SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Wednesday, October 31, 2012) – Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 21, has won the O’Neill Coldwater Classic local trials, earning a berth in to the ASP WCT main event.
Young topped an impressive list of both local legends and global standouts to take out the trials victory and combined his intimate knowledge of Steamer Lane and his lethal backhand attack to earn the final wildcard spot in the main event.
“I knew it was going to be tough in the local trials,” Young said. “We have so many good surfers up here and everyone is capable of doing well and getting big scores. It was a long day and I’m really stoked.”
Young’s trials win puts him up against 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, and ASP WCT Rookie Kolohe Andino (USA), 18, in Round 1 of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic and the Santa Cruz native is thrilled to take on his childhood hero and the progressive up-and-comer in his first ASP WCT appearance.
I’m against Kelly (Slater), so to be able to surf against my hero at my home break in my first WCT, it’s pretty special,” Young said. “You can’t really ask for much more than that. I feel like local knowledge plays a big role out there. Picking the right waves is really important, and I think it will play in to my favor, but I’m surfing against Kelly Slater and Kolohe (Andino), so I’m going to need more than local knowledge.”
Young, current No. 20 on the ASP World Ranking, feels the wildcard spot in to this year’s O’Neill Coldwater Classic is the perfect initiation in to his potential rookie season on the ASP WCT for 2013, but was still guarded in claiming his spot among next year’s elite despite the strong odds.
“It’s cool to be able to surf against these guys and hopefully get a little taste of it,” Young said. “I’m going to try my hardest and do what I normally do out there. I’m going to try and make as many rounds as I can.”
The O’Neill Coldwater Classic holds a waiting period from November 1 through 11, 2012 and is webcast LIVE via www.oneill.com/cwc