O’Neill Launches 2009 Cold Water Classic Contest Series

The Most Northern, The Most Southern, The Wildest, The Coldest & The Most Classic Surf Contests On The Planet

SANTA CRUZ, California, (Oct. 27, 2008) – Building on the iconic event in Santa Cruz and the much-lauded Highland Open in Scotland, O’Neill has added Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) events in Tasmania, South Africa and Canada to make the O’Neill Cold Water Classic (CWC) series a huge and much welcomed addition to the world of professional surfing. The five ASP WQS 6-star events will take place on four continents: the most Northern, the most Southern, the coldest, the wildest and the most classic surf contests on the planet.  The series winner will pocket a $50,000 cash bonus.

“We wanted to provide a unique and challenging experience for the world’s best surfers,” said Bernhard Ritzer, O’Neill Global Event Manager. “The O’Neill Cold Water Classic series is the perfect extension of our existing events – it remains true to our spirit, innovation and adventure, pushing the boundaries and exploring the limits. The CWC event series will take us to incredible and unique locations around the world, where we will let the cold know that we’re not afraid.”

Kicking off in March 2009, the series will first travel to Tasmania, March 23-29, for the most Southern event within professional surfing. The island state, about 150 miles off of mainland Australia, boasts big, powerful surf and a variety of world-class reef and beachbreaks in a rugged and challenging environment, with an average water temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in March.

“Tasmania is pretty much as wild as it gets,” Jarrad Howse, former ASP World Tour campaigner and current ASP WQS battler, said. “It offers the more adventurous a surfing experience like no other in Australia. I love the reefs in Tassie – usually really hollow and magnets for any swell. It’s a cold, rugged and beautiful place that deserves an event.”
In May, the O’Neill CWC series will head to Scotland, April 29-May 6, for the popular Highland Open event, providing world-class reef breaks in the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands at Thurso East and Brims Ness.

Cape Town will host the third event on the CWC series, June 18-25. With powerful swells sweeping into the peninsula, the event will no doubt take full advantage of the mobile format of each of the events on the series in order to find the optimum waves available.

The coldest surf contest on the planet follows as the CWC series heads up to Vancouver, Canada, October 27-November 2. This will be the first professional ASP event ever held in Canada. Known more for its snow than its surf. Canada’s wild and rugged shoreline actually offers a huge variety of pointbreaks, reefs and beachbreaks that can work on a wide combination of winds and swells. Fog, snow, freezing temperatures and ice-cold water add to the extremity of this event.

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic series will culminate at the iconic CWC event in Santa Cruz , November 4-10 – Northern California’s premier ASP event since 1987. Upgraded to an ASP WQS 6-Star event in 2009, the Nor Cal contest will be the conclusion of the series and will crown the 2009 CWC Champion.

Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, believes the introduction of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series will have a significant and positive impact on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS): “The O’Neill Cold Water Classic series represents an exciting and unique addition to the ASP International Calendar. The established events of Scotland and Santa Cruz are already hugely popular with the surfers and the addition of the high-rated events in Canada, Tasmania and South Africa really broadens and supports not only this series, but the ASP WQS as a whole.”
Cold Water Classic
For additional information, log on to www.oneill.com/cwc beginning in November.

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