SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Sunday, October 17, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California is set to return to the legendary pointbreak of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California, with Round 1 action commencing as early as tomorrow, October 18, 2010.
With the shift in rankings to an ASP One World Ranking throughout the 2010 season, ASP PRIME events such as the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California attract some of surfing’s most elite names in search of the valuable ratings points on offer to retain their position on, or qualify for the prestigious ASP Dream Tour.
Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 29, defending O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion, has just competed in the Canadian Cold Water event and is motivated to defend his title against several of the world’s best at Steamer Lane.
“It’s going to be cool coming back as the reigning champion,” Yeomans said. “I’m just going to take the knowledge from last year and the confidence from the beginning of this year and can hopefully defend my title.”
Yeomans, who is fresh off of competing on his rookie year on the ASP Dream Tour during the first five events of the 2010 season, is prepared to bring his confidence earned from battling alongside surfing’s elite names to Santa Cruz, but knows he needs to adjust his strategy to fit the opening round’s four-man format.
“It’s a bit of difference because you’re not really doing the four-man heats on the World Tour, but the confidence is there, which is definitely a factor,” Yeomans said. “It gives you an advantage because of the confidence that comes with surfing against the world’s best, but the change to the four-man format makes you approach your heats differently.”
The talented goofy-footer has just competed in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, and used the ASP 6-Star event as an opportunity to familiarize with the cooler water temps of Santa Cruz while getting back into a competitive mindset.
“It was nice to get into the four-three and the booties,” Yeomans said. “I think surfing in booties especially gives you a little different feel and it’s been awhile since I’ve done and my last contest in Tahiti and that didn’t go great. It’s nice to get a jersey on and have a couple of heats.”
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, is another top name in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California who will be looking to capitalize on the valuable ratings points on offer at the ASP PRIME event to requalify for the ASP World Tour in 2011 after failing to make the midyear cut from 45 to 32 during his rookie year amongst the elite.
“I’m just taking it one heat at a time,” Gudauskas said. “It’s my dream to be on the ASP World Tour, but I’m also trying to enjoy my time here. These events aren’t bad, but I want to be back on for next year. I want to be at snapper and hopefully put it down and stay on for next year. That’s my dream.”
The explosive goofy-footer also used the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada as a warm up for the upcoming event in Santa Cruz to familiarize with the chilly water temps and change in formats at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California.
“It was good to do Canada and try and get the ball rolling for the rest of the year,” Gudauskas said. “I felt like it was good training for Santa Cruz as well. Those four-man and three-man heats are gnarly and you’ve got to be on top of your game. These PRIME events are so gnarly because you have the guys from the tour and the best younger guys, they’re like specialty events. It’s going to be fun, I can’t wait to surf against them.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California has also drawn top ASP Dream Tour talent including current ASP World No. 2 Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), 22, Roy Powers (Hanalei, HAW), 29, Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, Matt Wilkinson (Copacabana, AUS),22 , Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 28, Jadson Andre (Natal, BRA), 20, Luke Stedman (Sydney, AUS), 34, Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 24, Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 29, Dan Ross (Coffs Harbour, AUS), 27, Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 21, and Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 31.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California is the last of five stops on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series, with the series’ winner taking an additional $50,000.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California holds a waiting period from October 18 through 24, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.oneill.com/cwc/california