O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series
6 star prime World Qualifying Series (WQS)
March 23 – 29th, 2009
Jordy Smith (above) Wins O’Neill Cold Water Classic In Tasmania
World No.5 Damien Hobgood Runner-Up
Tasmania, Australia (Sunday, March 29); The solid two metre (6ft) waves of Bluffs Reef proved ideal for South African sensation Jordy Smith.(Durban) to win the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania today.
World ranked no.9 Smith defeated world no.5 Damien Hobgood with a total heat score of15.56 to13.17 (combined two wave total out of a possible 20) in the final of the 6 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) earning USD20000 and 2500 WQS points.
Both surfers known for their competitive prowess suffered slow starts in the 35 minute final. With ten minutes remaining Smith locked in a heat-high 8.73 to back up his earlier 6.83 for victory. Twenty-one year Smith’s free surfing approach key to his victory today with massive snaps and big aerial maneuvers all part of the young guns repertoire.
Smith (letting one fly above) was a clear standout from his opening heat in the week long event overcame a class international field of 192 surfers to claim victory in the inaugural event held in the wild north-west of Tasmania.
Twenty-nine year-old Hobgood held an early lead with a 7.50 but could only lock in a 5.67 as his second scoring ride to be forced to settle for second place. Today’s result once again proving the nine-year world tour veteran is a proven ripper in solid waves despite hailing from the small wave location of Florida.
“I’ve had the greatest time here in Tasmania, it’s been just amazing with such powerful surf and fun people in this remote location” said Smith after his win.
“I always enjoy surfing waves that offer power and here in Tasmania every wave you surf is straight out of the deep southern waters and the power just makes for great surfing, I love it.”
Damien Hobgood was just as impressed with the wilds of North west Tasmania after placing second said “It’s been a special week for me here in Tasmania, so many great waves and just amazing people who have welcomed us here. It’s been an adventure for all of us and I’ve felt like a young kid all week!”
In the semi finals Smith used a lucky last wave to end the dream run of future world-beater Jadson Andre of Brazil. Twenty-one year Andre – who had earlier eliminated the tournaments top seed of world no.5 C J Hobgood – led for most of the 35-minute match-up until Smith locked in a last-minute 8.27 score to secure a finals berth. Andre eliminated by less than one point on 15.27 to Smith’s total heat tally of 16.10. Andre finished equal third overall claiming USD 5000 and 1875 WQS points.
The all-American second semi saw Hobgood advance over Californian Pat Gudauskas (San Clemente) in another close battle. Twenty-three year Gudauskas required a 9,17 to win and just fell short on his final ride – an 8.90 – to be eliminated by the smallest of margins. Hobgood posted a heat total of 16.07 to Gudauskas’s 15.90 combined score.
Gudauskas who narrowly missed on qualifying for the 2009 ASP World Tour by only two places commenced his WQS campaign this year with a solid equal 3rd placing to help achieve his lifelong dream of qualifying for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour
Australia’s last remaining hopes of Dion Atkinson (Seaford, South Australia) and Owen Wright (Gold Coast, Qld) ended with their eliminations from the quarterfinals of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic. The pair finished equal fifth overall in the 192 man field, winning USD 2950 and claiming 1625 crucial points towards their 2009 WQS campaigns.
Power based surfer Dion Atkinson (Seaford) just fell short in quarter final 1 to be narrowly defeated by Jadson Andre (BRZ). The 22 year-old failed to find a back-up score to his heat high ride of 8.33 to finish on a heat total of 13.33 to Andre’s 14:00 tally.
Rising star Wright managed a 9.00 ride in quarter final 2 but it wasn’t enough against world no.9 Jordy Smith (ZAF) who locked in a 9.40 and a 8.60 for a combined heat tally of 18:00 to his 19 year-old opponents 12.83 heat total.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series utilized four breaks over six days of competition in the North-West of Tasmania.
The top 15 WQS surfers at year’s end earn berths onto the elite tour.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series now moves to Scotland for the 6 star prime World Qualifying Series (WQS) event from April 29th – May 6th, 2009.
1st USD$20,000 2500 WQS points 2nd USD$10,000 2188 WQS Points
1st Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.56 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.17
Semi-Finals = 3rd USD 5000 1875 WQS Points.
SF1 Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def Jadson Andre (BRZ) 15.27
SF2 Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.07 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.90
Quarter Finals = 5th. USD 2950 1625 WQS Points
QF1 –Jadson Andre (Brz) 14:00 def Dion Atkinson (Aus) 13.33
QF2 –Jordy Smith (Sth Afr) 18:00 def. Owen Wright (Aus).12.83
QF3 – Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.50 def. Masatoshi Ohno (Jpn) 7.56
QF4 – Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.90 def T J Barron (Haw) 9.00