SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Saturday, October 29, 2011) – The ASP PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California utilized both the primary venue of Steamer Lane and the backup location of Waddell Creek today to complete both the Round of 24 and the three-man non-elimination Round of 12.
Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, who posted the highest scores of yesterday’s competition, returned to form today at Waddell creek and took to the air on his backhand to net the day’s highest scores including a 16.77 (out of 20) heat total to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
“It seemed like the rights had lots of cross bumps coming the other way and it was hard to time a section, but the lefts seemed to have that little bowl,” Kerr said. “It was tough out there, Tiago (Pires) didn’t even get a wave until 30 seconds to go, I just happened to be in position for two of the more decent waves in that heat and the rest of it was struggle street for everyone. I’m glad I was on the other side of it.”
Kerr’s Round 3 victory proved that earning a top result at ASP PRIME events is no easy task, as he overtook fellow ASP Dream Tour talent Jordy Smith (ZAF), 23, and Tiago Pires (PRT), 31, to earn his heat win.
“I was thinking that, all three of us guys are World Tour guys and I’m into the Quarters now, and think the way it works is that I’ll have Jordy (Smith) in my next heat and that’s going to be tough. I’m going to get a good night’s sleep and try and get psyched up for that.”
Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 20, slowly built momentum in his three-man matchup and eventually overtook ASP World Tour campaigners Dusty Payne (HAW), 22, and Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 29, by launching an air-reverse on his forehand and solidified the heat with several backhand bashes on a right.
“In the heat before mine, there were a bunch of waves to the south end and I sat there and didn’t really catch anything,” Young said. “I ended going back and forth and Raoni (Monteiro) started out quick. In the end, everyone ended getting a bunch of waves so it came down right to the end.”
Young, who was hungry for a result at the ASP PRIME rated event, was relieved to advance though to the Quarterfinals, but is still expecting to push through the Final rounds of O’Neill Cold Water Classic competition.
“Getting in to the Quarters and skipping that round is nice,” Young said. “It’ll be good to take a break and not have to surf again today. I’m stoked to make it to the Quarters, but I want to keep going in this event.”
Young put on a show at both venues today, taking out ASP World Tour rookie Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, at Steamer Lane before shining at Waddell Creek.
“It’s alright to come to Waddell Creek,” Young said. “The Lane would have been tough with three people out there and not many waves. It’s almost better that they came up here to run this round and hopefully they can finish it off at The Lane.”
Willian Cardoso (BRA), 25, current No. 43 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, also won his three-man heat today and is hungry for a banner result in hopes to qualify for next year’s ASP World Tour.
“I’m so stoked because it has been a really hard contest,” Cardoso said. “We’ve been moving to different spots, at the Steamer Lane, and then here where we’re getting lefts and rights. I’m stoked to find a good one at the end and get through. I need a result here, I need these points and it’s a really important contest for me.”
O’Neill Cold Water Classic California competition will resume tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time and likely crown a champion by day’s end.
For all of the LIVE action log on to www.oneill.com/cwc
O’NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC NON-ELIMINATION ROUND OF 12:
Heat 1: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.90, Nathan Yeomans (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 13.70, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.37, Dusty Payne (HAW) 5.90
Heat 3: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.07, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 5.17
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.77, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.33, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 5.17
O’NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC ROUND OF 24 RESULTS:
Heat 5: Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.04 def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.34
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) 13.67 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.66
Heat 7: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.20 def. Charles Martin (GLP) 6.03
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 8.87 def. John John Florence (HAW) 4.67
Heat 9: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.80 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.60
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.93 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.17
Heat 11: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.33 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.23
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.20 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.97