SANTA CRUZ, California (Wednesday, October 22, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic completed Round 2 and the first eight heats of Round 3 today in two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions at Steamer Lane. Local surfer Bud Freitas (Santa Cruz, CA), 24, earned the day’s highest heat total of 16.90 with explosive surfing in front of his home crowd, while Australia’s Jayke Sharp (Coffs Harbor, AUS), 20, posted the event’s highest single wave score in Round 2. Granger Larson (Lahaina, HI), 18, advanced through two heats today and won his Round 3 heat in convincing fashion.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic marks the last ASP WQS event held in mainland America and also marks the final event of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series. With 2006 specialty series winner and current Trifecta leader Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, not competing in the Santa Cruz contest, Asher Nolan (Jacksonville, FL), 30, who is currently in second and local surfer Kieran Horn (Santa Cruz, CA), 34, who is in third, will be fighting to claim top honors of this year’s Trifecta Champion. Nolan and Horn will both surf in the Round of 64.
Freitas came out of the gate hot in his opening heat today, dominating his Round 3 competition. Freitas earned two single wave scores of 8.33 and 8.57, both out of a possible 10, with huge fins-free turns to claim the heat victory in front of his local crowd.
“It’s just killer to be home and do this in front of my friends and family, so I’m stoked.” Freitas said.
Freitas earned a Quarterfinals finish in last year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic and is using the result as motivation for a better result this year. The Santa Cruz local is hoping to win this year’s Cold Water Classic and bring the title back home to Santa Cruz.
“I was bummed about last year,” Freitas said. “I thought I was going to make it to the Final. There’s more to come this year. I could win – you never know. I’d be stoked.”
Sharp combined several forehand blasts with a massive layback snap to earn the event’s top single wave score of an 8.83 out of a possible 10 on a long Steamer Lane righthander. The young Australian followed up with a second solid score to claim his Round 2 heat victory.
“It was pretty fun out there,” Sharp said. “The rights have a little bit of a bump in it once it comes off of the cliff, but when you pick the right one it’s pretty easy to get a good score I think.”
Sharp, who finished fourth on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, proved he is ready for ASP WQS competition today and is looking to use his impressive performance in Round 2 as a confidence builder for the remainder of the event. The stylish regular-footer is hoping a good performance at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic will improve his rating for next year’s ASP WQS.
“It’d mean heaps to me,” Sharp said. “It helps me for next year and I’d be stoked.”
Larsen earned the event’s second-highest heat total of 15.43 out of a possible 20 point score in Round 3 today with several smooth forehand carves on two clean waves donated by Steamer Lane. The Maui-based surfer jumped out to an early lead, dominating the heat throughout its entirety.
“I was hoping to catch a couple of waves out there and I got a few fun ones,” Larsen said.” “It was pretty fun. I’m riding a board that’s a little wider and a little thicker and I’m really stoked on it. Hopefully it works really good out there tomorrow.”
Larsen advanced through Round 2 today and used the heat as a warm up for Round 3.
“My first heat was a good warm up for this one,” Larsen said. “My first heat was really small and hard to surf and I’m super stoked to get waves in that heat and get a few scores. I was hoping to get 8 point scores like I did in that last heat.”
Tomorrow’s competition will see the completion of Round 3 and the event’s top seeds in Round 4. All of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic action will be webcast LIVE via coldwaterclassic.net.
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Results
Round of 128: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Tyler Newton (HAW) 10.00, Granger Larson (HAW) 9.93, Jonny Craft (USA) 4.73, Jason Harris (USA) 3.37
Heat 2: Evan Valiere (HAW) 13.66, Danny Estes (USA) 8.33, Matt Pagan (USA) 7.33, Ben Graeff (USA) 5.93
Heat 3: Matt Meola (HAW) 12.03, Quintin Jones (ZAF) 8.67, Andrew Bennett (USA) 7.27, Kyle Kennelly (USA) 6.76
Heat 4: Luke Davis (USA) 12.33, Chris Abad (USA) 8.23, Sean Bacon (USA) 7.83, Layne Harrison (USA) 7.33
Heat 5: Macy Mullen (HAW) 10.47, Michael Bailey (USA) 9.33, Ashton Madeley (USA) 8.43, Kelsey Strickland (USA) 5.53
Heat 6: Roger Eales (USA) 11.34, Scott Hammonds (USA) 7.67, Nick Rupp (USA) 7.50, Sean Tubbs (USA) 5.70
Heat 7: Tom Rezvan (USA) 8.33, Fisher Heverly (USA) 5.96, Ford Archbold (USA) 5.90, Danny Hart (USA) 5.67
Heat 8: Gabe Garcia (USA) 12.43, David Gonsalves (HAW) 9.66, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 9.50, Matt Johnson (USA) 3.83
Heat 9: Josh Loya (USA) 13.00, Phillip Goold (USA) 8.24, Javier Swayne (PER) 5.87, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 3.57
Heat 10: Omar Etcheverry (USA) 12.84, Peter Mussio (USA) 12.83, Sean Hayes (USA) 10.27, Brett Barley (USA) 7.77
Heat 11: Jayke Sharp (AUS) 13.16, Russel Smith (USA) 10.04, Madison Williams (USA) 9.80, Peter Mel (USA) 7.30
Heat 12: Randy Bonds (USA) 12.34, Ryah Arthur (USA) 7.57, John Daniels (USA) 6.50, Jensen Callaway (USA) 6.13
Heat 13: Jimmy Herrick (USA) 11.83, Kyle Garson (USA) 7.83, Brandon Barnes (USA) 7.77, Sean Taylor (USA) 5.90
Heat 14: Tyler Anderson (USA) 9.97, Chris Foster (HAW) 9.90, T.J. Mikus (USA) 9.60, Colin Schildhauer (USA) 7.26
Heat 15: Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 13.50, Josh Mulcoy (USA) 10.90, Andrew Doheny (USA) 7.20, Casey Landvogt (USA) 6.62
Heat 16: Matt Myers (USA) 9.77, Matt Keenan (USA) 8.40, Scott Posner (USA) 8.00, Thomas Petriken (USA) 6.86
Round of 96 (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Danny Estes (USA) 12.87, Tyler Newton (HAW) 12.04, Brent Reilly (USA) 8.50, Nic Greninger (USA) 5.17
Heat 2: Granger Larsen (HAW) 15.43, Travis Beckmann (USA) 11.50, Evan Valiere (USA) 9.87, Rylan McCart (USA) 7.00
Heat 3: Chris Abad (USA) 13.50, Matt Meola (HAW) 11.17, Shey Yates (USA) 10.20, Adam Wickwire (USA) 8.37
Heat 4: Quintin Jones (HAW) 14.84, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.97, Tanaka Hideyoshi (JPN) 10.00, Luke Davis (USA) 7.77
Heat 5: Bud Freitas (USA) 16.90, Kevin Kapsky (HAW) 14.77, Macy Mullen (HAW) 9.83, Scott Hammonds (USA) 8.94
Heat 6: Eric McHenry (USA) 11.56, Roger Eales (USA) 11.20, Mickael Bailey (USA) 8.16, Drew Ventura (USA) 7.16