Damien Hobgood Tops An Action Filled Day Of Surfing, As Anticipation Builds For The Final Rounds Of The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Tasmania
O’Neill’s Coldwater Classic Series: The Most Northern, The Most Southern, The Wildest, The Coldest & The Most Classic Surf Contest On The Planet
Jadson Andre. Photo: Surfing Australia
28 March 2009, Marrawah, Tasmania – The penultimate day of competition at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Tasmania produced a first in the event’s five-day history – when it was held at the same venue for the second day running.
“It took us four days to find this place,” said event director Matt Wilson. “Now we’ve found it, we’re not moving,” he joked.
Damien Hobgood pulled out one of the performances of the entire event in his close heat against Brett Simpson, taking him through to the quarterfinals in style.
Jordy Smith is joining Damien as the other World Tour surfer making it comfortably into the quarterfinals, knocking out the young Hawaiian talent, Dusty Payne and setting up what is sure to be a thrilling heat against the Australian wonder-kid Owen Wright.
Despite looking as though he still has a few tricks in the bag to pull out, Jordy says he is giving it his all. “I’m going for it out there,” he said. “It’s lots of fun this competition. I’m hanging out here with my friends, and just having a good time.”
Two Australian’s progressed through today’s round five to go into tomorrow’s quarter finals, South Australia’s Dion Atkinson (Seaford) and NSW young gun Owen Wright (Lennox Head).
Another big name in amongst the quarterfinalists is American surfer, Patrick Gudauskas, who narrowly missed out on World Tour place last season.
Owen Wright. Photo: Surfing Australia
“My philosophy here is go big or go home,” said Patrick. “I’ve had some good heats – a lot of close heats – but three more heats would be sick,” he said.
“My surfing has changed in the three months I just had off,” he said. “It feels like I’m not afraid to fall any more. Also I have a few tricks and secret maneuvers to pull out when I need!”
“I am loving it here in Tasmania,” said Patrick. “For a contest it’s exciting because no one has the local advantage. Also the locals are rad. They’re giving me advice about where to sit and stuff, and then the same guys are popping up to congratulate me after each heat. It’s classic.”
“The waves have also been incredible,” he said. “We surfed The Bluff so good. I fell in love with that wave. It was pretty special.”
With just the final rounds remaining, the hope is that the event will end have its last day at the notorious Bluff Reef.
“There’s another swell on the map,” said Matt Wilson. “And lighter winds forecast for tomorrow, so it looks like a better day all round. The Bluff needs a solid 4 meter swell to work. We’ll see tomorrow morning if we get it.
The next call will be made on March 29th at 7.30am