TOFINO, British Columbia/Canada (Monday, October 4, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada will return to the rustic town of Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for the second consecutive year and will see local hero and defending event champion Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 27, tackle a global field of talent in front of his home crowd at the mobile event.
The ASP 6-Star rated event will see some of the world’s best surfers battle for the valuable ratings points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking in hopes to qualify for the prestigious ASP Dream Tour. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, the nation’s only ASP sanctioned event, is a fully mobile event which will capitalize on seven different breaks for this year’s contest that stretch the length of Tofino.
Devries, who put on a legendary performance to win the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada at his local break while dispatching some of the industry’s top names in 2009, will return to competition this year but is taking a relaxed approach to the event rather than succumbing to the pressure of defending his event title.
“Winning the contest last year was definitely a career highlight,” Devries said. “It was such a good experience and I have a lot of good memories that will stay with me forever from the event. I think there are expectations from people for me to do well again, but I’m just trying to do my own thing and go into the contest with the same mentality as last year. Have fun and try to surf my heats like I surf everyday. To do well in a surf contest there are so many different things that need to go your way so for me there is no need to feel pressured.”
Devries, who is at the forefront of the progressive movement unfolding around the Canadian surf scene, is excited to be a part of the unique event which showcases the harsh environments of his home land.
“Surfing up here is ever changing,” Devries said. “That’s the best way to describe it. The weather, tide and wind conditions change quickly and drastically, but the great thing about this area is it is very consistent. You can ride a wave almost every day of the year here. For me, I love the fall and winter months where the conditions are a little harsher and the waves get bigger and better.”
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, will be one surfer from the temperate weather of Southern California who will be making his maiden voyage to Tofino for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic and is ready to embrace to cold and soggy conditions.
“I haven’t been to Canada before, I’m really excited to check it out,” Gudauskas said. “Dane and I have done a trip to Alaska before, so we are bringing out the rain slicks and boots to make sure we don’t get too wet!”
Gudauskas, who competed in the first five events on this year’s ASP Dream Tour, feels that competing at the heightened level of ASP World Tour competition has helped him lift his game, but knows the high level of talent in ASP 6-Star contests will always remain a serious challenge.
“It was a great opportunity to compete in the World Tour events this year,” Gudauskas said. “I feel like the learning curve was much quicker and steeper when dealing with the cutoff and the competitors. In saying that, coming back to the PRIME and Star events isn’t any easier. There are so many good surfers in the events that it’s really exciting. Every time I put a jersey on, I think to myself, ‘it’s time to prove that I’m a World Tour surfer.’”
After failing to make the dreaded midyear cut from 45 surfers down to 32 on this year’s ASP World Tour, Gudauskas has become increasingly hungry to battle his way back to the elite stage and is looking to capitalize on the valuable ratings points on offer at events such as the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada to help him achieve his goal.
“I felt at first that I was cheated of my first year on the World Tour,” Gudauskas said. “Then I got over the weird bitterness, because I learned a ton of knowledge of how to compete against the best and that’s an advantage. Now my mindset is getting back to improving my surfing. I think that all fruit ripen on the vine at different times and maybe I need to work on some things to become a World Champion. I’m hungry like a hippo for some points to make the dream come true.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic holds a waiting period from October 9 through 15, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.oneill.com/cwc/canada