Wildcards Announced For O’Neill Cold Water Classic And Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championship

WaveWatch.com Forecasts Contestable Conditions Throughout Contest Window

Santa Cruz, Calif., October 21, 2008 – Wildcards for the 2008 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star World Qualifying Series (WQS) O’Neill Cold Water Classic and ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior North America Championship have been announced.

John John Florence (Haleiwa, HI), who just turned 16 on Saturday, will be celebrating in Santa Cruz. The young Hawaiian received wildcards into both the WQS and pro junior events.  He will enter the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in the Round of 64 and will start competing in the Oakley Pro Junior in the Round of 32. Florence has been touted as one of the next up-and-comers and is credited as the youngest surfer ever to compete in the prestigious Vans Triple Crown.

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), Dane Johnson (Carlsbad, CA) and Noi Kaulukukui (Santa Cruz, CA) were also given wildcards into the Round of 64 in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic.

Nicholas Godfrey (SAF), who just placed equal fifth at the inaugural Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali, and 2007 Oakley Pro Junior Macy’s CA Trifecta Champion Adam Wickwire (Satellite Beach, FL) have been seeded into the Round of 96.

Mason Ho (Oahu, HI) received the second of only two wildcards into the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championship. The 20-year-old received the coveted wildcard into the Round of 32.

WaveWatch.com Forecast Effective Monday (10/20) for Contest Window (10/21-26)*
Building gale pattern continues to be forecast for the Gulf of Alaska: The first in a series of gales tracked east through the Western Gulf of Alaska Friday evening (10/17) generating a very limited fetch of 35-40 kts west winds and seas building from 15 ft aimed somewhat down the 305 degree great circle paths to the Lane. This gale continued on an east-northeast heading moving into the Northern Gulf on Saturday with 30-35 kt northwest winds getting better traction on the oceans surface generating up to 20 ft seas late Saturday, but on the very northern edge of the swell window for the contest area. Limited swell expected Tuesday early afternoon (10/21).

This system then stalled in the Gulf and has regenerated some late Sunday through Monday (10/20) producing a marginally broader fetch of 30-35 kt northwest winds and 20 ft seas aimed a bit east of the 312+ degree great circle tracks to the Lane. A second pulse of somewhat weak swell in the 11-12 sec period range to arrive Wednesday midday.

And by Monday evening (10/20) another stronger gale remains forecast building 1800 miles west of Cape Mendocino with a tiny area of 45 kt west winds aimed down the 292-295 degree paths to the Lane, then lifting northeast through Wednesday AM with winds still holding in the 40-45 kt range generating 25 ft seas 1400 nmiles out and pushing well to the east. This offers a good shot of real swell for the contest with the bulk of the energy arriving before sunrise Friday with swell 6.2-6.6 ft @ 14 secs continuing into the day with much local north windswell intermixed.

And now yet one more system, a strong storm this time, is forecast forming just east of the dateline on Wednesday (10/22) generating 60-65 kt west winds aimed right down the 297-302 degree path to the Lane as it tracks east into the Gulf Thursday generating 36-48 ft seas over a small area. Longer period swell in the 10 ft @ 17-20+ sec range possible, though that is highly speculative at this early date.

All the while some degree of limited southern hemi background swell is expected from a pair of gales, one that passed under New Zealand on Fri/Sat (10/10) generating 32 ft seas and then a second pushing off the Central Ross Ice Shelf on Wed/Thurs (10/16) generating up to 36 ft seas all pushing well towards the Lane.

In short – a bit of a slow start expected but things to pick up pretty well in the middle of the contest window with 2 solid doses of west-northwest swell energy pushing in for the later half with a little luck.

Daily Surf Forecast

Tuesday (10/21): Inconsistent southern hemi swell of 2 ft @ 16-17 secs is forecast in the morning from 210 degrees producing inconsistent 3.0-3.5 ft faces with new swell from the first Gulf gale expected late morning with swell 3.2 ft @ 11 secs resulting in slightly more consistent 3.5 ft faces from 310 degrees. Wind northwest 5-8 kts early building to 15 kts mid-afternoon. Clean early with sideshore bump moving in during the early afternoon.
Wednesday (10/22): Southern hemi swell to continue at 2 ft @ 15 secs (3 ft faces) early then becoming buried in stronger north swell from the Gulf late afternoon at 4.2 ft @ 12 secs resulting in chest high waves with some larger sets coming from 310 degrees. Wind northeast 5 kts early turning northwest 10+ kts mid-afternoon. Clean early Lane becoming a little warbled in the afternoon but not unmanageable.
Thursday (10/23): Southern hemi swell to be fading at 2 ft @ 14 sec (2.5 ft faces) early with a second southern hemi swell building to 2 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft faces) but very inconsistent. Residual north swell from the day before expected at 4.2 ft @ 11 secs producing chest high inconsistent surf. Copious local shorter period swell to be layered on top of all that. Wind north 5 kts early building to 10-15 kts mid-afternoon. Clean at the Lane but a fair amount of warble expected later afternoon.
Friday (10/24): New Gulf swell to arrive a few hours before sunrise with swell 6.2-6.6 ft @ 13 secs in the morning hours resulting in 2-3 ft overhead sets from 297-302 degrees with southern hemi swell of 2.3 ft @ 18 secs underneath (3.5 ft faces) and basically invisible. Local northwest short-period windswell on top. Wind north 5 kts early building to 10-15 kts mid-afternoon. Clean at the Lane but a fair amount of warble expected early and holding through the day.
Saturday (10/25): Gulf swell to be fading out from 6.0 ft @ 11 secs resulting in shoulder to head high surf coming from 300 degrees with southern hemi swell peaking at 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft faces) from 190 degrees but invisible. New Gulf swell possibly arriving mid to late afternoon reaching 9.6-10.5 ft @ 20 secs with set waves double to triple overhead near sunset coming from 302 degrees. Wind north 5 kts early and fading some, then turning northwest 5-10 kts mid-afternoon. Clean and generally very good conditions all day at the Lane.
Sunday (10/26): Gulf swell to be holding solid with swell of 8-9 ft @ 15-16 secs holding through the day producing double overhead sets coming from 300-305 degrees. Southern hemi swell fading from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3 ft faces) and invisible. Wind north 3 kts early turning northwest 5-10 kts early afternoon. Clean and pristine especially in the morning.

As of now the overall prognosis continues to remain guardedly positive, but as with all these weather systems other than those from the southern hemi, they are only projections made by the models, and we are just starting to enter the window where real wind is starting to blow on the oceans surface to produce the swell energy forecast above. Monitor the models closely.

Live streaming video and scoring will broadcast the event to the world at www.oneill.com <http://www.oneill.com>  or www.coldwaterclassic.net <http://www.coldwaterclassic.net>  for all six days of competition.

Special thanks to the O’Neill Cold Water Classic, Oakley Pro Junior and Macy’s CA Trifecta supporting sponsors: O’Neill, Oakley, Macy’s, Red Bull, Coors, Fosters, Palm, SURFER Magazine, SURFING Magazine, WaveWatch.com and FUEL TV. For more information on the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series visit www.catrifecta.com <http://www.catrifecta.com> .

About O’Neill
O’Neill, the original Californian surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.
While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative boardriding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s set of core values – innovation in style and technology – has seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of action sports. From the first ever neoprene wetsuit and surf leash, to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s spirit of innovation will always drive the company forwards.

Today, O’Neill can be found the world over. In touch with its rich heritage and the universal stoke of boardriding culture, O’Neill will always be committed to progressing that evolution and growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands.

About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at www.oakley.com <http://www.oakley.com> .