SANTA CRUZ, California (Wednesday, October 1, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-star O’Neill Cold Water Classic and ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior North America Championships will draw hundreds of professional and junior surfers from all over the world to Santa Cruz, California’s legendary Steamer Lane, Oct. 21-26, 2008.
The notorious event boasts a prize purse of $80,000 for the ASP WQS event (up $5,000 from last year), $15,000 for the Oakley Pro Junior, and $25,000 for the Macy’s CA Trifecta bonus cash. The event also marks the final WQS event on the U.S. mainland and the ASP North America Championships for the Pro Juniors.
Now in it’s 21st year, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic continues to build upon its storied history with an increasing prize offering and standout competition.
Continuing that momentum, the event will upgrade to an ASP 6-star in 2009 along with stop one of the Macy’s CA Trifecta Surf Series, the 6.0 Lowers Pro in Lower Trestles, Calif. In 2009, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic will also expand to a five-event international series offering a diversity of destinations in Scotland, Tasmania, South Africa and Canada, and culminating in Santa Cruz.
“The O’Neill Coldwater Classic has been a special event for the community of Santa Cruz and I expect it to be a success at all the new locations,” says Kieran Horn, Surf Marketing Manager, O’Neill Wetsuits. “With each of the events in the series having a 6-star WQS rating, each event will bring a lot of excitement, and the finale in Santa Cruz should be no exception.”
Last year, Jordy Smith, took the title after claiming an O’Neill wildcard into the event. He added his name to a who’s who list of notable past winners including Ritchie Collins, Martin Potter, Tom Curren, Kieran Horn, Adam Replogle, Taylor Knox, Joel Parkinson and Bobby Martinez.
It’s always an honor for any surfer to win the coveted championship title in the rugged, cold conditions at Steamer Lane, but the added accolades and prize money from the Macy’s CA Trifecta increases that acclaim even further.
Local Santa Cruz surfer, Nat Young, will return to defend his Oakley Pro Junior title at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic, which will serve as the ASP North America Championships and is the final opportunity for the ASP North America junior competitors to gain entrance to the ASP World Junior Championships in Australia.
Only the top four rated North American surfers will move on to the championships, so the small field of 48 and the competitive draw will ensure a climactic finish.
As the final stop of the Macy’s CA Trifecta Surf Series, the Cold Water Classic will award a $15,000 bonus cash purse to the top three finishers in the WQS division of the series – $10,000 for first, $3,500 for second and $1,500 for third. After the second event on the series, the Oakley Newport Beach Pro, the Trifecta points leaders have been shaken up with Nate Yeomans (2,175 pts) taking the lead after securing his third consecutive championship at 56th Street in Newport Beach.
2005 Macy’s CA Trifecta Champion Asher Nolan (1,800 pts) finds himself in contention again as he takes the number two position after a solid fifth-place finish in Newport. Up-and-coming Malibu surfer Dillon Perillo (1,663 pts) skyrockets to third after shining in both the WQS and Juniors events at Newport. Former O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion Kieran Horn (1,650 pts) now sitting in fourth, will look to exploit his hometown advantage.
For the second year, the Oakley Pro Junior Division will also receive a significant Trifecta bonus purse, which has doubled from $5,000 to $10,000 and will award $7,000 for first, $2,000 for second, and $1,000 for third. After Newport, Hawaii’s Sebastian Zietz (778 pts) maintains his lead and Dillon Perillo (725 pts) jumps to second in the standings for his win at the Newport Beach Oakley Pro Junior. Jason Harris (630 pts.) slips slightly to third place after finishing in 17th in Newport. Last year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic Oakley Pro Junior Champion and Santa Cruz’s own Nat Young (583 pts) holds a solid fourth place following consistent performances at both Trestles and Newport.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic will be webcast LIVE via www.coldwaterclassic.net
For more information, log onto www.aspnorthamerica.org