Cold Water Classic Wildcards Announced

O'Neill Cold Water Classic Wildcard Jason "Ratboy" Collins will be tough to beat at Steamer Lane.

O'Neill Cold Water Classic Wildcard Jason "Ratboy" Collins will be tough to beat at Steamer Lane.

Wildcards Named For O’Neill Cold Water Classic And Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Oct. 29, 2009 – Wildcards have been named for the $145,000 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic and $15,000 Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships which return to Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Calif. Nov. 2-8, 2009. The two events offer crucial ASP ratings points to professional surfers looking to qualify for the World Tour or the World Junior Championships. With major points and prize money on the line, a wildcard is a coveted asset to receive.

The 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic bolsters an international field of 128 of some of the best professional surfers in the world including World Tour standouts Adriano de Souza (BRA), Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Roy Powers (HAW) and Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), top North America WQS ratings leader and 2009 $100,000 U.S. Open Champion Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA) and Dusty Payne (HAW).

Wildcards into the Round of 96 of the main event were awarded to event ambassador and Santa Cruz local Jason “Ratboy” Collins and 16-year-old “SURFER Magazine Hot 100” ripper Luke Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA). Matt Meola (HAW) also received a wildcard, but will enter the contest in the first round, the Round of 128. A local trial on the first day of competition will award two Santa Cruz locals wildcards into the event.

The Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships is also a significant event in terms of points and prize purse. With a small competitive field of only 48 under-20-year-olds, the two wildcard spots were highly sought after. Connor Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA) secured a ticket into the Round of 32 and local Santa Cruz “super grom” Nic Hernandez into the Round of 48.

As the historic and premiere professional surfing event of Northern California, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic will also serve as the fifth and final stop on the inaugural Cold Water Classic Series, which has already landed in Tasmania, Scotland, South Africa, and Canada. As such, the series champion will be crowned and an additional $50,000 prize purse distributed.

The event will be webcast live for all seven days of competition with expert commentary, exclusive athlete interviews and sponsor giveaways. For more information, visit: oneill.com/cwc or oakleyprojunior.com.

Special thanks to all of the sponsors of the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic and Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships: O’Neill, Oakley, Red Bull, Corralejo Tequila, SURFER and SURFING, as well as, the official hotel partner, The Dream Inn and Aquarius Restaurant, and food partner, Whole Foods Market.

About O’Neill
O’Neill, the original California 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 surf 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 soon after.

While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding 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 neoprene surf wetsuit and board leash, to the world’s first stitchless board shorts 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 appeal of board riding culture, O’Neill will always be committed to growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands based on a unique half-century of history as the First Name in the Water.

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 oakley.com