USA), Brandon Barnes (USA)
Heat 19: John John Florence (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW), Jared Thorne (USA), Michael Dunphy (USA)
Heat 20: Nathaniel Curran (USA), Yujiro Tsuji (JPN), David Rutherford (MEX), Benn Murphy (CAN)
Heat 21: Blake Thornton (AUS), Casey Brown (HAW), Yoackim Guichard (NOR), Sepp Bruhwiler (CAN)
Heat 22: Shaun Cansdell (AUS), Kevin Sullivan (HAW), Jason Harris (USA), Matt Myers (USA)
Heat 23: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Cory Arrambide (USA), Keli Everett (HAW)
Heat 24: Ben Dunn (AUS), Beto Mariano (BRA), Indar Perez (EUK), Jamie Lowe-Wylde (CAN)